Help to Buy double seals Axminster dream

Posted 23 September 2016 by Ben Salisbury

Help to Buy helped a couple from Axminster follow their dream and buy their first home together at Bovis Homes' Cloakham Lawns development in Axminster

First-time buyers Rachel Nokes and David Tozer had their eye on Bovis Homes’ Cloakham Lawns development in Axminster as soon as work began there – and with the help of two Government purchase assistance schemes they are now living their dream in the Devon town.

“We’d been following the development since the building work first started, but we weren’t in a position to buy anything initially,” says Rachel, who works as a primary school teacher in Weymouth.

“One day, we drove past to see what it looked like and noticed there were two-bedroom houses going up, which hadn’t been there before. We came and spoke to Sarah in the sales office, and after that it all happened very quickly. We came down on a Saturday and then on the Sunday we came back and put a reservation down because we knew that this was where we wanted to be.”

They fell in love with the two-bedroom Amberley house design.

“We’ve got a really good end plot,” says Rachel. “We came round to see it on a site visit when it had literally just had the roof put on.”

Their first sight of their new home was in February and in May, two months ahead of schedule, they moved in. Almost immediately, it felt like home.

“We really liked the layout,” says David. “The bedrooms are nice and big and the open-plan design makes the house seem really bright and airy. It’s great because if one of us is cooking in the kitchen and one of us is in the living room, we can still talk to each other. It’s quite a sociable set-up having the open-plan.”

Both Rachel and David, who works as a teaching assistant in a secondary school in Chard, had a Help to Buy ISA and they also used the Government’s Help to Buy Equity scheme for their house purchase.

The Help to Buy ISA is aimed specifically at first-time buyers, and is a savings account where the Government will boost your savings by 25%. The buyer can start with a maximum lump sum of £1,200 and thereafter save up to £200 a month. The minimum Government bonus is £400, and the largest bonus you can receive is £3,000 – to receive that, you need to have saved £12,000. The buyer’s solicitor applies for the bonus when you are close to purchasing your new home.

Meanwhile with Help to Buy Equity the home buyer requires just a five per cent deposit, and the Government provides an equity loan – interest-free for the first five years – of 20% of the property’s value. That means the buyer can access a 75% mortgage, opening the door to more competitive lending rates.

“We used everything possible,” says David. “We both had Help to Buy ISAs and we used the Help to Buy Equity scheme. Everyone says that buying a new house is quite stressful but it actually was quite stress-free.”

They love their new home and the design of the houses on the Cloakham Lawns site.

“The houses just look really nice,” says Rachel. “They are not clones of each other; they are all different. It’s the perfect first home for us.”

Cloakham Lawns offers 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom homes which benefit from the Bovis Homes all-inclusive specification. The fully fitted kitchens come with integrated appliances, the modern bathrooms have white wall hung sanitary ware with a shower and screen over the bath and there are en suites and built in wardrobes to most master bedrooms.

Find out more about the Cloakham Lawns development from Bovis Homes

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