homefocus BARKER LINDA LOOKING TO BUY YOUR OWN HOME? Interior Designer WIN WIN TELECOMMUNICATING ALARM FROM YALE Shared Ownership and Help to Buy

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1 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015 Interior Designer LINDA BARKER gives her views on design, buying a first home and affordable housing We wouldn t have been able to afford our property without Help to Buy says Natalie and David LOOKING TO BUY YOUR OWN HOME? Shared Ownership and Help to Buy MADE MORE AFFORDABLE WIN WIN TELECOMMUNICATING ALARM FROM YALE ATTRACTIVE, ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE HOMES

2 DO YOU WANT TO PAY LESS FOR YOUR ENERGY With energy bills on the rise, call us free on or visit today to find the best price for your gas and electricity. It s free, fast and simple to switch and we ll take care of all the paperwork. Don t miss out... Get the next 6 issues of homefocus delivered through your door Published every other month to keep you up to date with the latest opportunities in shared and affordable home ownership Just for the next 6 issues n The latest affordable developments in your region n Who to ask and where to find an affordable home n Advice on legal and mortgage matters from specialists n Information about shared ownership, New Build HomeBuy, FirstBuy, and all low cost home ownership schemes PLUS MUCH, MUCH MORE; celebrity interviews, competitions and reader offers, jargon busters and homestyle articles To be sure of receiving the next 6 issues of homefocus, fill in the form and send your cheque* for to: Graid Publications Ltd, Kent House, Romney Place, Maidstone, ME15 6LH *Please ensure that your cheque is made payable to Graid Publications Call us on for our bank details and you can pay online 2 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015 Name Address Postcode Phone number address Signature Date Payment options: n I d like to receive the next 6 copies of homefocus and my cheque is enclosed n I d like to receive the next 6 issues of homefocus and would like to pay electronically. Please call me or as above for me to make an electronic payment. Remember you can call us on or for the info you need.

3 Publisher scomment homefocus ISSN No ADVISORY PANEL Maddie Cross LONDON BOROUGH OF BEXLEY Dave Evans BE CREATIVE LONDON Tony Harker GENESIS HOMES Dave Lakin GRAND UNION HOUSING GROUP Yvette Ruggins SOUTH PARK ASSOCIATES Isabel Saville CONCORDIA HOUSING CONSULTANCY Simon Scott ORIGIN HOUSING Sharon Shaw MARTIN SHAW CONSULTING Richard Stone CENSEO LTD Andrew Theoff DIRECTION LAW Helen Towner HOMES AND COMMUNITIES AGENCY Greg Warner-Harris SPECTRUM HOUSING GROUP Chris Winfield LONDON BOROUGH OF BRENT EDITOR Alex Randell SUBSCRIPTIONS & GENERAL ENQUIRIES Julie Baugh Tel: PUBLISHER Jeffrey Gritzman Tel: PUBLISHED BY Graid Publications, Kent House, Romney Place Maidstone, Kent ME15 6LH Tel: DESIGN & PRODUCTION John Eldridge Design Associates DON T WAIT FOR THE HOUSING CRISIS TO BE SOLVED! By the time you read this you ll know who has won the Election. Or at least who is forming a Coalition. And what s for sure, is that whoever they are, they will have a policy on affordable homes. Housing has been an important issue right through the build up to the election, with promises of hundreds of thousands of new homes to be built. All of the main parties have acknowledged that everyone needs a home that is right for them, at a price they can afford. And all of them have a stated aim to end the housing crisis within a generation. Within a generation? That s great for your children but what about you? The fact is, whether we think we can afford it or not, most of us want to own our own home. And we want it before we re too old to enjoy it. Website: It s quite right to vote for your future, for the sort of country you want to live in and how you feel society should be. But it s crucial to take action on how you want to live your life and where you want to live it, right now. This issue of homefocus will help you work out your finances, think about what kind of property your income could buy you, how much you ll need to save to get you there and if the shared ownership or Help to Buy programmes could make the difference between you getting onto the home ownership ladder soon or waiting for those thousands of promised homes to be built. Happy home hunting Jeffrey Gritzman Publisher Supports the aims of homefocus homefocus MAY/JUNE

4 Contents MAY/JUNE 2015 From house hunting to house warming 17 Buying Guide 14 6 Destination home ownership Sat nav your way to an affordable home 8 We ll get you there A route map of the affordable schemes 10 The family way New baby, new home 40 Pre-owned and creating more choice Who says it has to be new-build? 42 Ahead of the pack Can you find the next great place to be? You ll get a head start on property prices. 48 Finding your place on the ladder Low cost home ownership brings buying opportunities to different all kinds of people Hot properties 12 Midlands A selection of affordable homes in the midlands region of the country as defined by the Homes & Communities Agency 16 London And some in the capital 20 South Affordable properties in the south 24 East & South East And some from east & south east region 28 South West Finally, find affordable homes in the south west corner of the country Just for you 3 Publisher s comment Don t wait for the housing crisis to be solved! Celebrity Status In Conversation with interior designer and TV presenter Linda Barker who says it doesn t matter if it s large or small, home is where we should feel loved Where next? Homefinder Directories Or search affordable homes at 54 Introduction 55 Shows and Events 56 Property Listings 59 South West 60 East and South East 62 London 64 Midlands 65 South 66 Legal Directory 4 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015

