Exploring Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes

Photo of new home example of available on shared ownership scheme or help to buy schemes in UK

Have you ever heard the words “shared ownership”, or “Help to Buy” but always wondered exactly what people were talking about?

The world of affordable home ownership might seem like a complex one, particularly for first-time buyers, but here at HomeFocus we strive to cut through the jargon and tell you exactly what you need to know.

Thanks to the sky-high prices of homes and houses nationwide, people right across the country are being priced out of the open market, and add that to the extortionate cost of renting, it’s no wonder that people are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

However, there are affordable home ownership schemes in place to help you buy your own home - and the key word there is affordable.

Win a signed copy of Clive Holland's book House and Home

 clive’s book

Property expert, broadcaster, and television presenter Clive Holland is giving away a signed hardback copy of his book House and Home to one HomeFocus reader. 

In his book, the presenter of the Cowboy Trap guides readers through the home improvement process, from potential pitfalls to top tips on how to avoid cowboy builders. 

This helpful guide tells readers how to avoid rogue tradesmen, debates whether it is better to make improvements to your home, or simply move, what to look for when buying a property, and how to go about applying for planning permission.

CLAIM two free tickets to this year's Southern Homebuilding & Renovating Show

Homebuilding and Renovating Show

According to the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA), 14,000 homes will be built across the UK in the next year. For those considering this route, the annual Southern Homebuilding & Renovating Show, sponsored for the first time by Everest Home Improvements, is marking its anticipated return to Sandown Park, from 1-2 July 2017, with hands-on tips to help consumers succeed in their property ventures.

Across two full days, visitors can speak to over 220 exhibitors and access more than 500+ advice sessions, 20+ free masterclasses on essential topics which can tackle any problem, from implementing the latest intelligent security systems to funding a remodelling project.

Metropolitan has a large range of new homes 

Metropolitan

Metropolitan has a large range of new homes to offer across a range of locations in London, the Home Counties and East Midlands.  

Most of the homes we have for sale in this financial year will be available through Shared Ownership – the part buy, part rent option where buyers purchase a share in the value of the home that they can afford (between 25% and 75% of the value of the home) and pay us a subsidised rent on the remainder.

Shared Ownership brings down the costs of entering home ownership as buyers only have to raise a deposit on the share that they are buying (as opposed to on the full market value) and monthly housing costs for Shared Ownership are less than they would be for the same home being bought outright or being rented privately.

How to Get On the Property Ladder

Home buying

In today’s economic climate, getting on the property ladder has never been more challenging. The label of ‘generation rent’ seems to cause set back upon set back but, fear not, as all is not lost; there is a way to save money and buy a house as well. In this article, estate agents Loveitts, share tips on how to save for your first home, how to get a deposit and what other costs might be involved when you begin to climb the property ladder.

 

How to save for your first house

 

A step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process

A step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process

Transferring ownership of a property from seller to buyer, known as the conveyancing process, begins when the offer is accepted by the seller. When you’re buying a property, instructing a solicitor will help keep the complicated and lengthy conveyancing process running more smoothly.

 

Step One: Choose a Property Solicitor

Online conveyancing services often appear to be the cheaper option, but working with a qualified, local solicitor, with knowledge of the area means you won’t have to pay for any extra unnecessary checks. Document transfer is also much quicker in person rather than relying on the postal service.

 

Step Two: Terms of Engagement

8 Easy Ways to Reduce your Electricity Bills

Liza Gray

If you’ve ever had a big pile of bills sneak up on you at the end of the month, then you’re far from alone. Good solid budgeting can help take some of the shock out of it, but have you ever thought about tackling the problem head on? Electricity bills are a fact of life, but there’s plenty that you can do to shrink them down a little, and ease some of the pressure month to month.

 

1. Go Solar

Families take on the housework equality challenge in Indesit’s ‘the big family switch up’ web series

Giovanna Fletcher and the Mansfield family

As part of Indesit’s #DoItTogether campaign, the brand will be introducing consumers to four real families who aim to change their habits and share the household tasks equally. Launching this May, ‘The Big Family Switch Up’ is a new web series, presented by Giovanna Fletcher, that takes a light hearted look at a serious social challenge: Today, on average, female partners spend twice as much time on housework than men do – a situation that’s far too often ignored. But now four UK families are taking on the equality challenge to swap roles for a week to achieve more collaboration in taking on the daily chores and to #DoItTogether.

 

First-time buyers drive housing boom

First-time buyers drive housing boom

House prices have hit record levels with sales in the housing sector hitting a 10-year high, despite fears about the impact of Brexit and pre-election nerves on the economy - a report claims. 

