First-time buyer, John Gardner, bought his home using the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme. Here, he tells us his story.
The 27 year-old from Liverpool and his partner, Antonia, were privately renting but were unhappy with the home they were living in.
“It was freezing cold,” says John, “and we couldn’t get repairs done that were needed. We had been saving to buy a home of our own and had Help to Buy ISA’s in place so we decided the time was right to start looking for a home of our own.”
The Help to Buy ISA is a government scheme that allows first time buyers to ‘top up’ their savings to buy their first home. For every £200 saved, you receive a government bonus of £50 up to a maximum of £3,000. The Help to Buy ISA can also be used with the Equity Loan scheme, which is something John and Antonia took advantage of.
John explains “I knew a bit about the Help to Buy scheme but wasn’t sure of all the details. When we found the home we wanted to buy the developer put us in touch with an IFA (Independent Financial Advisor) who went through everything with us and handled the whole process for us. He kept me updated at every stage and the whole process was really smooth – I’d definitely recommend using an IFA as they know how the scheme works and can do everything for you.”
Through the Help to Buy Equity Loan 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 the first five years as it is interest free for that time.
John reveals, “The Help to Buy scheme really accelerated the buying process and the 5% deposit made it so much easier. We had looked at a few homes - new-build and older houses - but Help to Buy swung it for us as we couldn’t have afforded to buy without it. We now have a lovely new home that ticks all the boxes, is close to family and is in an area we know. We’re even paying less for our mortgage than we were renting!”
John and Antonia are now settled in their new home and are expecting their second child together. Being able to put their stamp on their new home and having somewhere to call their own has been great for the couple.
John says, “Having a blank canvas and knowing anything you do to the house is adding to it is a great feeling. It’s lovely to have a home that’s yours and I would 100% recommend Help to Buy to anyone. There’s nothing to be scared of – it does what it says on the tin!”
If John has inspired you to find out more about Help to Buy you can call us on 0300 790 0570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.