Help to Buy

Staircasing 101

Staircasing on a white background

Everything you need to know about taking a step up the shared ownership ladder

By Samantha Eaton - Associate solicitor in the residential property team at Gorvins Solicitors

What is staircasing?

Staircasing is the process of purchasing further shares of a shared ownership property you already own.

Depending on the terms of your lease, once you have lived in your property for a certain period of time you will be eligible to staircase.

Couple Use Help To Buy To Secure First Home

Michael & Emily in their new home which they bought with help to buy scheme

Settling down to begin their family planning in the new Wixams community, a couple in Bedfordshire have secured their first home together using the Help to Buy scheme.

Michael Owens and Emily Platten, both 28-year-old Retail Managers, took advantage of the available tools for purchasing their new home and secured a new build property at Barratt Homes’ development Willow Grove.

Previously living with Emily’s dad, the couple were able to make the move to a three bedroom Maidstone style home with just a 5% deposit and sought professional guidance from an onsite Mortgage Adviser to benefit from a smooth transition.

Which Home Buying Schemes Are Available?

Key in the door of a new home

Are you looking to buy a new home and don't know where to start? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here at Home Focus we've made things easy for you. Check out all the home buying schemes below that could be avaliable to you! 

Help to Buy Equity Loan

You own 100% of your property, but only have to cover a percentage of the initial cost with your mortgage and deposit. You can defer the rest for a while as it’s covered by an equity loan. There’s nothing to pay on the equity loan for a few years, and the scheme you choose will determine whether you pay any interest after this and when you have to pay the loan back.

Shared ownership

Couple Use Help To Buy To Secure First Home

Couple stood outside their new first home

Settling down to begin their family planning in the new Wixams community, a couple in Bedfordshire have secured their first home together using the Help to Buy scheme.

Michael Owens and Emily Platten, both 28-year-old Retail Managers, took advantage of the available tools for purchasing their new home and secured a new build property at Barratt Homes’ development Willow Grove.

Previously living with Emily’s dad, the couple were able to make the move to a three bedroom Maidstone style home with just a 5% deposit and sought professional guidance from an onsite Mortgage Adviser to benefit from a smooth transition.

There has never been a better time to get on the property ladder at ARRO 

ARRO bedroom interior

According to recent figures, 2018 saw the number of first time buyers reach a 12 year high with 370,000[1]new first time buyer mortgages completed, a 1.9% increase on 2017. 

With interest rates still at an all-time low and schemes such as Shared Ownership and Help to Buy readily available, there has never been a better time to get on the property ladder. 

One such development which is ideal for those looking to own their first home is ARRO, Catalyst’ latest exclusive development of contemporary homes set on the banks of the historic Grand Union Canal, in the bustling heart of vibrant Southall. 

Pioneer Places launches new housing development

Pioneer Places new housing development

Pioneer Places has launched an exciting new housing development at the Manor House in Stechford. The development funded by Homes England offers 83 new homes, ranging from two and three bed houses and flats, available for shared ownership, rent to buy and outright purchase. 

The most popular of the occupancies is the newly established Rent to Buy scheme. Designed to let working households rent a property at a subsidised amount, residents are able to save for a deposit and go on and purchase their first home. 

Help to Buy prompts rise in demand for new homes at Park Farm in Thornbury

Help to Buy home at Park Farm in Thornbury

Owning the perfect new home in-and-around the market town of Thornbury is now easier than ever. The David Wilson Homes development features an impressive range of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes - suitable for a wide range of lifestyles and requirements. And the development is now even more accessible, not only for first time buyers but also for those moving further up the ladder, thanks to Help to Buy.

“The scheme is available on all new-build homes up to £600,000 at Park Farm,” said sales director Louise Ware. “Buyers can become owners with just a five percent deposit of the property value of their new home. Many lenders are able to offer a loan-to-value mortgage because the UK Government provides a guarantee of up to 15 per cent.

Help to buy equity loan Church Hill Place

Church Hill Place

Church Hill Place will comprise of an exclusive collection of 38 premium two, three and four bedroom homes. Named after the charming Parish Church in Coleshill, one of the tallest spires in Warwickshire, Church Hill Place is ideally located just a few minutes’ walk from Coleshill’s bustling High Street. A range of detached, semi-detached and terrace houses will be available, as well as townhouses, which will all be traditional and timeless in design, reflecting the Georgian architecture of the surrounding area.