In what’s been dubbed a ‘Brexit boom’, the average price of property coming to market in April 2017 rose by £3,547 to £313,666, up by 1.1 per cent on the previous month. The average asking price in March 2017 was £310,108.

The number of sales agreed this spring was the highest since 2007, before the credit crunch. Sales are up 10 per cent on spring 2016.

Surround sound with style

Surround sound

Offering up to 5.1 channel top-class surround sound, with the simple setup and operation of a soundbar, the HEOS AVR has it all – simplicity, extraordinary sound and a versatile appearance to complement any home. This new product, which has been developed with the idea of ‘surround yourself with sound, not wires’, is available exclusively to custom install market via UK distributor, AWE. 

 

Think You're Ready To Become A First Time Buyer

Think You're Ready To Become A First Time Buyer

Revealed: The UKs’ Top 10 Questions Asked by First Time Buyers
 
Getting ready to buy a first home can often be a daunting experience. Taking the plunge into an unfamiliar world of credit scores and mortgages can often lead first time buyers to turn to the Internet to provide them with the answers they need.
With average house prices increasing and people investing more time searching for their ‘forever home’, Strata has investigated the most common questions first time buyers are faced with.

First New Build Help To Buy In Zone One Launches At Elephant Park

First New Build Help To Buy In Zone One Launches At Elephant Park

This April marks the launch of Help to Buy homes at the heart of Elephant & Castle – comprising 25 one-bedroom apartments at South Gardens in Elephant Park. The newly launched collection represents the only new build Help to Buy homes currently available in Zone One.
 
Sustainable developer Lendlease is transforming the urban district by creating an attractive new green neighbourhood, with homes, leisure, retail, and acres of new open space for central London. Offering a helping hand onto the Zone One property ladder, buyers will have the chance to purchase a new-build home from £550,000, with a 5% deposit.

Shared Ownership was ‘so easy’ for Tooting resident

Shared Ownership was ‘so easy’ for Tooting resident

Two years ago, Aveen Kelly, 32, was given the opportunity to learn more about how Shared Ownership works, a result of her employer Wandsworth Council’s efforts to encourage buyers in the community to consider the scheme.

Armed with her knowledge of Shared Ownership - which enables first-time buyers priced out of the open market to purchase a share of a property and pay rent on the remaining share - she discovered XVII, a new Shared Ownership development in Tooting, South London, comprising one and two-bedroom homes. 

 

Aveen wasted no time in contacting Thames Valley Housing, as the homes were close to where she was renting with friends.

Hatchwood Mill, Winnersh

Hatchwood Mill, Winnersh

Share value: 40% (£175,000)
Full price: £437,500

 

·         Setting new standards for affordable housing in terms of location, high quality design and a superior specification, a new collection of superb new homes in Winnersh, Berkshire is available to buy through Shared Ownership with Thames Valley Housing

·         The attractive two, three and four-bedroom houses are built in hues of traditional red brick, complemented by either a red or black tiled roof; some of the elevations to the larger homes’ are punctuated with pretty tile-hanging and bay windows.

Shared Ownership was the answer for Battersea first-time buyer

Shared Ownership was the answer for Battersea first-time buyer

In 2012, Adel Whitworth, 33, was left disappointed when her first attempts to make it onto the property ladder in Tooting Broadway fell through. However, she plucked up the courage to try again when she discovered Shared Ownership, a scheme which enables first-time buyers typically priced out of the open market to buy a share of a property and pay rent on the remaining share.

Intrigued and hopeful, Adel filled out an application for the Shared Ownership homes at Battersea Bridge Road, offered for sale by Thames Valley Housing.

 

12 pieces of advice for first time buyers

12 pieces of advice for first time buyers

Buying your first home can be a daunting task to undertake. From working out where to buy, through to actually moving in, there is a lot to consider and not a decision that should be rushed.
 
So to help here are our 12 key pieces of advice when buying your first home:
 
1.       Don’t be rushed into buying by a pushy estate agent. They will often arrange ‘open days’ where they will invite several prospective purchasers to view at the same time. This is designed to create emotional fear that someone else will make an offer before you do.
2.       Set your limit and don’t go above it. There will always be another property in another street or another town that will suit you.

Top 10 interior design trends for 2017

Top 10 interior design trends for 2017

Bring nature indoors for 2017
Textures and tones set to create calm, warm homes and hotel rooms
Graphic inspired art, statement rugs and textured glass lighting all key essentials
With 2017 set to see interior design services embraced increasingly by individuals and house builders alike, the experts at Alexander James Interior Design have used their 20 years experience to compile a list of the top ten interior design trends for 2017.

