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This is the second “personal” non-IT or IT security article of the year and the 80th article I have written and published in some form. Typically, I only write about issues I see in the country or affect me in some way presently or in the future.

What you need to buy a property money wise and the process: right property check, deposit check, mortgage agreed check, surveyor fees check, legal fees check, hire a van fees check and stamp duty not check.

Firstly, the banks and building societies offer a government backed saving scheme which lets you put in £1000 initially and £200 a month with interest and a 25% bonus paid when buying a house. It was advertised as the overall pot and bonus is there to be used for the deposit.

Within the last few weeks a newspaper exposed the scheme as being “furniture money” to be used once you have bought a property and it cannot be used for the deposit. Perhaps this was in the small print but who reads the small print?

Saving for a 10% percent deposit is hard enough depending on your circumstances and then about £2000 to cover legal, surveyor and basic moving fees. Then comes stamp duty which likely stops a lot of singles and couples in their tracks.

The process is stressful and expensive enough without the hurdle of stamp duty. Yes, if you are a property investor buying a handful of properties or buy to let then perhaps stamp duty is fair but not for a first time buyer. There is a shortage of homes and prices are crazy, London being the worse.

United Kingdom government you appear to be offering schemes to help first time buyers, not the Help To Buy ISA now (!) so how about cutting first time buyers some slack on stamp duty? Either ditch it or reduce it. A £300,000 flat is about £5,000 and house over £450,000 is £10,000+.