11th January 2021
Young couple take first steps on property ladder with Help to Buy
Choosing whether to rent or buy can be a tough decision for would-be homeowners.
But for Lauren Lewis and Sam Worrell, the choice could not have been more simple.
With Help to Buy enabling them to get on the housing ladder with just a five per cent deposit and 75 per cent mortgage, the young couple left the rental market after just one year and purchased their dream home at Chestnut Homes’ Manor Farm development in Bardney, Lincolnshire.
Veterinary assistant Lauren, 26, and engineer Sam, 27, who are planning to start a family, have moved into a spacious four-bedroom detached Bressingham house, which features an open-plan kitchen/dining room, separate lounge and a study.
The couple had previously been renting an older three-bedroom terrace house seven miles away in Wragby.
Lauren, said: “We were very keen to buy new because of the Help to Buy scheme. We would not have been able to purchase this home without it. The scheme has allowed us to buy a bigger house much sooner than we had planned. “With Help to Buy we didn’t have to ask any questions - the solicitor did everything for us and explained everything to us in a way that we would understand, breaking it down into easy terms.”
Help to buy enables buyers to secure a new-build home with just a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage. The remaining 20 per cent is provided in the form of a Government-backed equity loan which is interest-free for the first five years. “With the 75 per cent mortgage, we pay around £750 a month, which is only £100 more than what we were paying to rent our old three-bedroom mid-terrace property. We would much rather pay that extra £100 and have our own home instead of paying for someone else’s,” said Lauren.
Lauren and Sam also benefitted from the Government’s stamp duty holiday, meaning they did not have to pay the additional £1,200 tax on their purchase. This saving allowed the couple to pay off all of their bills for their previous home so they could start anew at Manor Farm.
“It feels really good to own our own home,” said Lauren. “When you rent, that home will never be yours, but this is all ours. We have really accomplished something for our age. I can’t help but smile every time I come home. “When we first started looking to buy, we really liked the homes at Manor Farm, but then decided that we wanted to spend a bit more time saving up before committing to purchasing a house. “We rented for about a year, allowing us to keep saving up towards our deposit. “The design of the home means we can change the rooms around as our family grows. Right now, having the second bedroom that has an en-suite is brilliant for when we have guests to allow them more privacy. “The study is full of Sam’s guitars and musical equipment, but when I start my new course in January, I will be able to use it to study. “Over time, we plan to turn the study into a playroom or den for our future children and could possibly turn one of the smaller bedrooms into an office. “When we purchased the Bressingham, we were looking forward to our future. Our plan is to spend our lives in this home, pay the mortgage off and then when the children leave, and we are ready to retire we can sell this place and downsize.”
Lauren, who works at veterinary practices across Lincolnshire, and Sam, whose job is based in Louth, were attracted to Bardney by its wide range of amenities and the open countryside which surrounds it - perfect for their six-month-old Jack Russell, Indie. “Moving to Bardney has been great for us both. The location is perfect, especially for the dog. There is lots of outside space around the development for long walks. “There is a doctor’s surgery right at the top of the development, and a brilliant butcher, a Co-op and a post office in the village, which means I can pop in to pick up any parcels on my way home from work. “This site really suits our lifestyle. We love going out and doing things. There are plenty of walking routes around the village, and there are great road links to the likes of Woodhall Spa, Lincoln and Boston. It is a really good location. “Manor Farm is a really lovely and peaceful development. When we take the dog for a walk or when we are driving through the development, it is all very quiet.”
On their experience of purchasing during the pandemic, Lauren said: “It was a very different process to what it would have been not in lockdown, but Chestnut Homes have been really good. “Jayne, the sales advisor at the development, was so helpful and very accommodating, which has helped make this whole move a really enjoyable process. “As first-time buyers, the help we received from Jayne and the sales manager Helene meant so much - they really helped us a lot.”
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