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First-Time Buyers Complete Day Before Mortgage Rate Expired

Posted 3 November 2022 by Helen Christie

Carolina and François raced to complete on their new home at West Carclaze Garden Village before their mortgage rate offer expired…

Many first-time-buyers spent October frantically trying to secure a home whilst benefitting from various financial incentives.

One such couple were Carolina and François Leleu, who have just completed on a three-bedroom house in The Marigold Collection at West Carclaze Garden Village in Cornwall. Moving from Penryn about 45 minutes away, the couple have benefitted from Help to Buy, zero Stamp Duty and a 1.7% mortgage rate offer, which was due to run out a day after their planned completion date.

Carolina, who is a deputy manager at a local children’s home, had secured a mortgage rate of 1.7% in March for a 27-year term with her husband. However, a day before completion was due on 3 October 2022, their certificates still hadn’t arrived, and with interest rates rising and their mortgage offer due to expire on 4 October, their first-time buyer dream was in jeopardy.

Carolina says: “The last few weeks running up to our completion date were incredibly stressful, as our mortgage certificates still hadn’t arrived - to include the morning before we were due to complete. I was really panicking because our lender had told us that we couldn’t extend our mortgage offer any further, and that the rate would increase to around 4.5-5% when it expired. This meant we would have had no choice but to pull out of the purchase entirely as we couldn’t afford the increased mortgage payments. I was working long shifts but whenever I had the chance, I made numerous phone calls to make sure they arrived on time. Eventually they did - about 12 hours before we were due to complete, so it was a very close call! We are so thankful that we were able to secure a 1.7% rate when we did, as we definitely wouldn’t have got that now.”

The couple were also able to benefit from no Stamp Duty and Help to Buy in order to buy their first home together. Carolina says: “We had moved to Cornwall from Windsor in December 2020 with the intention of buying a house through Help to Buy, but we couldn’t find anything suitable. We had no choice but to continue renting at £850 p/m, which was wasting our money. It was vital we could benefit from the initiative in order to buy a three-bedroom house, and so our search continued knowing that the October deadline was fast approaching. When we spotted West Carclaze in November 2021 we jumped at the opportunity, and being new build we only needed to put down a 5% deposit of £13,100. The process was very easy, although we had a slight scare on the day of completion because our Help to Buy paperwork hadn’t been sent back to us, as they needed to be done again. I was so worried that it would delay our completion because we would have lost our 1.7% mortgage offer which would have also meant losing the house, but thankfully all was ok in the end. As an added bonus, we didn’t have to pay any Stamp Duty because the property price was £262,000.”

Carolina and François at their new home

Carolina and François were keen not to lose the house they had reserved at West Carclaze because of its impressive list of eco-credentials and lifestyle offering.

Carolina adds: “We really wanted to live at West Carclaze and were terrified we were going to lose the opportunity. Everything had pretty much sold in the first release in the run up to our completion date, so I was getting quite upset at the thought of losing access to it all if our mortgage certificates didn’t arrive on time. There’s nothing else quite like it in Cornwall, as the development is more than just having a house. There’s a wonderful lifestyle on offer with 500 acres of beautiful countryside with five lakes, miles of trails and walks and a 350-acre country park to explore, meaning health and wellbeing is quite literally on our doorstep. I love my watersports in particular so I am looking forward to being on my paddle board and going for a swim. I’m also massively into reducing my carbon footprint wherever I can, and there are some amazing eco credentials at our new home. This will help us lower our energy bills substantially. I also love that there is already a community building here, whilst the location is ideal for being by the sea which is why we wanted to move to Cornwall in the first place. Out of all the developments we visited, West Carclaze outperformed by miles.”

Carolina continues: “We love every aspect of the design; from the shapes and distinctive colours of the facades, to the clean and bright modern interiors which are flooded with natural light. Dotted alongside the tree lined roads and edible landscaping gives the homes a very Cornish feel that fits perfectly with 21st century life.”

West Carclaze Garden Village is being built by developer, Eco-Bos, and is a lakeside community around the St Austell Clay Pits, enjoying far reaching views of the Cornish coast. Key features include the UK’s first net carbon zero school, EPC-A ratings, heat ventilation recovery systems, air source pumps, electric charging points, electric bike sharing and solar panels, which together will help save up to 5.5 tonnes of carbon a year, with estimated combined energy costs as low as £413 per annum. On-site amenities will include five lakes, fourteen miles of nature trails, edible walkways, a wetland nature reserve, a 350-acre country park, allotments, shops, restaurants, pubs, picnic areas and flexible work spaces to name a few – open to the public as well as the village residents.

With prices starting from £187,000, there are a wide range of homes to suit every buyer, from apartments, bungalows and smaller houses, to spacious four-bedroom family homes.


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