property ladder

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.

New Homeowners Altered Spending Behaviour To Get On Property Ladder

New home owners in house after getting on the property ladder

New research from the UK’s leading price comparison site MoneySuperMarket reveals that over half (58%) of British homeowners made tactical changes to their spending habits in order to get onto the property ladder.

Nearly a quarter (23%) spent on a credit card and cleared the balance at the end of each month in order to improve their profile to potential lenders, while nearly a third (32%) actively paid off existing debts in the run up to their mortgage application. 9% also used cash more frequently during this timeframe to ensure lenders couldn’t see everything that was being paid for.

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. 

Event Set To Encourage First Time Buyers To Get Onto The Property Ladder

Event Set To Encourage First Time Buyers To Get Onto The Property Ladder

Bedfordshire first time buyers on the hunt for a stylish and affordable home are being encouraged to attend a first time buyer event this Saturday (23rd March) at Great Denham Park. 

Located on Greenkeepers Road in Great Denham, the development has a selection of properties available to reserve, using a part-buy part-rent scheme with Heylo Housing called Home Reach.

The event will give potential homebuyers the chance to find out more about the homes that are available using this scheme and how a part-buy part-rent scheme could work for them.

Home Reach is a helpful scheme that provides a more affordable way for people to get on the housing ladder across the UK via part-buy and part-rent. 

Last chance to get on the property ladder at Trafalgar Apartments

Last chance to get on the property ladder at Trafalgar Apartments

Last chance to get on the property ladder at Trafalgar Apartments - part of the prestigious Dickens Yard, Ealing 

First time buyers are being given the last chance to get their foot on the property ladder at Trafalgar Apartments, part of the prestigious and vibrant Dickens Yard development in the heart of Ealing, West London. 

Catalyst’s development, Trafalgar Apartments features a selection of stylish one and two bedroom Shared Ownership apartments with only four, two bedroom Shared Ownership still available. The apartments are sensitively designed with high ceiling and generous windows providing a feeling of luxury and there are balconies on selected plots with video entry system to all apartments.

Brooklands Apartment Offers First Time Buyers A Step Onto The Property Ladder

Couple in their Brooklands Apartment

A development of new properties in Milton Keynes has provided a pair of first-time buyers with their ideal home.

Paige Quigley, an Assistant Merchandiser at Sainsbury’s Argos, and Bailey Skinner, a Food and Beverage Assistant at the Hilton Hotel, moved into their new property at Brooklands recently. They are thrilled to have purchased their first home together after years of saving, thanks to using the Help to Buy scheme.

This government-backed scheme allows buyers to purchase a home with just a 5% deposit and a 75% mortgage. The remaining 20% is funded by an equity loan, interest-free for the first five years and repayable on the sale on the home.

Save Thousands On Your Mortgage & Get On The Property Ladder in Bedfordshire

Save Thousands On Your Mortgage & Get On The Property Ladder in Bedfordshire

For a limited time, leading developer Barratt Homes are providing house hunters in Bedfordshire with the perfect opportunity to make their dream move and get on the property ladder through huge monthly savings on their mortgage. 

The housebuilder recently launched a collection of two bedroom Millbrook style apartments which will benefit from the offer and are available to reserve at its popular Bedford development Great Denham Park. 

This exclusive offer of a mortgage subsidy is only available on reservations taken until 31st October, so keen homebuyers are encouraged to act fast to avoid missing out.

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.

Generation Z Stepping Onto The Property Ladder

Generation Z Stepping Onto The Property Ladder

With a recent survey* by Countryside revealing two thirds of Generation Z renters are already saving for a home deposit, Telford couple Aimee and Ryan have secured their first home at age 23 thanks to Help to Buy.

The couple, who have been together for six years, were the first residents to move into Countryside’s new Silkin Green development in Telford, having picked up the keys to their New Stamford home last month.

Aimee, who works as a Sales Coordinator, commented: “We’ve both always been in the habit of building up our individual savings, so we’d actually been saving for a while before we decided to buy a house. We weren’t looking for very long - we started house hunting one Saturday in October, last year, and then reserved our home the very next day!

Harri and Georgie secure first home at Crest Nicholson’s Artisan

First-time buyers

First-time buyers Harri and Georgie had been living down the road from the development for some time, and felt that now was the right time to buy. The couple used the Government’s Help to Buy scheme to buy their new home, meaning that they only needed a 5% deposit to secure their new home. The rest was covered by a 75% mortgage, and a 20% loan from the Government.

Georgie said:

“There are only a few developments in Brighton and Hove that have properties on the Help to Buy scheme, so when we saw Artisan being built we were really interested.”

While drawn to the great location and fantastic quality of the properties, it was the communal rooftop and private balcony that had them sold.

Credit where credit is due

Credit where credit is due

The way that first-time buyers prepare their finances before they get on the property ladder is being revolutionised and largely driven by tech. But how? There used to be two main ways anyone on an average salary could buy their first home. These were to either scrimp and save for a deposit or borrow cash off their parents. But whichever way they did it, many were disadvantaged by a poor credit report. Maybe they had defaulted on a mobile contract when they were younger, or missed a loan payment, for example.

Now, tenants can do something about this. Anyone who is saving up to buy a property can use their regular rent payments to improve their credit history and therefore their chances of getting the best mortgage deal.

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.