New market insight from house builder Crest Nicholson has shown that the government’s Help to Buy scheme has both upsized and up-scaled the types of properties that first-time buyers can afford. Previously restricted by low budgets and rocketing house prices, aspiring home owners were limited to smaller properties – often apartments - with just one or two bedrooms and no outdoor space.
However, Help to Buy is enabling first-time buyers’ budgets to stretch much further, with many able to afford a three or four-bedroom house with a private garden as their first purchase. Once relegated to the lower end of the property market, Help to Buy provides first time buyers with more choice over where they live.
Furthermore, the impact of being able to afford a larger property as a first time buyer has potentially reduced the number of steps that must be taken before reaching the position of purchasing their forever family home. When a first property is equipped with three or four bedrooms, a garden and extensive living accommodation, such as those available at The Hollies in Harrietsham, where the four-bedroom Walberswick house type is available from £288,000 through Help to Buy or £360,000 without the scheme, it’s the optimum setting in which to raise a growing family. Affordability ensures a greater quality of life, and in purchasing a family home much earlier on, home owners save on average £20,000 in legal fees, stamp duty and removal costs per move*.
Equipped with spacious living accommodation that is designed to adapt to the varying demands of contemporary lifestyles, The Walberswick at The Hollies offers an open plan kitchen / dining room, which features double doors that open onto the garden, facilitating a light and airy feel, as well as a separate utility room, to keep white goods and cleaning materials out of sight from the pleasant interiors. The separate living room, which again features a second set of double doors that open onto the garden, can be used as a more formal entertaining space if required.
The first floor accommodates four good sized bedrooms, amongst which the master bedroom features an en suite bathroom and fitted wardrobes, as well as a family bathroom that is easily accessible from each bedroom.
However, it’s not just first time buyers who can benefit from the Help to Buy initiative, which is also designed to assist pre-existing homeowners who want to move, but whose current property doesn’t provide a sufficient financial platform from which to do so. Working in the same way as for first time buyers, purchasers need a 5 per cent deposit, and if approved, are eligible for a 20 per cent loan on homes worth up to £600,000.
Annette Cole, Sales and Marketing Director at Crest Nicholson Eastern, explains: “Currently, Help to Buy is only available on new build properties, which offers potential house buyers a head start from the rest of the second-hand market. At the start of 2014, phase two of Help to Buy will launch and is expected to be inundated with applications. Whilst the government funding amounts to £12billion, the pot isn’t limitless and there is a chance that it will run out before its three year expiration period.
“Furthermore, phase two of Help to Buy is forecast to create unparalleled demand for homes, in turn driving up property prices, so we would recommend house buyers who are thinking of using the scheme to discuss their options with a financial advisor sooner rather than later so that they have a greater choice when it comes to choosing their property.”
The four bedroom Walberswick homes are available from £360,000 or £288,000 with Help to Buy. Three bedroom houses are also available from £280,000. For further details, please contact the sales and marketing suite on 01622 235 593.
*Ruth Jackson, Moneywise: www.moneywise.co.uk/news/2012-01-27/moving-house-could-now-cost-you-to-20000