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19th November 2020

Why rent when you can buy for less: young couple secure their first home thanks to Help to Buy

Emma Green and her fiancé Sam Frith have taken their first step on the housing ladder much sooner than expected thanks to Help to Buy. The young couple had their sights set on renting a house at Chestnut Homes’ LN6 development in Lincoln – having fallen in love with the site but being unsure if they could afford to purchase a home of their own.


That was until Emma’s dad suggested they look at the newer homes available at the development and the couple realised that buying new was much more affordable than they had initially thought.


Emma, 22, and Sam, 23, soon realised that the home that they would have rented for £800 a month was available to purchase in the latest phase of LN6 brand new. And with Help to Buy, the couple would be paying just over £400 a month for their mortgage, with just a £9,000 deposit required. “We have been looking to move into a place of our own since we got engaged last April,” said Emma. “We really wanted a place of our own before we got married. We had looked around a few different options, both new-build and older properties, but hadn’t found the place that was right for us until we came across LN6. “We were so impressed by how well-looked-after it was. The homes are all well spread out, and there are lots of swales and green areas. You can tell it is all very well maintained. You really do forget that you’re in the middle of a city. “We were initially looking to rent a De Ros from phase two of the development. My dad works for Claytons Carpets who had fitted the flooring at LN6, and he saw that there were some similar homes available to buy for a really good price. “In March we went and had a look around the show homes and spoke with the sales advisor. From there everything just fell into place, and we went back the following weekend to reserve the home.”


Emma and Sam purchased a De Ros house, a two-bedroom semi-detached property. The couple used Help to Buy, an initiative that sees buyers put down just a five percent deposit and take out a 75 percent mortgage on their new home, with the remaining 20 percent provided through a Government-backed equity loan that is interest-free for the first five years.  Emma said: “The Help to Buy process was so smooth. Chestnut Homes and James Leighton Financial Services were brilliant. They helped us with our mortgage as well as with any questions we had about Help to Buy. “This whole process was so new to us, and we had no clue what we were doing. It really helped that Chestnut Homes’ team was so responsive and explained everything so clearly. “Using Help to Buy will help us lead a more comfortable life. By using it we have been able to spend more on furniture, decorations, and appliances to help make the house a home. “When we were initially looking to rent it was going to be around £800 a month, and now that we have purchased it’s just over half of that for our mortgage. You save so much buy buying – it is so much more cost-effective.”


Emma and Sam purchased the De Ros for £179,950 with a five per cent deposit of just £9,000 with Help to Buy and moved into their new place in August. The couple are retrospectively pleased that they have purchased a new-build home as opposed to an older house.  Emma said: “Here you can pick everything you like such as tiles and flooring, allowing you to personalise your home. You also don’t have to worry about any of the maintenance problems that you would with older properties. “We have had a couple of small snagging issues, and Chestnut Homes have been quick to resolve these. If you were in an old home, you would have to deal with these problems yourself. “We love our home so much. It has an open-plan layout and is a corner property, which means we aren’t overlooked by any other homes. Being on the corner, we also have a bigger garden than some of the other plots, which is a big benefit.  “I have been working from home since April, and it has been great. The wi-fi is really good, and I am using the second bedroom as a home office. We had planned to use that room as a place to get ready, but right now it’s a brilliant place to work. My dressing table is doubling as my desk. It’s great because if we have people around while I am working, I can just shut the door to the rest of the world.”


When Emma returns to work, LN6 is ideally located – just half an hour’s walk from her office in Lincoln where she works as an insurance representative and a 10-minute walk from her parents’ house. While they are unable to host the housewarming party they would like, due to the coronavirus, the couple has had the chance to show off their new home to close friends and family. Emma said: “My family loves it. A lot of them are builders and they are really impressed with the quality of the homes. They definitely approve. We are looking forward to having everyone round for a barbecue once the lockdown restrictions ease again. “On the week we moved in some of our friends reserved a plot at LN6 just around the corner. They have a lovely south-facing garden, so we are looking forward to going around theirs for a barbecue in the future. “We are the only ones to have moved into our street so far, but we have spoken to some people down the road, and they all seem really nice. “Overall, we are just so grateful to have been able to make this move. Not everyone can do what we have done at our age. Thanks to Help to Buy we don’t have to push back our wedding to balance out the costs and can now have a place of our own when we get married.”

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