Buyers Guide

Are you looking to find an affordable home of your own? Homefocus Magazine can help with all of your questions. A Help to Buy Scheme (equity loans) means you own 100% of your home, but only have to cover a percentage of the cost and defer the rest for a while due to it being covered by an equity loan. Shared Ownership, also known as part buy/part rent, allows you to buy part of your home and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder. Save to Buy offers 2 options by housing associations, to help and encourage you to save towards a deposit. Rent to Buy will allow you to pay a reduced rent on the understanding that you will buy a specific home in due course, and intermediate market rent will provide you with a reduced rent to save for a deposit to buy elsewhere.

69% Of Buyers Can't Resist The Draw Of No DIY & A Blank Canvas

New build homes - buyers cannot resist draw of no DIY
Three quarters of home seekers would consider a new build home in a new survey for the Home Builders Federation shows. 

The energy efficiency of new homes, not having to carry out DIY or spend thousands on renovations were cited as the most attractive features for buyers alongside the opportunity to unleash their inner interior designer onto untouched, neutral interiors.

This year, New Homes Week which is supported by Barratt Homes North Thames takes place from May 13th to May 17th and is dedicated to the numerous benefits of buying new and provides valuable information to those weighing up their home buying options. 

How to use London help to buy schemes to your advantage

Help to buy scheme

Is it your dream to own a property in the UK’s capital? In the past, people would typically rent for a few years whilst they saved for a house of their own. Unfortunately, today’s high renting costs make it difficult for people to save for a house. For many, renting has become a permanent arrangement instead of a temporary one. In the past 6 years alone, the price of renting in London has increased by 24% and on average, an annual salary of £51,200 is needed to be able to afford to rent a one-bedroom home. This is well above the average salary and an unattainable option for many.

15-minute mortgage finder set to prove popular with first time buyers

Hoppy mortgage finder can help families find a new home

Hoppy, the UK’s leading home management website, has announced its partnership with Mojo Mortgages, offering its customers a personal mortgage recommendation in only 15 minutes.

The first offering of its kind in the UK, Hoppy customer’s will have direct access to a fully-featured mortgage solution that provides a 24 hour, seven days a week service which gives the best possible deal without having to have a face to face appointment.

The addition of the mortgage service will further build on the Hoppy mission to help consumers take the hassle out of running their home. While the average UK broker free is £400, Mojo is a fee free online mortgage broker, which covers the whole market to offer over 20,000 mortgage deals with over 90 lenders.

Deanfield Homes achieves planning in Shipton under Wychwood 

Deanfield Homes logo

Deanfield Homes has been granted planning permission for its latest development in the Oxfordshire village of Shipton under Wychwood, in the heart of the Cotswolds. The site, Deanfield Grange, will feature 44 new homes built in a traditional style with a high specification.

Peter Blades, Managing Director of Deanfield Homes comments, “We are delighted to be bringing another development to Oxfordshire, on the back of the success at Deanfield Meadow in Ducklington and our new development, Deanfield Grove in Tackley. 


Halve your energy bills with Barrat and David Wilson homes

Five star house builder Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Thames is urging homebuyers in Buckinghamshire to consider moving to an energy efficient brand new home this winter, which could cut their energy bill by over 55%.

With the cold weather well and truly here, new build properties are proven to keep you warmer through the winter. A new report by the Home Builders Federation (HBF)* shows that new build home owners save £629 a year, spending on average £443 on heating, hot water and lighting compared to the £1,072 the owner of an older home can expect to spend.  

New homes and cycle path coming to Dawlish from local homebuilder

Staff from Cavanna Homes

A turf cutting ceremony has marked the start of building work at Cavanna Homes latest development, Barley Meadow in Dawlish, which will be connected to the town centre with a new cycle path being funded by the homebuilder. 

The town’s mayor, Councillor Lisa Mayne was joined on site by representatives of the award-winning, Torquay based Cavanna Homes - Build Manager Andy Sykes, Site Manager Ian Crighton-Brown and Head of Sales and Marketing, Beverley Bridge.  

Cllr Lisa Mayne said: “This is a very exciting time for Dawlish with a new development of houses coming to our town from Cavanna Homes whose recent Aspects development proved very popular with local families. 

Three Story Properties To Please The Whole Family In Milton Keynes

Children's room in Milton Keynes

Leading Buckinghamshire developer David Wilson Homes South Midlands has revealed how its three storey properties at Eagles’ Rest, Milton Keynes are able to accommodate the whole family, keeping everyone happy in a move to a new home.

