New figures indicate that over 17,000 house buyers have taken up the government backed Help to Buy scheme since its launch in 2013. Offering first and second time buyers the opportunity to both ascend the property ladder and to upsize their home, Help to Buy has enabled many to bypass stepping-stone properties, which they would otherwise quickly have grown out of.
Leyana Martin, 32, and her husband Rob, also 32, recently bought a four-bedroom detached new build property at Crest Nicholson’s development, The Hollies, in Harrietsham, Kent. Having previously lived in a two-bedroom mid-terrace house near Rochester, Leyana was all too conscious of how quickly a family can grow out of a starter home.
Leyana explains: “While our two-bedroom terraced house near Rochester was spacious, our second baby meant that we were quickly outgrowing our property. If our children were going to have a bedroom each, we’d need a new house. Keen to upsize, we were intent on finding a home that we could grow into together as a family.
“However, upsizing a property comes with cost implications and we knew that if we were to look at a three or four bedroom forever home, we would have to stretch our budget significantly and that wouldn’t have been sustainable.
“On looking at solutions that would enable us to upsize without compromising our lifestyle, we discovered Help to Buy, which quickly proved to be, by far and away, our best solution to securing more space. Suddenly we were opened up to the possibility of not just living in a big house, but having a big garden too.
“As we were already on the property ladder, we had a specific idea of what we were looking for in our new home. On visiting The Hollies, we instantly fell in love with the development and the large houses Help to Buy enabled us to afford. Unlike other developments that we viewed, the houses are nicely appointed with plenty of space between each plot, plus there is ample parking.
"Essentially extending our budget, Help to Buy enabled us to progress straight into a four-bedroom detached property – which wouldn’t have been imaginable without the scheme.
“Since we moved into our new home at The Hollies, we can rest assured that we won’t have to move again for another twenty years; we’re not caught up in the trap of grappling for more space as our family is easily accommodated.
"Furthermore, our swift progress up the property ladder has also provided us with more privacy. Being a detached property in a village location, we aren't overlooked and appreciate the private outdoor space all the more.
"Without Help to Buy, however, we would have anticipated moving every five years in order to upsize gradually, which would have proved incredibly expensive. In essence, Help to Buy has cut a rung out of our property ladder.
"Additionally, our transition from a period property to a new build was seamless. With good sized rooms, excellent energy efficiency and a thoughtfully planned layout, our new home is much more suited to our lifestyle.
“The local infrastructure is established too, and given that I travel a lot for work, it’s so convenient to be in easy access of the motorway and the local train station. My son has settled into the excellent local primary school, and my husband and I have enjoyed sampling the great local pub!
“Crucially, we wouldn’t have been able to call the area home had we not liked it, but we’ve settled right in and we look forward to raising our family here.”
The Hollies is a traditional collection of two and three-bedroom cottages and four-bedroom family houses. Located in rural Harrietsham, residents can enjoy the tranquil setting and a village lifestyle, while still being in easy reach of Ashford and Maidstone town centre and an established selection of amenities.
Currently available at The Hollies are three-bedroom houses priced from £265,000 or £212,000; four-bedroom houses are priced from £360,000 or £288,000 with Help to Buy. Please call 01622 235 593 for further details or visit www.crestnicholson.com/thehollies
 March 2014, http://www.helptobuy.org.uk/