5 homefocus Lifestyle 36 Totally tropical Feel as if you re always on holiday by decorating your home with a tropical feel 44 Perfect picnics As picnic season approaches, we ve taken a look at some of the latest al fresco accessories 18 Great Advice 32 Never mind the b****cks Shattering a few myths and misconceptions about shared ownership 38 Moving Checklist Who to tell you re on your way 46 Money, Money, Money Get yourself ready to get the best possible mortgage 50 What will my money buy? Some examples of what sort of property your income will get you under shared ownership and the Help to Buy schemes. WIN Competition 52 Competition Win a Yale Easy Fit telecommunication alarm worth Contact us... PHONE: MAIL: homefocus magazine, Kent House, Romney Place, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6LH homefocus MAY/JUNE

6 DESTINATION HOME OWNERSHIP Sat nav to a more affordable way to buy Heading in the direction of home ownership? Need to find the right place in the right price range and steer through the minefield of deposits and mortgages? Have you already taken a turn down one road and found out it s a dead end? Have house prices gone up, so after saving for ages, you still can t afford to buy? It drives you round in circles doesn t it? So maybe you need a bit of guidance? You know where you want to end up...in a place of your own. One you can love and decorate how you choose. And if prices continue to rise, one that you can build some equity in, along with a real stake in your future. So now we ve established where you want to go, let s help you plan the route to get there. The highway... There are schemes to get you on the road to home ownership far quicker than you might have thought possible. These schemes are far from expensive and may end up costing you less than renting privately. Sometimes a lot less. The schemes are collectively called Affordable or Low Cost Home Ownership (LCHO) and buying through one of them could be just what you need to get out of the cul-de-sac you ve found yourself in and into your own home. And remember, it s called affordable home ownership for good reason; it s not cheap or smaller, but it s made affordable. It s programmed to allow you to live your life and leave enough over to take a little detour every now and again! If home ownership is your destination, then take a look at some of the new-build LCHO homes we ve found for you on our regional property pages from page 12 onwards. You ll see we ve given them estimated monthly costs so you can check them against what you re paying now, or what you might have to pay to rent a similar property. It s good to have an idea of what you could be spending each month, to buy a home of your own. And just look at the figures on page 11. They compare buying and renting homes in different parts of the country. You may be pleasantly surprised at how often buying is the more cost efficient option. Starting point The key to finding a home through LCHO is your Help to Buy Agent. These are organisations appointed by the government to promote and co-ordinate LCHO in a particular area, and there s a list of who they are and what areas they cover on page 54. Things work a little differently in London, but wherever you are, Help to Buy Agents will give you directions to get you going towards your own home. The right direction... The majority of LCHO schemes are backed by the government, so you can be sure that the help you receive will be there for the long run. And unlike renting privately, where your landlord could decide not to renew your tenancy, leaving you needing to start your journey all over again, LCHO means that 6 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015

7 Buyer sguide your home will always be there for you, just as long as you pay your bills. So you and your family can start your journey to becoming part of the community. Next journey... Once you ve found your own place through LCHO, it s flexible enough to change with you when your circumstances alter. You can buy more of your home until you own it outright this is called staircasing. If you have a shared ownership home, in most cases you can staircase until you own 100%. For equity loan schemes, you can pay off some or all of the equity loan. And when you come to sell, your Local Help to Buy Agent will have a ready-made list of people who are hoping to buy through LCHO in your area. People who are in the same position you re in now - keen to become home owners for the first time. Two routes to home ownership There are two main types of LCHO shared ownership and equity loans. Both will get you to a place of your own and the one you choose depends on your particular circumstances. There s no guarantee that both options will be available to you, although there are developments where both shared ownership and equity loans are available. There are more details of the schemes on the next two pages, but essentially they are: Shared ownership Also known as part buy/part rent. This works by allowing you to buy a share of your home and pay a subsidised, less than market rent on the remainder, which is owned by a housing association. You ll be expected to buy the largest share you can afford - but don t worry, the key word here is afford, so you ll be able to discuss what share is right for you. Equity loans You own 100% of your property, but initially, you ll only have to cover a percentage of the cost with your mortgage and deposit. You can defer the rest for a while as it s covered by the equity loan. You won t have to pay anything on that equity loan for a few years, and the scheme you choose will dictate whether you pay any interest on this loan, and when you have to pay it back. Is this the route for you? You may have already heard of LCHO but thought it s just for people with specific jobs or it s social housing by a different name. Well, you couldn t be more wrong! It s home ownership, and you ll take on all the responsibilities, and have all the benefits, that go with it. LCHO is designed for a whole range of people who ve been otherwise priced out of the market. If you re a first time buyer, or buying on your own for the first time and your household income is less than 60,000, ( 66,000 if you re looking for one or two bedrooms in London and 80,000 for three bedrooms or more) chances are you re eligible for LCHO. For Help to Buy, the criteria is even wider. You COULD be eligible for the schemes if You re a first time buyer You ve owned a home in the past but don t own one now You need to buy a home of your own for the first time, for example after a relationship breakdown You own your own home but it s far too small for your needs for example you have two children in a one-bedroom flat and you can t afford to buy somewhere bigger You can t otherwise afford to buy a suitable home in the area you need to live in You re working even though it s not full time (you ll have to show that you earn enough to cover your housing and living costs though. And you might be able to count long-term benefits towards your income) You ve got a large chunk of money to put down (for example if you have equity from a previous home after a relationship split and use that towards buying your share outright. Again, you ll have to show you have enough coming in to cover your housing and living costs). You re NOT eligible for shared ownership if... You already own a home that you re living in and it s adequate for your needs You can already afford to buy a suitable home of your own in your area You re NOT eligible for any affordable home ownership scheme if... You want to buy a property to rent out. LCHO funding is there to help people to buy a home, not to become a landlord You already own a home and now want to help your adult child or children to get on the ladder. You can help them with their deposit BUT it s your children who would have to apply and be eligible. CCJ s or a bad credit rating make it unlikely that you can pass financial assessments Sounds good? Check out the next two pages and see if one of the LCHO schemes is right for you. You ll find examples of people that did find their way to home ownership throughout the magazine. homefocus MAY/JUNE

