Nevertheless, with average house price rises outstripping wage rises by three times, two women 100 miles apart decide it's worth ploughing their savings into the property market.
In West Yorkshire, Mary Levitt-Hughes uses her redundancy money to buy a two-up, two-down house for £46,250. With a budget of £20,000 she plans to completely refurbish the house - including installing a new kitchen and bathroom and adding central heating. She aims to sell the property for £96,000, netting a £26,000 profit.
Meanwhile, in the West Midlands' Sutton Coldfield, working single mum Rupa Pall dreams of giving up her day job.
Rupa starts building her property empire by buying a three-bedroom semi-detached house for £198,000.
At first, not knowing a "dodo rail" from a "dada rail", Rupa has to get up to speed quickly especially as her ambitious £20,000 renovation budget needs to cover replacing all the windows, adding central heating and a new kitchen.
If all goes to plan, she will sell the property for £295,000 and make a healthy £77,000 profit.
Simples. Or is it?
Climbing The Property Ladder starts tonight at 9pm, Channel 5