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First-Time Buyers Securing Homes Through Help To Buy

Posted 10 February 2021 by Keith Osborne

The Help to Buy assistance scheme has played an essential role in these buyers purchasing their ideal first home...

The government is re-launching its Help to Buy: Equity Loan initiative this year exclusively to first-time buyers, which means that house-hunters could buy their ideal home with just a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage.

It’s bound to be popular – the latest report from the government (to June 2020) shows that 82% of the people using the original version of the scheme, which closed in December, were taking a first step on the property ladder.

We hear from a number of first-timers who purchased using Help to Buy.

 

Yasmin in Saunderstead, Croydon

Yasmin is a 26-year-old recruitment specialist and recently took her first steps onto the property ladder with developer Property Experts at its West Hill development in south London for £420,000 using London Help to Buy. Prices for currently available homes there start at £310,000.

She is the first person in her family to purchase a property used the government scheme, and as a bonus, also benefitted from the Stamp Duty holiday, saving £10,000. On visiting the site, she was so impressed that she reserved her home on the same day.

YasminYasmin said: “Buying during a pandemic was certainly nerve-wracking. The team at Property Experts were always on hand to talk me through each stage of the process, which helped take the uncertainty out. They also sent me regular photo updates and even explained the types of insulation they had chosen and why.”

“Bruce and the team’s energy and passion were infectious, and it is one of the best experiences I have ever had, I would highly recommend buying from them”.

She added: “As I purchased early enough in the building process, I was able to benefit from a lot of input into the finishes and layouts. For the kitchen we worked together to find a colour palette and kitchen units matching my tastes and added a large island as I love to entertain. They really did go above and beyond, I mentioned I liked to look out the window when doing washing up and to my surprise they suggested we added one in to look out onto the gardens, which is delightful!”

Find out more about Property Experts.

 

Paige and Mark in Witham, Essex

Paige Carlane-Hall, 22, and Mark Cooper, 24, thought they would only be able to afford a two-bedroom property when they began looking for their own place. But the pair, who had been living with Paige’s mum in Waltham Abbey, focused on purchasing a new build home were able to purchase a three-bedroom detached house at Bellway’s Rivenhall Park development in Witham thanks to the scheme. Three- and four-bedroom homes there now start from £364,995.

But it wasn’t until four or five months of searching that Paige, a dog handler, and Mark, a baggage handler at Stansted Airport found the right home for them.

Paige and MarkPaige said: “Buying a new home meant that we could use Help to Buy and we liked the idea of not having anyone else living in the property before us – it was a blank space that we could make our own. The Help to Buy scheme made the whole process a lot easier and broadened where we could look for a home. Because we only had to put down a 5% deposit, we could afford more – without the scheme we would probably have had to buy a two-bedroom house or even an apartment.”

“The house we chose, which is a ‘Langham’ house type, has three double-bedrooms, a big garden, en suite and downstairs toilet, and there is a really nice bay window that brightens up the kitchen. This, combined with the house being affordable for us, meant it would have been silly for us to let it go.”

“We have a lot more space now than we did when we were living with my mum. All our stuff had to go in one room but now we have a whole house. I feel a lot more independent as well – I’ve really enjoyed making the home my own.”

Find out more about current Bellway developments.

 

Cristian and Georgina in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Cristian (36) and Georgiana Dumitru (31) recently moved into their new three-bedroom ‘Maidstone’ on the Woburn Downs development off Watling Street, to the south of Milton Keynes, development after previously renting a one-bedroom home in the town.

The couple took advantage of the previous Help to Buy scheme to escape the rental trap and to start owning their own home. “When we were house hunting something just felt right about Woburn Downs,” said Cristian, a portfolio analyst for the Open University. “The development was still in its very early stages of construction. The ‘Maidstone’ show home wasn’t even ready to visit, but after seeing the pictures in the brochure we decided to go for it.

Cristian and Georgiana“Our moving experience with Barratt Homes was excellent. The sales advisers were extremely helpful and were always available if we had any questions. It is clear to see why they have a reputation as a top developer.

“We’ve already met our neighbours who seem really nice. Once the pandemic is over we look forward to having barbecues and such with them. We think it’s going to be a lovely community here.”

Alison Raine, sales director at Barratt Homes Northampton, said: “We’re delighted to welcome our first residents Cristian and Georgiana to the development and we are pleased to hear they have now settled into their new home.”

Find out more about Woburn Downs from Barratt Homes.

 

Chantelle and Jemel in Crowthorne, Berkshire

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” commented nurse Chantelle, 26, as she looks around her new house at Buckler’s Park, a Legal & General Homes development in Crowthorne in leafy Berkshire. “Even eight months after we moved in, I’m still pinching myself – we’ve bought our first home together and couldn’t be happier!”

Chantelle and JemelShe and partner Jemel, 28, have been together for five years and first started their house hunt two years ago, searching for a new build house that was in easy reach of Reading and London. “We knew we wanted to buy our own place rather than rent. It feels really special to have something to build on and make our own. We didn’t want to buy a place just to get on the property ladder.”

Banker Jemel added: “It’s our first home together and there were certain things we were looking for and weren’t prepared to compromise on. We started by looking at the first-time buyer schemes available, such as Shared Ownership, but they all came with certain restrictions that curtailed our options – Help to Buy was definitely the best fit for us.”

Using Help to Buy, the couple bought a spacious two-bedroom ‘Iver’ coach house at Buckler’s Park. “We absolutely love it,” enthuses Chantelle. “It’s detached, which is fantastic because it means we can put our music on full blast and don’t have to worry about disturbing our neighbours. The Legal & General Homes team has been amazing at helping us to make this house our home.”

Find out more about the Help to Buy scheme.

 

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