Hock Kit Soo Hoo and his family recently moved to a brand new home in Manchester City Centre thanks to Help to Buy.
The 34 year-old engineer and his wife Jane were renting a studio apartment in Manchester when their son Kai was born. They soon realised that they would need a bigger space and thought the time was right to buy their own house. An increase in their rent also spurred them on to own a place of their own.
Hock Kit explains, “When you rent a home things are out of your control and that makes it hard to plan. So when my landlord increased my rent by 20% for the coming year I knew it was time to get our own house. We wanted a bigger home, ideally with a garden, but still close to the city centre. A couple of friends had used Help to Buy and recommended the scheme so we started looking for homes in the area offering Help to Buy.”
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.
Hock Kit reveals, “The 5% deposit requirement for Help to Buy is much more reasonable for those who want to get on the property ladder. I went to several banks before I knew Help to Buy was an option and the minimum deposit they required was between 10% and 15% which is a lot to save and just didn’t seem achievable.”
The couple knew they wanted to remain close to the city centre and looked at several houses in the area. Then, based on a recommendation from friends, they went to view Axis @ The Way, a Lovell Homes development in Manchester city centre which ticked all the boxes.
Hock Kit explains, “When we went to view the homes we were told that they were all reserved! So we put our names on a waiting list and crossed our fingers. We waited about 2 months, then one day we got a call from the sales office to say someone had dropped out and we had been accepted. They then put me in touch with a mortgage advisor who did the Help to Buy application for us. I then received my confirmation letter from Help to Buy North West soon after. It was all very straight forward.”
Completion day soon came around and the family were able to move into their brand new home. It was an exciting but tiring day for Hock Kit who did all the moving himself, making around 35 trips between the old and new house! They are now settled in and enjoying life in their new home.
Hock Kit says, “We feel so safe and secure in our new home. We don’t have to worry about our rent going up each year and we actually pay less now for our mortgage than when we were renting! The house is so spacious and has a big garden which is great for spending family time.
Hock Kit is now the one recommending the scheme to friends, along with some advice for other first time buyers.
“It’s so important to plan you finances” he says, “You don’t just need to save for your deposit, there are other costs to take into account such as solicitor fees, insurance and stamp duty. The Help to Buy scheme really helps with the deposit so you should try and save a bit more for the extra costs. The scheme has really helped a lot of people; I hope it continues into the future!”
If Hock Kit 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.