Providing generous living spaces for family members of all ages, the Fen Street development has a magnificent selection of three storey homes available. Eager house hunters in Milton Keynes are being encouraged to consider the benefits of three storey living.

Jason Hearn, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes South Midlands, said: “The three storey properties at our Eagle’s Rest development have been expertly designed to meet the demands of modern living and are perfectly suited to accommodate growing families.

Help to buy explained for Warwickshire homebuyers at Christmas events

A typical David Wilson Homes bedroom in a help to buy property at The Long Shoot in Nuneaton

Leading Warwickshire developer David Wilson Homes East Midlands is hosting exclusive Help to Buy events this weekend (17thand 18thNovember) at its developments across the county to help homebuyers find out more about the scheme. 

The new home sites in Heathcote and Nuneaton will play host to the events from 10am until 5.30pm and Sales Advisers will be on-hand to advise property seekers on how the scheme could help them get on or move up the property ladder.

Selected homes at each development have offers available including Stamp Duty contributions, flooring and upgraded kitchen packages which could help buyers save thousands on their move.

New shared ownership housing scheme offers affordable ‘forever homes’ for London families

A new scheme offering family-sized houses to buy in London under shared ownership has been launched by housing provider, Octavia.

The scheme, which is a first for Octavia in that it is open to anyone currently living in a London borough, offers a selection of three or four bedroom houses at Octavia Living’s Gladstone Village*, a new development in a quiet, green space location, overlooking parklands near Dollis Hill, London NW2.

The scheme is aimed at helping working families across London, who are priced out of the London housing market but wish to live close to where they work and to be part of a community.  It represents a new departure in shared ownership for Octavia and recognises the growing need for affordable housing for people other than first time buyers.

The UK property market is evolving

The UK property market is evolving
  • Adults are choosing to buy homes with friends rather than wait for a partner
  • Increased number of online searches for ‘tenancy in common’


The homeownership market in the UK is evolving, with more tenants choosing to buy and live in homes with friends, rather than with a partner or on their own.


To understand this emerging trend, online furniture retailer Furniture Choice conducted a UK wide survey and spoke with individuals who have already bought a house with a friend.


Don’t look now! When house viewing, getting distracted by clutter could cost you thousands

First-time buyers spend just two minutes reviewing structural features on buildings before placing an offer
Buyers spend more than half their time looking at clutter, decor and personal items

Buyers are distracted by clutter and personal items when viewing homes and could be missing problems that would cost thousands of pounds to fix, new research suggests.

The innovative study, conducted by Anglian Home Improvements, used eye tracking technology to monitor potential buyers as they viewed a property and revealed how little time is spent looking at the building structure itself.

East Midlands' "Forever Home" Revealed

The ideal ‘forever home’ for a resident in the East Midlands is a four-bedroom, detached house in the country, worth £395,745 – and just down the road from the kids, it has emerged.

A detailed study also found that we hanker after a property with a driveway, a play room – and somewhere to hang the washing.

Other must-haves include a large kitchen and breakfast room, an ample lounge, utility room and dining room.

A double garage and conservatory are also essential, as is a study and cloakroom. Ideally, we want to live in a location just 9.2 miles from the office.

Good transport links and a pub within a mile and a half are also vital elements.

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


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.


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.

First Time Buyers – 5 Key Considerations for First Time Buyers

First Time Buyers – 5 Key Considerations for First Time Buyers

Research the location

In a recent Daily Mail survey, 58% claimed the location of their new home is what made them fall in love with the property. Whilst location is consistently top on the list of home buyer priorities, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look around at other properties in similar or ‘less desirable’ areas in order to form an impression of what is available for your budget.

If you have an area chosen, do your research. Go visit at different times of the day/week, visit the surrounding areas, visit the local shops, try the local restaurants etc… areas may be quiet during the week but an active social hub during the weekends. You will be living there a long time, make sure the day to day works for you.

Homeowning dreams can become a reality at Kingsbridge

The nation’s dream of home ownership is as strong as ever with 80% of adults dreaming of being homeowners within ten years[1] according to new research released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.  With the Help to Buy scheme available at Countryside’s Kingsbridge development in the village of Headcorn, Kent, those looking for a family home in a rural location that’s also great for commuting can buy with a deposit of just 5%. The Government will then provide an equity loan of up to 20% of the property’s value, interest free for the first five years, with the buyer raising a mortgage for the remaining 75%.