Ross and Sonia are enjoying settling in to their new family home and both say without Help to Buy it just would not have been possible.
Project Manager Ross and his Criminal Defendant partner Sonia previously rented a 3-storey town house with their two children. They admit they were spoilt with their rental property which was in a quiet area with a brilliant view, however they were still looking for somewhere to call home, somewhere they owned, where their money would work harder for them.
Ross explains “in our rented property there was a constant concern that it belonged to someone else, it’s not ours and if the landlady wanted to take it back it would be difficult to find a similar, suitable property for the family. Owning a property means we want to take care of it more, whereas we resisted decorating in the rented property because we knew we wouldn’t be there forever. Previous tenants smoked in the property and damaged some of the carpets, but we didn’t want to spend a lot on new flooring because the property wasn’t ours.”
Ross and Sonia originally looked at a new-build development nearly three years ago, but without any deposit it was more of a fact finding mission, to find out about the process of purchasing a property and what they needed to do. They fell in love with the show home on their visit, having some of the features they loved in their rental property, but without a deposit they were not sure they would ever be able to go ahead with a purchase. They where then told about the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme.
Sonia told us “Help to Buy was the difference between moving and not moving, we can’t overstate just how much the 20% equity loan helped. We managed to save the 5% deposit in just over 12 months but without the extra loan to bring our mortgage down to 75% we really don’t think this move would have been possible. I’m sure trying to secure a 95% mortgage whilst renting would have been next to impossible.” She continued “we are paying more per month now than when we were renting, but that is more because we lived in the same property for such a long time and the rent was far below market value. At least now when we make payments we are building equity in return.”
Ross told us what he thought of the Help to Buy scheme and their experience with it; “we found the whole process ridiculously easy, our mortgage advisors did pretty much everything for us, they requested some details but then did the rest of the work themselves. They were excellent, especially as we have an unusual financial situation with me being a contractor; it wasn’t a straight forward application for them. The Help to Buy section of the process was so easy that we didn’t need to have any contact with the Help to Buy team, our advisors told us that the application had flown through.”
And when asked if any part of it was stressful, Ross joked that “Sonia found every step stressful, but none of it was to do with Help to Buy, she was just stressed in general.” It seemed that Sonia really fell in love with their new purchase and didn’t want anything to fall through or be held up. The new home owners laughed as they told me how Ross’ project management skills and attention to detail come to the fore. Creating a colour coded spreadsheet that they referred to as he worked closely with the mortgage advisors, solicitors and developer to get their sale through quickly and efficiently.
The couple both emphatically confirmed that they would be recommending Help to Buy to friends and family in the future, Sonia reaffirmed that “it really was the only reason we had the ability to purchase this home, it made all the difference.”