8 WE LL GET YOU There s more than one route to becoming a homeowner... This page gives you an at-aglance reference to all the schemes on offer, so if you find a home you like, you can check out the key points of the scheme... Scheme type Shared ownership Help to Scheme name New Build Resales Help to Buy Equity Loan DESTINATION You buy the share of your home you can afford (between 25% and 75%) and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder. You can buy more shares over time until in most cases you own 100% of your home. You may see shared ownership referred to as part buy/part rent. These are properties that have already been bought through shared ownership in the past, and where the owners are now looking to sell their share and move on. You buy the share they are selling and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder. You might see resales referred to as existing shared ownership. Available on newly built properties up to a value of 600,000. You buy 100% of your home but only have to pay for 80% initially. The rest is covered by an equity loan from the government. There s nothing to pay on the equity loan for the first five years, after which there s a small interest charge. FREEFLOWING TRAFFIC Ideal if you live in an area where prices are high as you only need to buy the percentage you can afford (just as long as it s over 25%). This means you need a smaller mortgage. It s also perfect if you don t have much in the way of savings as you only need to find the deposit for the share you re buying. Not limited to recently-built homes so properties are likely to be in established communities and you may have a wider choice of styles. There could be more flexibility with regards to who is eligible. Great if you can almost afford your home but don t have a thumping great deposit to start you off. You only have to find a 5% deposit. Not restricted to first time buyers, and doesn t have the same income restrictions as shared ownership, so you can use the scheme to move to a larger home or one in a more expensive area. TRAFFIC ALERT As with the most of the schemes on these pages, the properties are all new-builds, which might not be to your taste. If you re looking for period features, though, you might find a shared ownership home that s a conversion of an older building. You re unlikely to be able to buy a smaller share than the previous owners are selling, though it may be possible to buy more. And you re buying someone else s taste in décor though it s fun to change it! You still have to be able to afford 80% of your home with your mortgage and deposit, so if you live in a very expensive area house prices could still be out of reach. BUY FROM JUST 25% WITH A SMALL DEPOSIT WIDE CHOICE NOT JUST FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS WANT MORE INFORMATION? Call homefocus on or 8 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015

9 Buyer sguide THERE... Finding the right LCHO scheme can be a bit daunting, so focus on this question... What percentage of the home you need do you think you could buy with your deposit and mortgage? Between 25% and 75% Shared ownership could be right for you Around 70% or more Consider Help to Buy or an equity loan 100%, but I can only afford a 5% deposit Check out the mortgage guarantee schemes I haven t got enough for a deposit yet Time to start saving! Or take a look around for a try before you buy option Buy offers Try before you buy Discount offers Mortgage Guarantee Rent to Buy Discounted Market Sale Intermediate Market Rent Designed to make 95% mortgages available to a wide range of people. More importantly it means that you only need to raise a 5% deposit. These mortgages will be available on new and older properties costing up to 600,000. This is available on selected new developments and gives you the opportunity to rent the home you wish to buy at a reduced rate, on the understanding that you ll buy it through shared ownership within a specific time. In London there s a similar scheme called Rent to Save, ideal if you want to buy a home in the city. Allows you to buy a new build property at a discount against market value. For example, the purchase price may be 50% of current market value (the precise discount changes property to property), but when you sell, the same discount is applied to the current market value. So the discount percentage is carried forward forever. Offers you the chance to rent a brandnew or refurbished home or a home that is being re-let for a reduced rent. The rent charged is usually around 80% of the rent that you would expect to pay if you were renting from a private landlord It s perfect if you can afford a mortgage for 95% of your home, but don t have a large deposit. And as it s available on existing properties as well as new ones, you can still benefit even if you want to live in an older home or somewhere that s seen no new homes for a while. Perfect if you can demonstrate that you could afford to buy 25% of your home, but are not in a position to do so straight away for example you earn enough for a mortgage but don t have a deposit saved. It gives you a chance to put down roots and move into your new home sooner. Ideal in really high value areas such as central London. Particularly helpful if you can t afford to buy on the open market or aren t keen on paying rent. Great if you re looking to rent for the short term whilst building a deposit to buy your first home. You still have to be able to get a mortgage for 95% of your home, so might not be right for you if you want to live in an expensive area. There are very few Rent to Buy properties available, and no more are planned outside London. You have to be disciplined to use the discount on your rent to save for your deposit. Only available on a small number of new-build properties. The scheme is still in its infancy and the number of lenders and the choice of mortgage products is limited. This is a shorthold tenancy agreement only, initially covering just 6 months, after which the agreement can be extended. FOR HIGHER WAGE EARNERS SAVE TO BUY THE NEW HOME YOU RE LIVING IN OPENS UP PRICE RESTRICTED AREAS TYPICALLY 20% LESS THAN MARKET RENT homefocus MAY/JUNE

