After years of being a homeowner, Aatif Rehman, 39, was facing the possibility of renting for the first time in his life, when he heard about Help to Buy.
Aatif, a Software Developer from Middlesex, had relocated to the North West for his job when his relationship unexpectedly broke down. He broke up with his partner of 13 years, having to sell the family home in the process, and was then faced with the possibility of rented accommodation.
Determined to get himself somewhere new as a fresh start, he started looking at new-build homes in his area in the hope he would be able to buy a place of his own.
That’s where he came across College Place, a Morris Homes development in Newton-le-Willows.
Aatif says, “I looked at several new builds in the area but I discounted the others as their build quality wasn't as good as Morris Homes and also the other estates were a lot larger - this particular estate was tiny in comparison and a little more exclusive.”
Whilst at the development the sales advisor informed Aatif about Help to Buy. He had previously heard of the scheme but didn’t think he would qualify.
He explains, “Although I had heard about Help to Buy, I'd assumed I wouldn’t qualify, this not being my first house. I thought it was something only in place for first time buyers.”
This is a common mis-conception about the Help to Buy scheme, however it is open to both first time buyers and existing homeowners. Through the 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.
The fact that existing homeowners could use the scheme was something that was a real benefit to Aatif, given his situation.
He reveals, “Without Help to Buy, I'd have ended up in either a rented property or somewhere tiny, due to the breakdown of my relationship. I've been a home owner my entire adult life, having bought my first home in North London when I was 21, so the prospect of no longer being a home owner or downgrading my home in my late thirties, was very daunting. The fact that I could use Help to Buy has meant that neither of these things has happened.”
Aatif also found the whole process really easy and stress-free, with the sale of his existing home and purchase of the new property taking just under two months to complete!
He says, “It was very straight forward. A mortgage advisor was appointed by Morris Homes who took care of the entire process for me.”
Aatif is now enjoying life as a home-owner again and loves the quality of his new-build home and the area he lives in. He’s also now recommending the scheme to other homeowners he knows.
“I have recommended the scheme to several other people looking for a new home,” he says, “All of whom are existing homeowners and like me, didn't actually realise that they would qualify for Help to Buy. My advice to anyone would be to go for it, it’s a lot easier than you think!”
If Aatif has inspired you to start looking for your next home you can call us on 0300 790 0570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.