Help to Buy has helped hundreds of thousands of people to get their first step on the property ladder. One in three new build properties outside London were purchased using the scheme, it was revealed earlier this year*. What is less known is that you don’t have to be a first-time buyer to benefit from Help to Buy.
Using the scheme, Robert Staras, 38, - who previously owned a house in south London - has purchased a brand new three-bedroom house at Barratt Homes’ The Orchards development in the village of Allington, near Maidstone, Kent.
Help to Buy allows buyers to borrow up to 20% of the value of a new build property without having to pay interest for the first five years. It is open to both first time buyers and existing homeowners.
Robert said: “I found the whole process really easy and straightforward. I had no problems using Help to Buy and it was vital in ensuring I could get the home I wanted.”
Comprising 98 two to five-bedroom family homes, The Orchards combines traditional Kentish-style village exteriors with modern, contemporary and spacious interiors. Smart features include high levels of insulation, energy efficient boilers, low energy lighting, solar access and even bat and bird boxes in the garden, designed to ensure that each home is ecologically, environmentally and economically friendly.
Robert continues: “I looked around a lot of developments in this area and the Orchards had a nice feel to it, it felt right for me. I have everything I need nearby and I’m really happy here so far. One of my daughters has already come to stay and she loves it. There’s a lot of space and a nice garden.
“I used to live under the flight path at City Airport and the pace of life is slower out here I can tell you! It’s been a bit of an adjustment but it feels good. It’s a nicer way of living.”
Robert works as a service manager at a lift company which is based in Romford, Essex. He says that the easy access to the motorway from his new home has actually made his commute shorter than it was from London.
The Orchards is within easy reach of the M20 and M25, putting Gatwick Airport, Dover Ferry Wharf and Ashford International station all under an hour away. Four train stations can be found within a four and half mile radius, including Maidstone Barracks, Maidstone East, Maidstone West and Barming, providing several different options for commuters.
Natalie Perry, Director of Sales & Marketing at Barratt Kent, comments: “I’m delighted that Robert is enjoying his new property at The Orchards. With its light, airy, modern homes surrounded by wildlife and nature reserves, it’s a perfect spot for all families - whether they are setting up for the first time or looking for something different. With Help to Buy available to both new and existing homeowners, you could be unlocking one of these dream properties sooner than you think.”
One four-bedroom home remains for sale at The Orchards priced at £492,995. To find out more about the last remaining properties, visit www.barratthomes.co.uk or call 0844 854 9935.
*Help to Buy scheme’s impact across England revealed, BBC News, February 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-38330552