10 THE FAMILY here are some events which are guaranteed to change your T life. The main one, of course, is starting a family. And one of the things that having a baby tends to change is where you live, and just as importantly, what you THINK about where you live. Whether you ve got another little person to be responsible for already, one on the way, or are just planning for the future, a lot of the things that were ok for now are suddenly NOT ok any more. Are you sharing with friends? Well with a baby you really need your own space. Living with family? Privacy can be an issue. Renting a tiny flat on your own? Well, for their size, babies take up a LOT of space! A family means putting down roots and finding somewhere that has a feel of permanence about it. Baby options So, what do you do? Well buying your own place might be out of reach. Not only do you need a large deposit but then there are the mortgage repayments just when starting a family can mean going down to one salary. You could continue to rent. But if you re already renting privately, you know that it takes up a big chunk of your income. Sometimes, so much that it s virtually impossible to save any money for a deposit to buy a home. Renting somewhere with another bedroom is going to be even more expensive, and at just the time when you ve got all those new baby expenses to deal with. Stay where you are? Not really an option for many people. Whilst a tiny baby doesn t need a room of his or her own to WAY NEW BABY, NEW HOME... begin with, the amount of stuff they accumulate does, and eventually your little person needs their own space to spread out and play, and you need your bedroom back. Out of options? Then it s time to find out about low cost home ownership (LCHO). You could buy a share in your home through shared ownership, and pay a reduced rent on the share you don t own. Or if you re almost there in terms of the mortgage but haven t got a huge deposit saved, you could look at the Help to Buy equity loan deal. Baby size deposits! The real bonus with LCHO is in the amount of deposit you ll need. With shared ownership you only have to find a 5% deposit for the share you re buying, not for the whole value of the home. For Help to Buy, just a 5% deposit is enough. And for Help to Buy, you don t even have to be a first time buyer! If you re already a homeowner but need an extra bedroom for the new baby, you can sell the place you re in and find somewhere bigger, and right now, only pay for 80% of the cost which could mean more home for the same money! Whichever way you go, buying a home through LCHO is likely to mean paying out less - sometimes MUCH less - per month than renting privately. And it s definitely less than buying in the traditional way. Take a look at the figures on the next page and see how much you could be saving. Maybe you WILL be able to bring the baby back to his or her own nursery, after all. 10 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015

