An ex-serviceman from Cottam has celebrated with Barratt Homes Manchester, as the 600th Help to Buy customer in the North West region.
Making the transition from a military career to civilian life can be challenging, but happily for ex-Lance Corporal Paul Critchlow - stepping on to the UK property ladder after years’ of service abroad – turned out to be a straightforward mission.
After Paul, 36, left the King’s Royal Hussars in 2010 following several years’ based in the UK and Germany, he rented an apartment in Fulwood, near Preston, but hoped ultimately to buy his own place as soon as circumstances were right.
Having retrained as a professional diver, Paul, now self-employed and working successfully as a maritime security consultant which sees him travelling all over the world, was keen to step on the property ladder. Although Paul had savings of just over £20,000, he knew that buying a home would still be tough; as a self-employed worker who spends large swathes of time outside of the UK, mortgage lenders are notoriously cautious.
That was until he discovered the Help to Buy scheme, which was available at nearby, award-winning Barratt Homes development, Cottam Meadow. The scheme meant that he could buy a brand new two bedroom home, for sale off-plan for £160,995. With Help to Buy, prospective buyers can access a loan of up to 20% loan from the Government, and put down a minimum 5% deposit themselves. In Paul’s case, this equated to £38,000.
To make life even easier, Paul discovered that as an ex- serviceman, he was also entitled to armed forces discount on his home purchase. The scheme is supported by the Ministry of Defence and contributes £1000 for every £25,000 spent.
With his deposit ready to go and a mortgage offer from Halifax, Paul was delighted to reserve a stunning home at Cottam Meadow, near Preston. Now happily moved in, he can enjoy his precious trips home on his return from his globe-trotting lifestyle. He said:
“I was really impressed with how easy the Help to Buy scheme was to access, and it certainly made all the difference to me. There were several developments in the area, but Cottam Meadow stood out to me in terms of quality and sustainability. I particularly liked the eco-features such as the solar panels and bike shed, as well as the Built For Life aspect, with its extra wide staircases and downstairs toilet-wet room area.”
Commenting on Barratt Homes Manchester’s Help to Buy milestone, Barratt Manchester MD, Neil Goodwin said: “Help to Buy has been a huge help to buyers like Paul all over our region. Without it, many working people who would once easily have been able to buy, would still be locked out of the home ownership market.
“As well as the 600 completed sales to date, we also have dozens more completions in the pipeline. We’re delighted that momentum for the scheme continues to build.”