For some homebuyers, purchasing a new home can seem like an uphill struggle, due to the high deposit rates being demanded by mortgage lenders. This was certainly the case for Laura and Marik Lucas and their young family who had been desperately trying to get onto the property ladder for over six months. Their luck changed, however, with a visit to Crest Nicholson's The Furlongs development on the outskirts of Hereford, where they learned help is on hand to make property dreams come true.
"Getting onto the property ladder hasn't been easy. We'd been looking for a three bedroom house that was a similar size to the one we were renting, with a garden and enough room for me, my husband and our two young boys, but the deposits that were being asked of us were far too high. We even considered looking at much smaller houses, meaning that the boys would have been forced to share a bedroom in order to fit our price range." Laura said.
"The Furlongs had always been on my radar as I've lived in Hereford for 25 years. I just didn't think that we'd ever be able to afford one of the lovely homes on offer there. One day we decided to throw caution to the wind and let ourselves have a look round anyway, and I'm so glad we did.
"We went along to speak with a sales adviser who suggested that we may be eligible to qualify for a government-backed scheme called FirstBuy, which she said was set up to help first time buyers like us struggling to find huge amounts of money for a deposit. We were asked to undertake an affordability check and to our delight we were eligible for the scheme. Even better was the fact that the scheme was only available on selected plots at The Furlongs, which resulted in use being able to afford a bigger house than we had initially thought. Four bedrooms - I'd never have guessed this was within our reach before speaking with our sales advisor."
"We went into the process expecting to downsize in order to get on the property ladder, but we've come out of it with a beautiful four bedroom new build home of our dreams. The boys can still have a room each which means peace and quiet, and we've even got a guest room now, perfect for when mum comes to babysit!"
Amanda Benjamin, Senior Sales Manager for Crest Nicholson, said: "We really want homebuyers to realise how we can help them secure their ideal home whether they are a professional couple wanting to purchase their first property, a young family wanting to move up the property ladder with room to grow or an older couple wanting space for the grandchildren to stay. Our advisors can help buyers make their dreams a reality."
Laura, added: "If we weren't advised on the FirstBuy scheme we'd never have known we could afford a house. We couldn't be happier! Ours is an end terrace with a little more land than most other terraced properties, and we love the overall look and feel of the house."
The Government's FirstBuy scheme is aimed at first-time buyers who are unable to find the high levels of deposit required by many mortgage lenders. The initiative means that purchasers will own 100% of their home for just 80% of the price, as Crest Nicholson and the Homes and Communities Agency offer a loan of up to 20% of the full purchase price. The loan is equity free for the first five years, after which a fee of 1.75% is payable. Loans must be repaid when the home is sold.
Prices at The Furlongs currently start from £242,950 for a four bedroom detached Marlborough house with garage. For more information customers can call into the on-site Sales and Marketing Suite (open 10am-5pm daily), call 0870 753 1864 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Details are also available from Andrew Morris Estate Agents in Bridge Street, Hereford, online at www.andrew-morris.co.uk or by calling 01432 266775.