11 SmartBuyer Check the figures in your area We ve done a bit of checking around, and compared the price to rent a typical twobedroom property with the cost of buying outright with a 95% mortgage, buying different shares through shared ownership, and buying through the 80% Help to Buy equity loan scheme. So do the sums and see if shared ownership or Help to Buy will give you the extra bedroom you need! Bristol City Centre 309,100 we pay out around 1800 a month. If you consider a twobedroom flat in this area rents for around 1600 a month this seems pretty good value. Architect Wilson Yu and his partner, Yen Leung were renting a flat in the Surrey Quays area of London. Wilson had sold a property and was going to buy another one when the market surged and he found it impossible to get a mortgage with his bank. The search for a property became more urgent as Yen was pregnant. Wilson decided that the only way he was going to afford anything in the area was through shared ownership and his search led him to Metropolitan s Roseberry Street development, a rare opportunity to buy larger, family sized home on a shared ownership basis. I was sent an advert by Metropolitan and had a telephone interview to check that I was suitable financially and arranged a viewing. There was only a show home available as they were still building at the time and the sales staff advised me to go for a three-bedroom house. We decided that it was ideal for us and put down a deposit and arranged for an in-depth financial interview. The house is terraced with a garden and a front parking area. There are three bedrooms with a family bathroom, an en-suite and a downstairs toilet and although there is plenty of space, it mainly seems to be taken up with baby clutter at the moment! Affordability-wise, shared ownership compared favourably to local alternatives, with three-bedroom properties typically renting for over 2000 per month and the cost of buying an average new build, almost 3400 per month in Southwark. Wilson s three-bedroom home was valued at 550,000 and he bought a 40% share. He says, This means with rent, service charge, and mortgage payments we pay out around 1800 a month. If you consider a two-bedroom flat in this area rents for around 1600 a month this seems pretty good value. Deposit Mortgage Mortgage pcm Rent pcm Shared Ownership 25% share 3,864 73, Shared Ownership 50% share 7, , ,194 Help to Buy 80% equity loan) 15, ,825 1, ,355 Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee 15, ,645 1, ,717 Renting Privately ,221 1,221 Lewisham 388,000 Deposit Mortgage Mortgage pcm Rent pcm 25% share 4,850 92, ,206 50% share 9, ,300 1, ,522 Total monthly costs Total monthly costs 80% Help to Buy equity loan 19, ,500 1, ,701* 100% buy 19, ,600 2, ,155 Private rent ,465 1,465 Cambridge 383,500 Deposit Mortgage Mortgage pcm Rent pcm 25% share 4,794 91, ,191 50% share 9, ,162 1, ,504 Total monthly costs 80% Help to Buy equity loan 19, ,625 1, ,681* 100% buy 19, ,325 2, ,130 Private rent Coventry 113,200 Deposit Mortgage Mortgage pcm Rent pcm 25% share 1,415 26, % share 2,830 53, % Help to Buy equity loan 5,660 84, * 100% buy 5, , Private rent Basingstoke 179,000 Deposit Mortgage Mortgage pcm Rent pcm 25% share 2,238 42, % share 4,475 85, % equity loan (Help to Buy) , * 100% buy 8, , Private rent Total monthly costs Total monthly costs The small print We ve used an average repayment mortgage over 25 years at 5% to get our figures. Deposit amounts are 5% which reflects what is available in the market at the moment. Please note that Help to Buy Guarantee Mortgages are NOT available in conjunction with LCHO schemes. But we have used 5% deposits for 100% purchases assuming that the mortgage will be attained using a Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee. Rent for shared ownership is based on 2.75% of the share you don t own, per year (we then divide this by 12 to get a monthly rate). Private rents and property prices are based on averages in the area, taken from popular property websites not specific properties. * Please note that with a Help to Buy equity loan, you will be paying back some interest from year 6 onwards. homefocus MAY/JUNE

12 Midlands Starting to think that you can buy your own home? Could buying in the midlands be more cost effective than renting or commuting? Then take a look at this selection of low cost home ownership (LCHO) homes. There are more listed on pages 58 and helpful contacts on our Midlands homefinder, on page 64. Or visit WESTON HEIGHTS Weston Coyney from 135,200 for 80% Compendium Living has launched a fourth phase at their Weston Heights development in Weston Coyney. The properties have been built by Lovell and Help to Buy is available on all of the 79 new homes in this final phase. Located between the peace of the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands and the bustle of Stoke and the Potteries, Weston Heights offers a variety of three and fourbedroom properties, each of which has been carefully designed and built to the highest standards. Among the new show homes (and illustrated) is an unusual Tower house style, a three-storey home which offers spacious, well designed living accommodation including kitchen/dining room and generous living room with French doors to the garden on the ground-floor. On the first floor are two bedrooms, including the master bedroom with en-suite, while on the second floor is a third bedroom, a fourth bedroom or study and a separate shower. There are other two popular show homes to view at the development, Kenwood and Leeswood, both three-bedroom properties which would both make perfect family homes, offering flexible living accommodation and providing the advantage of a garage. Four bedroom homes at Weston-Heights start at 189,950 ( 151,960 with Help to Buy) and three-bedroom homes at 169,000. Three-bedroom house: Full value: 169,000 Minimum equity: 80% Cost of equity: 135,200 5% deposit: 8,450 Mortgage on 80% equity*: 741 Total costs: 741 Want to know more? Want to know more? Then with the name of the development that interests you in the subject line and don t forget to include your contact details. Or you can visit * Approximate figures only, assuming a 25 year mortgage at 5%. **Assumes rent is charged at 2.75% of the share you don t own, per year.; *** Help to Buy property, interest on the equity loan starts in year 6. Please note: monthly outgoings do not include service charges 12 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015