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.

Help to Buy homes developed by Plan C

Plac C - Brownlow Road Help to Buy property

Plan C is a family-run building and design company based in Muswell Hill, North London. At the helm are twin brothers – Pierre and Christian Carboni – who decided to sign up their latest development of three new builds in Bounds Green London N11 to the Equity Loan Scheme under the Help to Buy umbrella.  

The London scheme reflects the current local property prices and offers 20% - 40% for buyers in all boroughs. You can put down as little as 5% deposit on a newly built home and then get a Government Equity Loan for up to 40% of the purchase price. In addition, you are not charged loan fees on the 40% loan for the first five years of owning your home. 

Help To Buy Queenshurst

Help To Buy Queenshurst

Help to Buy is available at Queenshurst in Kingston upon Thames, enabling more buyers to be part of this fantastic scheme. Potential buyers are invited to attend a Help to Buy event at the on-site Sales and Marketing Suite on Saturday 26th January to find out more about the development and the homes available, and to take a look at the stylish two-bedroom show home. 

Located just a five minutes’ walk from Kingston train station and the lively market town centre, this stylish collection of apartments brings together contemporary design and easy connections to the capital. All homes have a decked balcony or private terrace and provide the high-quality specification for which Berkeley is renowned. 

We always wanted to move to Rutherford Fields so made sure we were first through the door  

Couple at Rutherford Fields

January 2019: Melissa (25) and George (26) have lived local to Leighton Buzzard all their lives and were keen to stay in the area to be close to friends, family and work. After living with their parents, they decided to rent together in Hockliffe but were keen to get on the property ladder and had their hearts set on one place.  

Melissa comments, “Having lived around Leighton Buzzard all our lives, we know the area really well. We had heard that some new homes were going to be built on the former RAF Stanbridge base and started to do our research.  We couldn’t believe it when we discovered that the new homes would be in our price range so we were determined to get there first and find out more”.  

Plan C

Plan C

Plan C is a family run building and design company based in Muswell Hill, North London.

At the helm are twin brothers – Pierre and Christian Carboni – who decided to sign up their latest development of three new builds in Bounds Green London N11 to the Equity Loan Scheme under the Help to Buy umbrella.  

Click on the link to experience a walk-through inside one of the properties:

Help to Buy enables first time buyer to get a larger property 

Lauren in her help to buy new home

A recent report has revealed that more than 420,000[1]people in Britain have been helped onto the housing ladder with the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. This is just the case for one first time buyer, who has moved into her first home, a three bedroom semi-detached home at Deanfield Meadow in Ducklington, Nr Witney, using Help to Buy. 

Lauren Davies, 29, grew up in Witney and moved to Bermuda for two years when she was 23. Upon returning, she rented in London for two years before moving into her boyfriend’s property. When the relationship finished she decided she wanted to move back to the Witney area to live closer to her friends and family. 

Help to Buy enabled us to buy our dream home 

Help to Buy helped Jo and James buy their new home

Married couple, Jo and James Druce-Harding (both aged 27) have realised their dream of owning their ‘forever’ home at Deanfield Meadow in Ducklington, Oxfordshire, thanks to the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. 

Jo and James had been living in a three bedroom property in Witney for two years and really liked the area but after getting a dog, they decided they needed a house with a bigger garden and more space. They started to look around Witney at various properties and found a home they liked, but were unable to go ahead as their property hadn’t sold. 

Help to Buy explained by mortgage experts Rhodes Advisory

Rhodes Advisory founder Lee Rhodes

Lee Rhodes is a mortgage and insurance advisor and the founder of Rhodes Advisory. With over 13 years of experience in financial services, he has this year helped clients raise over £7m in mortgages. Here, he has some advice about Help to Buy for first time buyers…

Getting on the property ladder isn’t easy these days, especially for first time buyers with fairly small deposits or those who do not have any or much equity built up in property that can be used as a deposit for an onward purchase. The good news is that the UK government are keen on stimulating the housing market and want to help people get that foot onto or up the ladder.

Thousands Use Help To Buy In Bedfordshire To Buy New Homes

Bedfordshire Help To Buy New Homes

A government initiative is helping thousands of families in Bedfordshire to get on to the housing ladder. New figures released by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) reveal that a total of 4,707 homebuyers in the county used the Help to Buy scheme since it was launched five years ago.

