How early in your legal career did you buy your first property (without BOMAD)?

Especially interested to hear how it can be done in London while slaving away in the City.

In a different century and time. I was in London today. £650,000 for a dump of a property 3 beds ex LA. It’s bat s—- crazy. Buy in Bristol, Oxford, Bucks and let it if you don’t want to commute. That may be a good idea. 

For some context, starting as trainee in US firm that pays Cravath scale next month.

Currently 23 years old.

First year trainee: £50,000

Second year trainee: £55,000

NQ: $215,000

I think the issue for me, as I come from a low income family that doesn't live in London, would be to save for the deposit needed to be able to capitalise on the high salary multiple that a City salary (esp a US firm) would entail.

Stanley I don’t think you realise how old some of us are on here. We were born a long time ago when life was easy and fun. 

Speak for yourself Elephant. There’s still a glint in my eye. 

See you on Friday in the queue at the Post Office on pension day? 

5PQE, 870k in Balham. Probably the last of my friends to buy in my year but I wanted to save up to live somewhere nice. 

Are you close to the Balham Magistrate’s court Muto. I witnessed some weird shit there. Proper Stranger Things stuff. 
Bound to start a property price crash if it gets out on ROF 

I was talking about property prices. I never once suggested you aren’t still smokin as evidenced by the bit of a stir I understand you caused on Sunday morning at the canine show. 

As a result Mrs Prod has banned me from attending them in future Elephant. I’m not sure if that means there is a god or there isn’t a god. Do you have a view?

I quite enjoy Roffers on Location out of the studio’ episodes. Stanley’s adventures in France was also good. 

I hadn't realised Phoebe was quite the property tycoon.

I thought your property was in Liverpool but now it seems you have an extensive portfolio.

Bought first and current house South East London in 2019. Likely to be the only one I will ever own. I was 10 years PQE at the time. 

I was 28, bought a two bed flat in zone 3 by myself without any direct* help from Bank of mum and dad.

*They helped me through university so I came out of that without student loans (going before the increase in fees to 9k helped too).

I was 24.  2 bedder in clapham.  It was in the gr8 days when scottish widows would lend you 110% if you were a "professional".


I was a trainee on 13k a year. Girlfriend earning similar. Bought a 3 bed semi with a large garden in a nice bit of Leeds. Wish my kids had the same chances...

5 pqe. But not in London - in the Home Counties. Missus and I were, at the time, senior associates at large international firms. Should have bought much earlier. 

Whatever you do, don't listen to those who say don't buy. Buy. And prime Bristol is a good idea if not London. 

NQ. Got a place in hometown (which I still have although my old gal lives there) whilst working in London.

Wot Wang said about Scottish Widows. I was in my late 20s around 2003ish. 2 bed top floor flat in what was marketed as West Kensington, but it was ‘Ammersmif really. £265k at the time, which seemed liked a fortune for 760sqft odd of railway adjacent noise.

£3m townhouse in Chelsea, bought when I was a NQ without any help from parents*


*I mean the mortgage is in their name and they paid the deposit but that doesn't really count as "help" right? 

If you are young buy with as much leverage as you can and keep leveraging up and buying up as quickly as possible.

It could collapse and you will be left bankrupt - but then the whole system will reset and you can start again in a sane world.

The system could go on for decades yet and if you don’t max out you will find yourself slogging your guts out in middle age and still poorer than everyone else. This is worse than an early bankruptcy tbh.

And make sure you marry well and get them to leverage up too.

I spent 180K on a semi in Lewisham. Seemed like a lot. I really should have maxes out the SW thing and spent 250-300. And then traded up quickly. My life would have been totally different (probably much much better).

It was 1986. I was 23 in my second year of articles on 10K pa when I bought a 2 bed flat in zone 3 for £47K with a mate from uni. It was freezing (no central heating) and the washing machine, a twin tub, caught fire the first time I used it. My mate wasn't keen on shelling out to improve conditions so in 1987 she bought me out and I bought a lovely little 1 bed flat in zone 3 for £73K. I was newly qualified and on £17K pa. It had central heating, lots of hot water and an automatic washing machine - and I had a cough which has never really gone.

When I was 31, 2nd year in London, £140k from memory on a 2 bed via a glorious 100% lawyers mortgage care of Scottish Widows.