13 Midlands Properties THE LEYS Wellingborough from 39,750 for 30% Metropolitan is offering attractive two and threebedroom family houses in Wellingborough, available through shared ownership. All of the light and airy homes feature fitted kitchens, incorporating integrated Bosch and Smeg appliances and oak worktops. The fully fitted bathroom has a heated towel rail and each home comes with a downstairs w.c, carpet and tiles throughout. The living/diner leads into a rear garden and outside, is allocated parking (two spaces for the three-bedroom homes). Two-bedroom apartment: Full value: 132,500 Minimum share: 30% Cost of share: 39,750 5% deposit: 1,898 Mortgage on share*: 221 Rent on remaining share**: 213 Total costs: 434 Interested? with The Leys in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit GOODWIN PARK Kidderminster from 119,960 for 80% Barratt Homes new development on Stoney Lane, Kidderminster features a range of three-bedroom homes available with Help to Buy. Ilustrated is the The Barwick style semi-detached family home. The ground floor comprises a lounge and dining area, with French doors leading to the rear garden, a fully fitted kitchen with family breakfast area, plenty of storage space and a useful cloakroom. Upstairs is a master bedroom with en suite, two further bedrooms and a family bathroom. Three-bedroom house: Full value: 149,950 Minimum equity: 80% Cost of equity 119,960 5% deposit: 7,498 Mortgage on 80% equity*: 657 Total costs: 657*** Interested? with Goodwin Park in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit UPLAND MILLS Biddulph from 61,650 for 50% Staffordshire Housing Group is offering shared ownership at Uplands Mill, a range of high quality two-bedroom homes at Biddulph. Each home has a family-sized kitchen, living room with dining area, two bedrooms and a family bathroom. All homes have off-road parking, upvc double glazing and gas central heating. There are four first schools within a mile of Uplands Mill, two middle schools for pupils aged nine to thirteen and Biddulph High School takes thirteen to eighteen year. Get on or move up the property ladder with Help to Buy Midlands opt 2 Two-bedroom house: Full value: 123,300 Minimum share: 50% Cost of share: 61,650 5% deposit: 3,083 Mortgage on share*: 360 Rent on remaining share**: 141 Total costs: 501 Interested? with Upland Mill in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit * Approximate figures only, assuming a 25 year mortgage at 5%. **Assumes rent is charged at 2.75% of the share you don t own, per year.; *** Help to Buy property, interest on the equity loan starts in year 6. Please note: monthly outgoings do not include service charges homefocus MAY/JUNE

14 Nathan Townsend & Jennifer Farmery Previous situation: Living with Parents Scheme: Location: Provider: Help to Buy Sileby, Leicesershire Jelson Homes Help to Buy Agent: Civil servant Nathan Townsend and Jennifer Farmery, a product manager, from Loughborough met through family friends, three years ago, and lived with parents until they felt the time was right to buy their first home. We thought it was the next step in our relationship and that it would be nice to have a place together, but with rent so high in their area, the couple decided that investing in a home that they could call their own, was the way to go. We asked many questions about the scheme and did a lot of research to make sure we understood everything But it s not just rents that are expensive in their part of the world. After looking around at old and new homes, Jennifer and Nathan, couldn t find anything they liked in their price range, and then they heard about the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme! At first, they were little sceptical and asked friends, who had purchased through Help to Buy, to explain how it worked. We asked our friends so many questions about the scheme and did a lot of research ourselves to make sure we understood everything After talking with a financial advisor, Nathan and Jennifer felt they were ready to buy their first home, a brand new threebedroom property on the Jelson Homes development in the popular village of Sileby in rural Leicestershire. Now with a house of their own, Nathan and Jennifer are enjoying the benefits of home ownership. We love the peace we re getting. In fact, we ve not invited many people over yet just because it s so quiet! Will this story inspire you to become a homeowner? See the list of low cost home ownership (LCHO) properties on pages Or go to Or 14 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015

15 Midlands Properties ELLIOTT SIDE Selly Oak from 61,250 for 35% Singles, couples and small families can find affordable homes at Selly Oak, where Midland Heart has a few two-bedroom homes available under the shared ownership programme, at Elliott Side. Each home offers spacious rooms, parking and all the extras such as carpets, oven, hob, washer/dryer and fridge/freezer come as standard. Elliott Side has a variety of amenities with local supermarkets, pubs and restaurants and is only a stone s throw from Birmingham City Centre. It is also close to major public transport links with easy access to London, Coventry and Leicester. Two-bedroom house: Full value: 175,000 Minimum share: 35% Cost of share: 61,250 5% deposit: 3,063 Mortgage on share*: 357 Rent on remaining share**: 261 Total costs: 618 HARVILLS GRANGE West Bromwich prices TBC for 80% Lovell is launching new two, three and four-bedroom homes at Harvills Grange offering homes for first-time buyers, couples, families and downsizers. Each home has been designed to provide inspiring, contemporary living spaces. The high quality finish and spacious interiors will be evidenced at two styles of showhome, the Scotswood and Ringwood house types. The Scotswood s ground-floor layout features a living room with bay window, kitchen/dining room with French doors to the garden, hall and cloakroom whilst The Ringwood s ground-floor accommodation comprises a spacious living/dining room, with French doors to the garden, the kitchen, hall and cloakroom. Both property types benefit from a garage. Interested? with Elliott Side in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit Interested? with Harvills Grange in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit * Approximate figures only, assuming a 25 year mortgage at 5%. **Assumes rent is charged at 2.75% of the share you don t own, per year.; *** Help to Buy property, interest on the equity loan starts in year 6. Please note: monthly outgoings do not include service charges DO YOU WANT TO PAY LESS FOR YOUR ENERGY With energy bills on the rise, call us free on or visit today to find the best price for your gas and electricity. It s free, fast and simple to switch and we ll take care of all the paperwork. homefocus MAY/JUNE

