As figures show that the average single first time buyer will need to save for 14 years to purchase a home in the southeast, one Kent resident knew that she needed to get smart with her savings to be able to get onto the property ladder. Lauren Cooper (31) knew that she wanted to own her own home, and decided to move back in with her parents for a year to save for a deposit. Using Help to Buy, Lauren was able to purchase a two-bedroom semi-detached house at Barratt Homes’ Aylesham Village development in Aylesham, just outside of Canterbury, Kent.
Lauren was renting a two-bedroom flat in Herne Bay, Kent, with a friend, but was looking for a way out of the rental cycle. After exploring her options, and recognising the benefits of Help to Buy, she knew that this was her route to homeownership. A temporary move back home was enough to boost Lauren’s deposit fund, enabling her to purchase her first home over the summer.
Lauren, a primary school teacher, comments: “I have always lived in the Canterbury area, but the city itself is too expensive, so I had to keep an open mind when searching for a location to buy. I found out about Aylesham from my dad, as his grandparents used to live there, so there was a familial connection. It sounds cliché, but as soon as I visited Aylesham Village, it just felt right.
“I didn’t think I would ever be able to purchase a home by myself, as I thought it would be completely out of my budget. Yet when I actually looked into the affordability of buying a home and using Help to Buy, I realised that it was achievable. The whole process of using the scheme has been really easy too, and I feel a real sense of achievement that I have been able to get onto the property ladder.”
Launched in 2013, Help to Buy is the government’s equity loan scheme, through which the government lends buyers up to 20% of the cost of their new home. From April 2021 until 2023, the scheme will be open to first time buyers only. There will also be caps placed on the value of properties which can be purchased using the scheme, with prices at a maximum of 1.5 times the current forecasted average first time buyer values within each region, with a maximum of £600,000 set in London.
Natalie Perry, Sales & Marketing Director for Barratt Homes Kent, comments: “Often, first time buyers think that they will be unable to purchase a home on their own, yet in reality this isn’t necessarily true. By taking advantage of schemes such as Help to Buy, single first time buyers will find that they can afford to become a homeowner. It is great that Lauren has been able to achieve her goal of homeownership, and we encourage buyers in a similar position to chat with one of our Sales Advisors to explore their options.”
Lauren has settled into life at Aylesham Village and is enjoying being surrounded by the countryside while still being within easy reach of Canterbury. Alongside benefitting from the best of both worlds, Lauren has taken the time to get to know her neighbours and become a part of the expanding community at the development.
Lauren continues: “All of my neighbours are really friendly, and there is a real sense of community throughout the development. I have had a really positive homebuying experience and received help from Barratt Homes every step of the way. I even got my keys a week earlier, which was an added bonus!”
Aylesham is set in Kent, just eight miles outside of Canterbury, and offers a range of small shops, café, post office, leisure centre, health centre and supermarket. There are also several churches, a community library and two good primary schools. Canterbury is just a short drive away, with a historical culture, and a range of restaurants, cafés, bars and shops. For those looking to enjoy the outdoors, a free Kent Wildlife Trust family membership is offered to all purchasers at Aylesham Village.
Aylesham is well connected by both rail and road. Regular train services offer connections to Canterbury in 12 minutes while London St Pancras can be reached in 1 hour 38 minutes. The A2 and M2 are within easy reach via the B2046, offering access to key locations such as the Folkestone Eurotunnel.
The next phase of new homes will be launching at Aylesham Village later this year. To find out more or to register your details visit www.barratthomes.co.uk or call 0333 355 8502.