'Help to Buy was really easy'

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Royal Artillery Bombardier Colin, 31, has been in action with the British Army for the past 9 years. Having travelled the world with his profession, he came to a point last year when he decided he wanted to put down some roots of his own.

"I was based in North Yorkshire with the Army Monday to Friday and living with my Dad the rest of the time, and decided that the time was right to get a place of my own," says Colin.

The time came when Colin dislocated his shoulder whilst serving in Afghanistan in February 2014, and had to return home to his Dad's house on the Wirral.

"I was supposed to be in Afghanistan for 9 months but could only serve 5 as I dislocated my shoulder," Colin explains, "I was sent home, so whilst I was recovering at my Dad's I started looking for a place of my own."

That's when he came across Benedict's Place, a Mansell Homes development in Woodchurch, offering Help to Buy.

"I didn't know anything about Help to Buy when I started looking," says Colin, "but when I found the development my brother suggested I look into it as he had used the scheme to buy his first home!"

He added, "It helped that I had someone who I trusted recommend the scheme to me, and once I looked into it I realised it would make purchasing my own home easier to afford."

Through the Help to Buy scheme, you only need to raise a 5% deposit and can access the support of up to 20% in the form of an equity loan from the Government. There's nothing to pay on the loan for five years and, best of all, the loan is interest free for that time.

"The lower deposit that was needed with Help to Buy really helped me out, and luckily Mansell Homes and the Halifax, who I got my mortgage through, were both part of the Help to Buy scheme," says Colin.

"After that, everything was really easy," says the first time buyer. "People had told me the process of buying a home was really stressful but Help to Buy was really easy, everything was pretty much done for me. My solicitor knew the process and handled everything with Help to Buy North West on my behalf."

The hard part came once the house was actually his.

Colin explains, "The hardest part was arranging for my furniture to arrive on time, and moving in-between my army schedule. I got my keys just before Christmas, but didn't actually move in until the first week in February!"

Now that he's settled in his own place, Colin is enjoying the peace and quiet away from the Army barracks. "It's nice to have my own space and come and go as I please," he says. "I would definitely recommend the Help to Buy scheme to anyone thinking of buying their own home. If it was that straight-forward for me, it could be for other people too."

If Colin's story has inspired you to find out more about Help to Buy you can call us on 0300 790 0570 or email info@helptobuynw.org.uk.