Within the county, the districts which made the best use of the scheme were Bedford (2,000) and Central Bedfordshire (2,419). 

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.

How LPG is helping to build affordable housing 

Flogas laying LPG takes underground for affordable housing

With an ongoing governmental drive to significantly boost housing development and the precarious nature of Brexit delivering industrywide uncertainty regarding labour and costs, providing affordable housing in the UK is an issue that appears to be consistently debated and discussed. 

Positive initiatives and efficient processes are needed to help the sector deliver the number of homes that Brits can pay for — which is where LPG energy is proving an attractive asset. Here, we’ll explore how LPG is assisting in the provision of affordable housing for UK buyers and why it’s vital that the sector and government gets behind it if they want to hit targets and meet housing demands. 

'Government and the housing sector fall short on educating shared ownership buyers'

A typical shared ownership property for sale

A new YouGov survey, commissioned by housing association Aster Group, found that the government is falling short at educating people about shared ownership.

The study of more than 200 shared ownership homeowners in the UK discovered that only 14% had received information from the UK government website on the scheme.

Consequently, the report discovered a lack of awareness and understanding among respondents about how it works and the options available.

More than half (52%) didn’t know that they could move from their existing home into another shared ownership property. Only 10% had successfully grown their equity stakes and just over a quarter (27%) knew they could move into another shared ownership property – yet didn’t know the process for doing this. 

It's love at first sight for home buyers

Anna and Nathan, with their baby, went on many a house viewing  but fell in love at first sight with a Countryside home

With one in two UK homeowners partaking in just one house viewing before making an offer, home builder Countryside has teamed up with relationship expert, John Donlon, to uncover just what makes us lead with our hearts when it comes to buying a new home.

According to a recent survey by Countryside, it took just one house viewing for 53%* of homeowners before purchasing their home, describing the experience as ‘love at first sight’. An additional 25% stated that only a second house viewing was needed before making a final decision. 

Kingsbrook Development Proving Popular With A Range Of Homebuyers

Kingsbrook Development

The first village at Kingsbrook, Oakfield Village, follows garden village principles and homebuyers are encouraged to reserve their home quickly as Barratt Homes is now 90% sold and David Wilson Homes has sold 60% of its properties on the first village,

Glenn Copper, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes North Thames, said: “We are delighted to see so many Buckinghamshire house hunters already purchasing their dream home at Kingsbrook. This is a fantastic development and an amazing community is being formed between residents already.

“We have homes to suit the needs of a range of buyers, particularly large and growing families and with moving schemes such as Movemaker and Help to Buy available, it’s no wonder so many people are choosing to move home with us.”

Mortgages made easy with Help to Buy experts

Helen Pierson - The Mortgage Bureau

Getting a mortgage for the first time can be quite a daunting process – but not if you have the right advice and support. Here, Helen Pierson from The Mortgage Bureau answers some of the questions you might have about borrowing to buy your first home…

Is there a minimum income which you need to buy a home on Help to Buy?

There’s no minimum – you just need to make sure that what you earn gets you the mortgage you’ll need in order to buy. Generally this is 75% of the property value, so if the sale price is £150,000 you would need a mortgage of £112,500. Most lenders will calculate what you can borrow by multiplying your income by 4.5 – after deducting any loans and credit card balances.

Find The Solution At Centurion Place

Find The Solution At Centurion Place

Barratt Homes North Thames is offering a range of moving solutions at its Centurion Place development in Milton Keynes to help potential homebuyers move into their dream home.

Moving home can be a stressful time for many but with the variety of initiatives available, Barratt Homes can assist homebuyers with a smooth move. 

Glenn Copper, Sales Director at Barratt Homes North Thames, said, “As a five-star housebuilder, we want to make moving home as easy as possible for our customers. That is why we offer such a selection of moving solutions that will help ease the stress often associated with moving.

Couple prepare for new home in the country

Couple prepare for new home in the country

As the UK celebrates Rural Housing Week, a Staffordshire couple are preparing to move into their first home together with the help of the area's leading provider of affordable homes for rent and shared ownership.

Thanks to a partnership between Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) and a leading house builder, Stacey Robinson and fiancé William O'Hara now have the keys to a brand new, one-bedroomed apartment in the village of Eccleshall.

Stacey, 24, has lived most of her life in the area but she says she was facing a move away from family and friends due to the increasing cost of housing in and around the village.