Help to Buy enables first time buyers to get onto the property ladder
As recent figures reveal that first time buyers now account for more than fifty per cent of all residential property purchases, experts agree that this figure can largely be attributed to the availability of Help to Buy. This was the case for Fiona Fullilove (21) and her partner Adam Hughes (26) who made the decision to move back in with their parents for six months to maximise their savings, enabling them to purchase a three-bedroom semi-detached house at Berkeley Homes’ Woodhurst Park development in Warfield, Bracknell Forest, Berkshire.
Fiona and Adam researched the scheme and realised that making the temporary move back home was their route into homeownership. The couple had been renting a two-bedroom flat together for a year, but realised that they could save far more each month without worrying about paying rent. Since the scheme was introduced in 2013, it has helped over 128,300 first time buyers get onto the property ladder.
Fiona, a Sales Consultant for a British housebuilder, says: “We really enjoyed living together in our flat, but we knew that renting wasn’t a permanent option for us as we aspired to be homeowners. Financially it made more sense to be able to save without paying for rent, and after speaking to our parents they agreed that we could move back in with them temporarily to help us save. Help to Buy has also been a great help to us, as we felt that saving for a 5% deposit was far more achievable.
“We feel fortunate to have been able to move back in with our parents, but the biggest support has been Help to Buy. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to secure our ideal home now. When we discovered the properties at Woodhurst Park, we were drawn to the vast greenery and open space. What’s more, everything with Berkeley Homes is included in the cost, so we knew that we didn’t need to raise extra funds for additional fixtures and fittings. As first time buyers this was particularly important to us.”
Launched in 2013, Help to Buy is the government’s equity loan scheme, through which the government lend buyers up to 20% of the cost of their new home. This allows first time buyers and those moving up the property ladder to purchase a property with just a 5% cash deposit and a mortgage on only 75% of the property value.
Benjamin Ivey, Sales and Marketing Director for Berkeley Homes (Oxford & Chiltern), comments: “It is no coincidence that, as Help to Buy figures increase, we are also seeing that the number of first time buyers purchasing a home has topped 150,000 for the third consecutive year. While not all first time buyers will have used the scheme, it is clear that many have done so. The benefits of Help to Buy are unrivalled, with homeownership now an achievable goal for many, and we encourage buyers to explore the scheme further. It is fantastic that Fiona and Adam have taken advantage of the scheme and have been able to secure a home at Woodhurst Park.”
The couple were attracted to Warfield as Fiona had come to know the area well having grown up there. What’s more, the location is ideal for both Fiona and Adam, who works in financial services, to commute to work in Maidenhead. After deciding on Woodhurst Park, the couple were impressed with the space and quality available to them, both inside the property and across the development.
Fiona continues: “We were drawn to our house because of the space, both internally and externally. Parking was a potential concern for us, but our house comes complete with a double driveway and a garage which is perfect for what we need. We love that we also have a view overlooking the pond, offering a relaxing environment. Berkeley Homes have been fantastic, and everything has gone so smoothly.”
Woodhurst Park is situated in Warfield, just over a mile from Bracknell. Set in a large country park, the development offers a glimpse of countryside living with the convenience of being nearby to the town. In Bracknell, the Lexicon boasts over 100 fashion and beauty brands, with more than 30 eateries, and a 12 screen Cineworld. For those looking to keep active, the Look Out Discovery Centre is a 10 minute drive away, while those more adventurous can enjoy the high ropes at Go Ape or ice skating and skiing at the John Nike Centre. The Royal Berkshire Health and Racquets Club is also nearby, offering tennis and squash courts, as well as spa, gym and swimming pool facilities.
Bracknell Station is less than two miles from the development, offering regular connections to London Waterloo and London Paddington in just over an hour, or journeys to Reading in under 30 minutes. Excellent road links with the M3 and M4 offer quick access to key destinations including Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Currently on offer at Woodhurst Park is a selection of one- to five-bedroom homes. Prices start at £495,000 for a three-bedroom family home with two bathrooms and two parking spaces. With Help to Buy, this can be secured with a minimum 5% deposit of £24,750. Buyers interested in finding out more about the homes at Woodhurst Park should contact 01753 202 849 or visit www.berkeleygroup.co.uk.