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Since the beginning of time people have needed a roof over their head. Whether it’s a cave or a penthouse apartment – there is “nothing quite like home” – and at some point in your life, you will want your own place. 


The majority of people live in their family home until they go to university or earn enough from working to allow them to move out. 


If you want your own home there are three housing options: 

  1. Buy a property

  2. Rent a property via a private landlord

  3. Rent a property via a social landlord

However, whichever option you choose you will need to ensure that you can pay for it. 


Assuming that you can find a property that is sale and is within your price range - this is by far the most expensive option for getting your own home. 

It also comes with lots of hidden costs like finding a deposit, solicitor fees, stamp duty and building & contents insurance. 

If you buy a property it is likely you will be paying for it for around 25 years (unless you sell it). However, whilst you might be paying over £1000/month for a mortgage, you soon forget about it and get just used to paying the monthly amount. 

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Once most people have realised that buying a property is really expensive, they quickly start to look at renting. Essentially it means that you get to live in a house (or flat) that someone else owns. Monthly payments will be roughly the same as a mortgage payment (perhaps a little higher) but obviously once you have paid it – it’s gone. Some people refer to renting as ‘dead money’ because you are paying for something that you will never own. However, with the high price (and limited availability) of housing, renting can be the only option of having your ‘own’ property.


Within the UK are a number of social housing organisations that exist to provide disadvantaged people (such as non or low waged) with the opportunity to having a property to live in. 


Obviously not everyone has the ability to buy a property or the credit history to rent via a private a landlord. Social housing used to be provided by local authorities (it used to be called ‘council housing’) but over the last twenty years the housing, political and financial landscapes have changed and as a result lots of smaller organisations have been set up to provide affordable social housing. 

Social housing still needs to be paid for. If you have a wage you can pay the rent yourself, but if you are low waged or unemployed, the rent can be paid for from benefits (i.e. Universal Credit).