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2nd June 2021

Lincolnshire woman secures her dream bungalow with Help to Buy

Help to Buy proved a ‘godsend’ for one Lincolnshire woman, who was able to purchase her own wheelchair-friendly bungalow - despite being put on furlough at the start of the first coronavirus lockdown – by using the scheme.

 

Liz Mcternan, 56, bought the two-bedroom property at our Manor Farm development in Bardney after downsizing from her three-bedroom semi-detached house in Grimoldby, near Louth.

 

When her two children, George, 27, and Rebecca, 25, moved out of the family home, she decided it was time to find somewhere better suited to her needs.

 

After landing herself a job as an independent living advisor with the charity Aspire, drawing on her 16 years experience of living with paraplegia to support others with spinal injury, she initially planned on looking for a place close to her new place of work in Aylesbury. However, that all changed when the pandemic struck, and Liz was placed on furlough.

 

Liz said: “My old place had a stairlift, but I wanted to live on one level. It also had a narrow kitchen and tiny bathroom, so I was in need of more practical living space. “I was originally thinking of moving down south to Aylesbury, but when lockdown struck in March I decided to stay put in Lincolnshire as it was a safer and cheaper option. I’ve lived in a village for the past 17 years and I definitely feel more protected from Covid-19 here in Lincolnshire. Being put on furlough ultimately made the decision for me as the house prices down south were not affordable. The fact that I am now on flexi-furlough working from home has shown me that I can do the majority of my work remotely and stay safe at the same time. It was difficult trying to find a new home whilst locked down, but I did a Google search for bungalows around Lincolnshire and managed to look around three different developments. This bungalow at Manor Farm stood out big time because of its accessibility for wheelchair use. I also liked the development in general because of its mix of housing and the fact there are people of all ages living there. One of my friends already lives in a Chestnut property so I knew the quality of the build was going to be good, and I prefer the more traditional layout of its homes compared to other new-builds.”

 

Despite having the equity in her previous home to put towards a deposit, being put on furlough meant Liz would not have been able to afford the size of the mortgage she required to buy the bungalow she wanted, which was priced at £209,950. But because she used Help to Buy, she received a 20 per cent equity loan of £41,990 towards the purchase price. With a deposit of £115,000, she, therefore, required a mortgage of £52,960, equivalent to just 25 per cent of the property’s value. The equity loan, which is backed by the Government, is interest-free for the first five years of homeownership.

 

From April this year, Help to Buy is available only to first-time buyers and on new-build homes priced at £261,900 or below in the East Midlands.

 

Liz said: “Using Help to Buy was a godsend and helped me secure my ideal bungalow. The process was hassle-free and done online in a straightforward fashion. It gave me the peace of mind that I could buy the home I wanted now, be able to afford the mortgage, and hopefully be earning more in five years’ time when the interest payments kick in.”

 

Liz says the difference between her old house and her new bungalow is marked. “It’s much more practical living here compared to my last home. It has wider doors, a large L-shaped hallway that I can easily turn around in, as well as a separate garage where I can keep my adapted sports equipment. I’m also really happy that both bedrooms have their own private toilets, as it will be ideal for when I have guests over.  I’d say the kitchen is probably my favourite room in the house. It’s really spacious and has low windows so that I can see out onto the fields, and also lets natural light stream in throughout the day. My last home, which me and my children lived in for 16 years, was a 1950s old-build property, so it’s been great not having to refit a new kitchen or bathroom this time around – I’m no good at DIY! I also prefer the privacy that a detached home affords.”

 

Liz is also enjoying Manor Farm’s peaceful location and the strong community spirit that exists on the development. “Bardney is a good little village and has everything you need. My daughter and her boyfriend helped me move in and the neighbours were all friendly from the get-go. I occasionally go on walks with one of them which is always nice. It’s lovely living in such a tranquil and peaceful spot which isn’t close to any busy roads. It’s meant I can work undisturbed on my Zoom calls.”

 

Liz described the customer service she received as “excellent”, adding: “Jayne, the sales advisor, was really helpful and kept me updated at every stage of the process. I’d definitely recommend buying with Chestnut Homes.”

 

All of the homes at Manor Farm are now sold; however, Chestnut Homes is building at developments across Lincolnshire, including in Alford, Boston, Coningsby, Dunholme and Market Rasen. 

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