 

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director at Alexander James Interior Design, comments,

Why is it important to use MyEnergy before switching supplier in your new home?

Why is it important to use MyEnergy before switching supplier in your new home?

Put simply, because it can save you £100s of pounds on your energy bills-and make your dream holiday a reality as a result.

In recent times, energy bills have risen to an unprecedented level, having almost doubled in the past 20 years. With household finances squeezed like an old tube of toothpaste, there’s never been a more topical time to seek out alternatives, and switch to a smarter solution...

Best in show: Alexander James' 5 interior design tips to bring show house style to your home

Best in show: Alexander James' 5 interior design tips to bring show house style to your home

With spring sales in full swing in many shops, now is the perfect time to take a critical look at your new home and make a few changes to bring it up to show house standard.  

 
"Bringing glamour and style to your home doesn't have to be about making big changes. There are a few simple tips and tricks that can make a big difference. Try to step back and take a fresh look at your rooms. Which features and objects stand out? How do they coordinate with the other items in the room? What feeling does the room give you? Once you take a long, hard look at your home, you'll be able to identify which colours and objects dominate it - and to change them if necessary."

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design
 

Property Priorities: New homeowners will kip on the floor for a month

Property Priorities: New homeowners will kip on the floor for a month, but candles and cushions are unpacked within a week

·         For 57% of homemovers, the kettle is the first item that is unpacked
·         Over half (57%) of new homeowners set up the Wi-Fi router within 24 hours
·         A third (32%) of homemovers will live without a wardrobe for a fortnight or more
 
One in twelve (8%) UK homeowners admit they slept on the floor for a month or more after moving into their new home, according to a new study by UK housebuilder Redrow.
 
The research, which polled almost 2,000 homeowners, looked into how we approach the challenge of setting up home and asked questions about priorities and unpacking that all important first box.
 

Why Rent When You Can Buy?

Why Rent When You Can Buy?

If you’ve always dreamt of owning your own home, you could find that taking those first steps onto the property ladder are more affordable than you think, with a Help to Buy scheme.

New figures compiled by Strata Homes show that buying a home is often cheaper than renting, especially with the government’s Help to Buy scheme.*

Using data from Zoopla, we’ve compared the price of renting a two-bedroom home against buying a 2-bedroom new build home, both with and without a Help to Buy equity loan.  This is where you only need a 5% deposit for your new home, which the government will boost by a further 20%. You’ll only need a mortgage on 75% of the property price, making it an affordable alternative to renting.

Open day set to give Midlands buyers glimpse of popular development

Find out more about Grand Union Housing Group at their open day

House-hunters in the Midlands are taking up the opportunity to have a sneak peek at a popular new development. 

Grand Union Housing Group is holding an open day on Saturday 8th April at its Church Close development at Braybrooke, in Northamptonshire. 

Visitors can take a look around a brand new property at the popular site, near Market Harborough. 

The three-bedroom properties are available on the shared ownership scheme, so cost as little as £62,500 for a 25% share. 

Shared ownership is an affordable housing scheme where buyers purchase between 25% and 75% of a home, and pay a subsidised rent in the rest of the property. 

House-hunters warned not to miss out on new-look family homes

Harvills Grange opens new-look show homes tomorrow

House hunters across the West Midlands are set to catch their first glimpse at a range of stylish new homes.

Lovell Homes is launching its new show homes at its popular Harvills Grange development tomorrow (25 March).

The spotlight will be on the popular Ringwood design home, a three-bedroom semi-detached house available on Help to Buy from £145,560.

This design boasts spacious interiors that are perfect for growing families, or a couple looking for a bit of extra space. 

The ground-floor layout include a stylish living/dining room, with French doors opening out onto the garden. Meanwhile, the kitchen features an integrated fridge-freezer and slimline dishwasher, in addition to a Bosch stainless steel double oven and gas hob. 

Home Improvements – Where should we begin?

Home Improvements – Where should we begin?

Thousands of people every year will make New Year resolutions to update their home and thousands of people will not keep to them, I know, I am one of them.  This is mainly because we set goals which are not realistic, we give ourselves too much to do and often don’t set ourselves a realistic budget.  However if we plan to update our home over the course of the year, we can tackle what seems like a huge task in smaller chunks.

To manage any sort of project, it can be helpful to break it down into three main requirements:

  • Decide what needs to be done
  • Prioritise what needs to be done
  • Set yourself a budget and time frame to which you would like the updates to be finished by