16 London Starting to think that you can buy your own home? Could buying in the Capital be more cost effective than renting or commuting? Then take a look at this selection of low cost home ownership (LCHO) homes. There are more listed on pages 57 & 58 and helpful contacts on our London homefinder, pages 62 & 63. Or visit THE VILLAGE E17 Walthamstow, prices and shares tbc Walthamstow is a relatively modern area with the underground station, shopping parades and houses, many of which were built in the mid to latter half of the last century. The highly fashionable Walthamstow Village, E17, is a small area just east of the town centre with a cluster of three very old historic houses and a high concentration of period houses on narrow pathways, boutique shops and cafes. And within easy walking distance of both is Metropolitan s brand new development in Shernhall Street, designed as two low level blocks to fit in comfortably with their surroundings. The shared ownership block will cover three floors and provide 6 one-bedroom apartments, 10 two-bedroom and 5 three-bedroom apartments. Prices and shares are yet to be confirmed and the opportunity to live there will be offered first, to those people already living or working in Waltham Forest. A good bus service runs to the tube station at Walthamstow Central and the overground takes just over 15 minutes to Liverpool Street. With one, two and there-bedrooms available, The Village is suitable for singles, couple and families, so it s good to know that Shernhall Street is close to nurseries, primary and secondary schools and colleges. There s a health care centre just across the road from the development and whilst we hope you never need to use it, Whipps Cross Hospital in close by. The local road network offers reasonable easy access to the A12, A406 and M11. Want to know more? Then with the name of the development that interests you in the subject line and don t forget to include your contact details. Or you can visit * Approximate figures only, assuming a 25 year mortgage at 5.0%. **Assumes rent is charged at 2.75% of the share you don t own, per year.; *** Help to Buy property, interest on the equity loan starts in year 6. Please note: monthly outgoings do not include service charges 16 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015

17 London Properties FABLE APARTMENTS City Road Basin from 103,125 for 25% Fable Apartments, part of a 36 storey tower on City Rd EC1, will include 70 shared ownership apartments from Affinity Sutton. Part of the Basin Masterplan, this is the tallest residential tower in Islington - overlooking the Regent s Canal basin. When complete, there will be a total of 307 apartments arranged around a landscaped courtyard. Fable Apartments has been designed by world-renowned architects, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill who are known for their design of the world s tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, as well as One World Trade Center in New York and the NATO headquarters in Brussels. The nearest tube stations are Angel and Old Street. One-bedroom apartment: Full value: 412,500 Minimum share: 25% Cost of share: 103,125 5% deposit: 5,157 Mortgage on share*: 573 Rent on remaining share**: 662 Total costs: 1,235 Interested? with Fable Apartments in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit LIME WALK Wembley from 98,000 for 35% Lime Walk, a collection of one, two and three-bedroom apartments situated just around the corner from Wembley Stadium, and is available on a shared ownership basis from Network Living. Internally all apartments feature open-plan living spaces and a high specification, including white gloss or cashmere grey kitchen cabinets with integrated SMEG fridge/freezers and washer/dryers, while bathrooms feature Hansgrohe brassware. Transport links from Lime Walk offer excellent access into central London. One-bedroom apartment: Full value: 280,000 Minimum share: 35% Cost of share: 98,000 5% deposit: 4,900 Mortgage on share*: 572 Rent on remaining share**: 417 Total costs: 1,189 Interested? with Lime Walk in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit JESSOPS BUILDING New Providence Wharf from 93,688 for 25% Just minutes from Canary Wharf, Genesis is offering shared ownership on a collection of one and two-bedroom apartments at the prestigious Jessops Building, New Providence Wharf. Located moments from Blackwall DLR station, from where trains to Canary Wharf take just six minutes, the new homes in Poplar, E14 are perfect for commuters looking for a quick and simple journey to work. The new homes boast an excellent specification, with contemporary kitchens offering integrated Bosch appliances including dishwasher and washing machine, granite worktops and chrome finishes. Bedrooms are spacious, and all rooms enjoy full height windows for plenty of natural light. Some apartments include balconies. One-bedroom apartment: Full value: 374,750 Minimum share: 25% Cost of share: 93,688 5% deposit: 4,685 Mortgage on share*: 520 Rent on remaining share**: 644 Total costs: 1,164 Interested? with Jessops Building in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit * Approximate figures only, assuming a 25 year mortgage at 5%. **Assumes rent is charged at 2.75% of the share you don t own, per year.; *** Help to Buy property, interest on the equity loan starts in year 6. Please note: monthly outgoings do not include service charges homefocus MAY/JUNE