In St Albans rather than London, salary at the time (2001) was about £56k

This shows how insane the property market has become.


1994 I was a trainee in Nottingham.  Salary around 11k.  Bought a 2 bed terrace in West Bridgford for 38k.  No deposit.



22yrs old, 1999. Aldgate, 1 bed flat with parking (and an underground car lift like in Live & Let Die yaaaaaay), gym, roof terrace overlooking river etc, £165,000. £12k down, rest mortgaged with Abbey at a 5yr fixed 4.75% from memory.

Was earning £24k, girlfriend earning £18k.

@ Ebitda it was in march 2022 and I don't think it was punchy at all. 3 bed flat which had been completely renovated top to bottom a month before I bought. 

Bought bang on qualification in 2003.  I was on £40k, Mrs Fun was on buttons (about £15k).  100% mortgage with no BOMAD on a £150k 3-bed terrace in Chorlton, Manchester.  Sold to buy current place for £250k in 2011.  Wish I'd kept it, but just didn't have the cash to.

Bad luck Pheebs on being gazumped. But maybe that just means you’ve got more cash to spend on chinning, so can’t be too bad!

I was fortunate enough to have my own place long before I got near any law office. Certainly helped having that early start. 

Not a lawyer, bought aged 29 in z2 for £260k sans bomad assistance.

did pay stamp duty on credit card and also maxed out another one at £15k to help fund the deposit. 

Another one for the glorious 110% lawyers mortgage, so about 1 PQE/26 years old  

Barely scraped the deposit and then had to buy v basic furniture on credit and pay it off in instalments so we could afford things like a bed  


-5pqe (that’s minus 5) not BOMAD, just D, bought outright a Georgian townhouse in Canonbury for me - 1992 (bottom of the market) - turns out to have been quite a good investment!

Two weeks before I started my training contract (ie my first job in law).

Deposit was all my own money but my dad did stand as surety for the mortgage.

Bought a 4 bed house in Leeds with my wife for £190k, in my first seat - on about £35k salary I think.  Wife on about £25k.  Had a few years' paralegalling before that.

19 - regions - small flat with great tenant which provided leverage for

22 - (this was last century/millennium -) zone 2 2 bed Victorian railway cottage with a lovely garden which provided leverage for

26 - loft type thing in Docklands - selling that after a few years paid off the remaining mortgages on the other two and a smidge left over towards the inevitable move to the commuter belt.

Christ I miss the ScotWid 110% - their default rate was sod all if memory serves.

I think bairns may miss it more as the time comes.... 

As above, get on early and leverage.  Across market types (the core is income and hopefully capital increase - nothing that can't pay for itself over 15 years). No help from BOMAD.  Due to my early insecurity (no BOMAD and leverage to hilt), child birthday and Christmas money has been directed into a small property portfolio which they can hopefully use and leverage as needed.  


On the whole I find discussion of house prices etc quite vulgar. I am fed up of hearing a lot of ,especially Guardian readers, telling me 'I bought my house for xxx and now it is worth zzz'

I never discuss this. But I helped my then partner ,later my wife, buy her very run down house with a mortgage. The next year we had saved up enough through sacrifices and hard work to buy a run down house cash after prolonged negotiation. That was for me. I was then 40. Neither of us had help from BOMAD. 

IT goes without saying that neither of us boasted about our good fortune.. Partly because it is in bad taste and partly because it causes silent RESENTMENT.

It is just the way it is 

Bought a shared ownership place back in 2015 with a little bit of help with BOMAD in SE London, 70% of the deposit was mine though. Will be a good springboard when I buy a house with my wife in the next few years. Still a paralegal.

My husband was 7 years older ( I married 21) and he had owned a house in the North already which he sold. So I was 22 and pregnant and a trainee solicitor. We bought out here where we still live - zone 5 as inner London too expensive and we wanted a small freehold house with garden not a flat in somewhere like Ealing. No help from my parents.


Surprisingly the same jobs today - trainee solicitor in London firm and head of department teacher can buy the same house as trainee solicitor salaries in real terms even after allowing for inflation are double what they were.

Should have added that like my parents we bought with 2 full time professional salaries (my parents put off babies for TEN years and both worked full time to be able to buy a house) and bought before we bred. Still remains good advice today. (Don't marry very low earners either)