22 June 2017

Help to Buy offers homeowners opportunity

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Longridge solicitor calls for greater awareness

Homebuyers are missing out by ignoring Help to Buy according to a Lancashire solicitor. Talitha Murphy, head of residential property at Vincents Solicitors, says she is amazed more people are not taking up the government-backed 20 per cent loan, allowing them to purchase a home with just a 5 per cent deposit.

The majority of those Talitha advises who are using the scheme are first time buyers. But, she says, the offer is open to any buyer, as long as they are purchasing a new build valued under £600,000 as their only residence.

“The scheme is designed to boost the housing market, by helping people buy a property without having to save for a huge deposit, and to get a mortgage at a reasonable rate so it’s easier to make repayments. The idea is simple, perhaps so simple that some people assume there is a catch. Yes it’s a loan, which eventually has to be paid back, but it’s interest free for five years which gives buyers ample time to make plans,” said Talitha.

“It’s amazingly under-utilised and I think that’s down to a misunderstanding that people think the government owns part of your home, which they don’t. It is genuinely helping people out of renting and into homeownership.”

The scheme is only available for new build properties, which is ideal for people in Longridge and across Lancashire which is experiencing something of a building boom.

“A lot of people like the ease of new build, enjoying everything fresh from the box and spotless, but there are some who would prefer a second hand home for various reasons. For those people, I’d say consider what Help to Buy could offer in terms of purchasing a larger home with more space for a growing family or with no maintenance for someone downsizing to make life easier,” she added.

Help to Buy made all the difference to local family Julie and Steve Pye and their two children Isabel and Mia. They used Help to Buy when purchasing their three-bedroom detached house at Romans Crossing, a Miller Homes development in Preston Road, Longridge.

Originally from Longridge and keen to settle back in the town after moving around with Steve’s job, the couple bought the property off plan for £237,000. With a deposit of £21,000 and the £47,000 Help to Buy loan, the family was able to secure a 75 per cent mortgage with reasonable repayment rates. 

Julie, 41, said: “Longridge is a fantastic place to live and we really wanted our children to grow up in our hometown. It has all the amenities you need and the schools are great, and the countryside is literally on the doorstep. We worried about what we could afford, but with Help to Buy we were able to get a brand new three-bedroom detached house with a garden and a garage. We would definitely have had to compromise on something, either size or location, without Help to Buy.

“I can’t believe more people aren’t applying, it’s not hard with the help of a solicitor who knows what they’re doing. Talitha and the Miller Homes team talked us though the process and sorted everything out while we concentrated on choosing the finishings. Help to Buy was ideal for us as we’ve got a much better home than we could ever have imagined. We’ve also planned financially for when the interest free period ends, so we can pay it back pretty quickly.”

For more information about Help to Buy and the properties available under the scheme in your area, visit our  Property Search page

Vincents has seven offices across Lancashire, providing a range of legal services from the Winckley Square headquarters and the six high street branches in Penwortham, Chorley, Longridge, Garstang, Lytham and Knott End.

For help with a house move, contact Vincents Solicitors conveyancing team here