First-Time Buyers Who Made The Most Of Help To Buy

Posted 13 November 2020 by Keith Osborne

The government-back Help to Buy scheme has been invaluable to these people taking a first step on the property ladder...

The government-backed Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme has been incredibly popular, with the latest figures showing that over 270,000 homebuyers have used it since its launch in 2013 – 224,000 of them first-time buyers.

Right now, Help to Buy can be used by people who already own a home, but from March next year the scheme is restricted to those buying a first property. The scheme requires the purchaser to prefer a deposit of 5% (significantly less than it would be without is) and in England and Wales, get a mortgage for 75% of the price (55% in Greater London, 80% in Scotland). The balance is provided by the government as a loan which can be paid back when the property is sold. For the first five years, the loan is interest-free.

From April 2021, the current national maximum property price where the scheme can be used (£600,000) will be replaced by limits which are considerably less, more suited to the first-time buyer market and based on the regional average property price.

Here are just a few examples of young first-time buyers who have used Help to Buy to get onto the property ladder:

 

Josh and Alice, Stratford-upon-Avon

Josh and AliceJust before lockdown, 26-year-old Alice – who was previously living in her parents’ home in Solihull – decided to move in with partner Josh (28), who was renting a two-bedroom flat with a friend in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he grew up.

When on one of their daily walks around the Bishopton area, they checked out Bellway’s Hathaway Gardens, close to Josh’s flat.

Josh said: “Alice and I wanted to get on the property ladder, and we both knew it would be wise to look for a home in Stratford-upon-Avon, as it’s a really sought-after area and it’s close to my work as a financial advisor in town. I just decided I was ready to invest my money in something special and permanent, rather than watching it essentially go down the drain every month.

“ When restrictions were slightly lifted, we were able to go and view the house and it was even better in real life. We knew we’d found the perfect first home, so we phoned up to reserve it.”

Alice and Josh moved into the two-bedroom show home at Hathaway Gardens on Monday 3 August, using Help to Buy.

Josh added: “The Help to Buy process was even simpler than we expected and went swimmingly for us. Moving into the old show home has been great as everything was already done up for us. We don’t really have to put much work into it.”

Find out more about some current Bellway developments.

 

Daisy and Matthew, Moulton

Daisy and Matthew and StormyOriginally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the couple, both 26, alongside their dog Stormy, relocated to Northamptonshire last year. They initially rented a property for a year in the nearby town of Brixworth before setting their hearts on a home at Meadow View Fields.

Daisy, a logistics graduate working at Morrison’s, said: “We really enjoy the countryside and long, peaceful walks, and don’t like living in the city centre. Moulton was the closest village we found to Brixworth, and we fell in love with the area. It’s really lovely and has great facilities, like schools and a nursery, which are ideal for the future.

“Matthew and I both love the style and design of Mulberry’s homes. We initially drove to the site to have a look around the development, and ended up falling in love with the house we went on to purchase.”

Using Help to Buy enabled Daisy and Matthew to purchase the four-bedroom detached ‘Yardley’ style home, where they have benefited from the additional space and would not have been able to afford without the scheme.

Daisy commented: “Matthew is now working from home, so we needed an additional room to turn into a study. I have family and friends who visited when government guidelines allowed, so it’s been perfect having an extra bedroom for them to stay. Our home has a garage too, and we have a lot of stuff so having that storage space has been really helpful.”

Find out more at mulberryhomes.co.uk.

 

Emma and Sam, Lincoln

Emma and SamEmma Green (22) and her fiancé Sam Frith (23) have taken their first step on the housing ladder much sooner than expected thanks to Help to Buy.

Initially looking to rent a home on the LN6 development and unsure if they could afford to purchase a home of their own, they took the advice of Emma’s dad, who suggested they look at the newer homes available at the Chestnut Homes development.

The couple soon realised that the home that mortgage payments using the government-back scheme would be half those of renting.

“We have been looking to move into a place of our own since we got engaged last April,” said Emma. “We really wanted a place of our own before we got married. We had looked around a few different options, both new-build and older properties, but hadn’t found the place that was right for us until we came across LN6.

“In March we went and had a look around the show homes and spoke with the sales advisor. From there everything just fell into place, and we went back the following weekend to reserve the home.”

Emma and Sam purchased a ‘De Ros’ house type, a two-bedroom semi-detached property.

Emma said: “The Help to Buy process was so smooth. [It] was so new to us, and we had no clue what we were doing. It really helped that Chestnut Homes’ team was so responsive and explained everything so clearly.

“Using Help to Buy will help us lead a more comfortable life. By using it we have been able to spend more on furniture, decorations and appliances to help make the house a home.”

Find out more at chestnuthomes.co.uk.

 

Jason and Connor, Shinfield

Living in a rented flat and house-hunting for over a year, Jason Woodcock and Connor Turner, both 26, were over the moon after finding their dream first home at Taylor Wimpey’s Croft Gardens development in Spencers Wood after stumbling across it on their daily walk.

They were instantly attracted to a two bedroom apartment in Carnation House and completed their move at the end of July.

Connor said: “We loved the look and location of Croft Gardens so decided to investigate what Taylor Wimpey had to offer. The apartment was our first viewing and we knew instantly that it was where we wanted to call home. As first-time buyers, the Help to Buy scheme helped immensely.”

Commenting on their new home, Jason said: “The flat was perfect for myself and Connor. We didn’t have a lot of space in our old house so it is so nice to have a spacious living room and kitchen. As a keen baker, the kitchen is an important part of the home. The balcony also means we have a relaxing area to enjoy the evenings.”

He added: “The sales team at Croft Gardens were extremely helpful from start to finish. Being a first-time buyer wanting to use the Help to Buy scheme, as well as buying during the COVID-19 lockdown, we had a lot of questions. The sales team have been a great help and were always available to answer our queries.

Find out more about some current Taylor Wimpey developments.

 

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