18 Clara Garfield Previous situation: Scheme: Location: Provider: Renting Shared ownership Greenwich L&Q Clara, 24, a trainee solicitor had been renting with a friend which cost her 850 a month, but she wanted to live on her own. So she started to look at rents on one-bedroom apartments and was taken aback. Clara says, Initially I wasn t looking to buy, but the rents on one bedroom flats were just extortionate. I remember seeing one place in fact and it was the size of a shoebox. There was a bed, a cooker and that was it - and I think it was about 1,000 a month. At that point I just thought; am I ever going to find anywhere to live? I wasn t looking to buy, but the rents on one bedroom flats were just extortionate. Looking online at government schemes eventually led Clara to L&Q s Greenwich Square development. Clara says I remember ringing my mum as soon as I found it and saying mum this is absolutely brilliant, how come I have not heard about shared ownership before?! For around 890 per month, Clara was able to buy a 25% share of a onebedroom apartment with balcony valued at 300,000. The 890 includes her mortgage repayment, rent to L&Q and service charges - it s only 40 more than she had been paying to flat share! Clara continues I think it s widely acknowledged nowadays that to get on the property market in London is extremely hard - especially for a young person like myself. Originally I had a 10 year plan for putting down a deposit on a house; I d worked out that I wouldn t be able to buy my own place until I was about 34 years old! It just feels like a dream when I say I m a home-owner, I don t quite believe it myself. Will this story inspire you to become a homeowner? See the list of low cost home ownership (LCHO) properties on pages Or go to Or you could call homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015

19 London Properties CHARTER COURT Pinner from 85,750 for 35% Metropolitan Home Ownership is offering 26 one and two-bedroom apartments at Charter Court in Bridge Street, Pinner. Each home is built to a high standard of specification, with fitted kitchens that include white goods, bathrooms that feature heated towel rails, and carpeting throughout the living areas. Charter House is at the heart of a lively café-culture with plenty to fill your leisure time. Pinner has a great selection of shops and boutiques, as well as green spaces, great transport links, a traditional village atmosphere and a real sense of community. One-bedroom apartment: Full value: 245,000 Minimum share: 35% Cost of share: 85,750 5% deposit: 4,288 Mortgage on share*: 476 Rent on remaining share**: 365 Total costs: 841 Interested? with Charter Court in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit VISION Grahame Park, Collindale from 188,000 for 80% A new phase of one, two and three-bedroom Help to Buy homes has been released by Genesis at Vision, part of the ongoing Grahame Park development in Collindale. The homes are finished to an exacting standard with sleek, modern kitchens featuring granite worktops. Stainless steel appliances, including oven and microwave, and integrated white goods, combine style with practicality. White bathrooms with chrome fittings are complemented by floor tiling and a heated towel rail. One-bedroom apartment: Full value: 235,000 Minimum equity: 80% Cost of equity: 188,000 5% deposit: 11,750 Mortgage on 80% equity*: 1,030 Total costs: 1,030 Interested? with Vision in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit GRAND UNION CENTRE Ladbroke Grove from 125,875 for 25% Affinity Sutton has just launched 22 shared ownership apartments at Grand Union Centre on Ladbroke Grove Road. The development comprises a selection of one and two-bedroom apartments with spacious living areas and generous terraces or balconies, surrounding a landscaped courtyard. This is a prime location that gives access to the tube network via Ladbroke Grove Underground Station - just a 10 minute walk away. The leisure and shopping facilities at Westfield (White City) are just 8 minutes away by bus. One-bedroom apartment: Full value: 503,500 Minimum share: 25% Cost of share: 125,875 5% deposit: 6,294 Mortgage on share*: 699 Rent on remaining share**: 865 Total costs: 1,564 Interested? with Grand Union in the subject. Remember to include your contact details. Or visit * Approximate figures only, assuming a 25 year mortgage at 5%. **Assumes rent is charged at 2.75% of the share you don t own, per year. *** Help to Buy property, interest on the equity loan starts in year 6. Please note: monthly outgoings do not include service charges homefocus MAY/JUNE

20 South Starting to think that you can buy your own home? Could buying in the South be more cost effective than renting or commuting? Then take a look at this selection of low cost home ownership (LCHO) homes. There are more listed on pages 58 & 59 and helpful contacts on our South homefinder, page 65. Or visit REDLANDS GRANGE Emsworth from 37,250 for 25% First Wessex has just one remaining onebedroom apartment at Redlands Grange in Emsworth. Available through shared ownership, this is a last chance to live at this new development from as little as 37,250. Sited between the idyllic fishing village of Emsworth and the picturesque village of Westbourne, Redlands Grange offers a peaceful environment with great transport links for commuters. Emsworth is linked by rail to London Victoria and London Waterloo and the nearby A3(M) and M27 provide easy access to Chichester, Portsmouth, Southampton and London. This apartment features an attractive open-plan living and kitchen space, and a well-planned kitchen with integrated stainless steel electric oven, gas hob and integrated Zanussi washer dryer. Also included is a white contemporary bathroom suite, complementary vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, and neutral carpets throughout. There is also an allocated parking space and visitors parking. Grange One-bedroom apartment: Full value: 149,000 Minimum share: 25% Cost of share: 37,250 5% deposit: 1,863 Mortgage on share*: 207 Rent on remaining share**: 256 Total costs: 463 Want to know more? Then with the name of the development that interests you in the subject line and don t forget to include your contact details. Or you can visit * Approximate figures only, assuming a 25 year mortgage at 5%. **Assumes rent is charged at 2.75% of the share you don t own, per year.; *** Help to Buy property, interest on the equity loan starts in year 6. Please note: monthly outgoings do not include service charges 20 homefocus MAY/JUNE 2015

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