Amy-Jay Handley, 28 and Tom Rowe, 27 are a young couple who have proven that it is possible to buy your first home younger than the national average age of 32.
The couple, who live in Manchester, had been privately renting and saving for around three years. However, due to high deposit requirements, they thought it would be a further three or four years’ before they would be in a position to purchase a place of their own. But during a preliminary mortgage eligibility discussion with their bank they were told about Help to Buy, and realised their dream was closer than they thought.
Through the Help to Buy scheme, you only need to raise a 5% deposit and can access the support of up to 20% in the form of an equity loan from the Government. There's nothing to pay on the loan for five years and, best of all, the loan is interest free for that time.
Amy says, “Help to Buy really accelerated the time in which we were in a position to buy a house, it brought it forward by three or four years. It gave us so much more flexibility and meant we could look at homes which were more suited to our longer term plans.
“The process was a lot smoother than I expected too. I thought it would be a bit of a headache with having to apply for a mortgage separately to the Help to Buy Equity Loan but it was really straight forward.”
The couple nearly missed out on their dream home though, and it was only due to Amy’s persistency that they managed to secure their dream home.
She explains, "When we decided this was the house for us all the properties on the development were already reserved. We’d set our hearts on it though (I’d already started decorating it in my head), so I kept calling to see if any houses had become available. At one point we were nearly buying the show home, then someone dropped out and the house we wanted was ours! It was meant to be.”
The house, which is part of Lovell’s ‘The Way’ development, is just a mile from Manchester City Centre, and the location is perfect for the couple. Amy, who is Head of Digital Marketing for a creative agency works in the City and Tom, a Retail Manager, commutes to his job in Liverpool daily so having transport links right on their doorstep is ideal.
“The proximity to the City Centre was a selling point for us, especially as Tom commutes every day, but the price and quality of the build were also big factors. We looked at other new build houses and also some non-new build properties, but with this we felt we got much more house for our money.”
The couple, who get married next year, are looking forward to a bright future.
Amy added, “We love the feeling we get when we come home of an evening, and know that’s it’s ours. With getting married next year, it’s all worked out perfectly and we would recommend the scheme to anyone.”
If Amy and Tom have inspired you to find out more about Help to Buy you can call us on 0300 790 0570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.