DIY tips for the rental generation!

Generation Rent (as dubbed by Halifax) are the aspiring first-time buyers who – courtesy of high property prices and tough lending policies – are finding it hard to buy their first property. Exactly what HelptoBuy is trying to help with!

If you are leaving in a rented property and would like to put your own stamp on the space without upsetting your landlord, here is a useful online guide to give you some tips and recommendations.

Make a house your home

Infographic provided by North Leeds Rentals

Help to Buy in Reality: The Expanding Family With Negative Equity

An expanding family used the Help to Buy scheme to move up the property ladder just before their latest addition arrived. Travel agent Laura and trade account manager Daniel Higgins utilised the Government scheme to buy a new three-bedroom house at Bellway’s Kings Park development, Market Warsop, to give them extra space for their son Logan, 3, and new baby daughter daughter Ronnie Mae.

The Higgins Family
The Higgins Family

Laura said: “We had been looking at the Bellway homes since they first started building down here a few years ago. We kept coming and going, trying to decide whether we could afford to move and then Melanie, the sales advisor, told us about Help to Buy.”
As well as allowing the family to get extra space, Help to Buy assisted allowed them to cope with equity issues on their old home. Laura, currently on maternity leave, said: “Our old house was a good first home but we were ready to move, especially with the baby due to arrive and we wanted to make use of Help to Buy because we had lost some equity in our old house.
The figures
Cost of three-bedroom house = £124,995
5% Deposit = £6,250
20% Balance = £25,000 funded through a five year interest free equity loan through the Help to Buy scheme
Mortgage = £93,745.
King’s Park currently has three and four-bedroom homes on release, priced from £124,995 to £161,995.

Help to Buy in Reality: Large Family Home in Sussex for Large Family

A family of six have bought their first home in Sussex through Help to Buy. The Ritchie-Butler’s now own a four-bedroom house in Crawley Down, at Redrow’s Kings Acre development.
Thanks to the scheme, Airline Pilot Jamie, full-time mum Tamsyn and their four children have moved into a home of their own having rented in Horley for the past few years. The couple wanted some extra room for their twin girls Blossom and Daisy, four-year-old son Teddy and ten-year-old Charlie.

The Ritchie-Butler’s bought their home for £459,995, and were then able to capitalise on the Help to Buy initiative to help them secure a mortgage.

The figures

Cost of Home =£459,995
5% Deposit = £23,000
20% Balance = £92,000 – as a five year interest free equity loan through the Government Help to Buy Scheme.

Jamie and Tamsyn Ritchie-Butler with their twin girls Blossom and Daisy
Jamie and Tamsyn Ritchie-Butler with their twin girls Blossom and Daisy

For the Ritchie-Butlers, the scheme helped them keep their mortgage payments down. Jamie said: “If you asked a bank manager for an interest free loan for £92,000, you’d just get laughed out of the building. But with Help to Buy, the government is obviously covering a large part of the mortgage, so it means that your repayment rates come down and you can purchase a house with a much smaller deposit.

“I honestly cannot stress how important this scheme was to us – I’m not sure we’d have been able to buy this home without the initiative.”

Further four-bedroom homes at the Kings Acre development are still available priced from £459,995.

Help To Buy in Reality: The First Time Buyer

Sophie Beach, 25, bought her two-bedroom apartment at Fairview’s Vantage apartments in Elstree, in London last year. She moved from nearby Bushey Heath where she lived with her parents using Help to Buy to purchase a two-bedroom apartment.

sophie first time buyer First time buyer Sophie Beach

Sophie, who works in Rickmansworth as a product manager, said: “I don’t think it would have been possible for me to buy somewhere without Help to Buy. I would have struggled to save more than a five per cent deposit.”
All the homes on the development have now sold Fairview Sales Director Steven Allenby said: “The launch of Help to Buy  has introduced a new generation of buyers to the property market.”

Help to Buy in Reality: Large Family Home for Professional Couple

Scientists Kaivalya and Lovinia Kulkarni were buying a pre-owned three-bedroom house in Wolverhampton and had already started paying out fees when it was taken off the market. The couple then looked to a new build and bought a four-bedroom house at Bellway’s The Alders development in Gatis Street, Wolverhampton using Help to Buy.

Kulkarni- 007_4800x3200

The Kulkarni’s in their new home.

Kaivalya, an associate practitioner at Imperial College in London, and Lovina, a research scientist were able to buy a larger house than they otherwise would have been able to because Help to Buy was available. Kaivalya said: “Help to Buy means we’ve now bought a four-bedroom detached house rather than a three-bedroom house, which is what we were looking to buy before.

The figures
House price = £205,950.
Deposit = £10,298
Mortgage = £154,462.
Balance = £41,190. This is covered by a five year interest free equity loan backed by the Government under the help to buy scheme.

Three-bedroom homes start from £138,995 at The Alders and four bedrooms start at £205,950.


Help to Buy in Reality: New Home for New Baby

When Agnieszka and Mirek Piasecki, both 39, found out they were expecting their first baby, they agreed that it was the right time to move from their one-bedroom rented apartment and shared garden to a house with more space and privacy.

Agnieszka and Mirke Piasecki and their baby sondaughter in their new two...Agnieszka and Mirek Piaseck with their new baby


They wanted a new house, so they wouldn’t have to spend time on maintenance, and a separate bedroom for their new baby. After a search the couple bought a two bedroom home at Dee Park in Reading, with a private garden.
Agnieszka, a deputy manager at Austin Reed and Mirek, a builder, chose Dee Park for its location, design value, the fact that carpets, flooring and kitchen appliances were included and because all the homes can be bought under Help to Buy scheme. It meant that they paid 80 per cent of the price, made up of a 5 per cent deposit and 75 per cent mortgage.

The figures
• Cost of house = £179,999
• Deposit = £9,000
• 20% Balance = £36,000 – This is the sum covered by the government-backed equity loan which is interest free for the first five years.
• Mortgage = £134,999.

Agnieszka and Mirek mortgage payments = £645 a month

This mortgage is less than the couple were paying in rent and the savings have enabled Agnieszka to take a year’s maternity leave to look after their new baby girl.
All the homes at Dee Park, a joint venture between, Willmott Dixon, and Catalyst Housing in partnership with Reading Council, can be bought under Help to Buy and the scheme is available to first time buyers and those moving from an existing home.

Help to Buy in Reality: The Cuckoos Fly the Nest

Newlyweds, Georgina and James Witchalls-Bolton, were able to purchase a two-bedroom apartment at Dee Park, Reading, with just a five per cent deposit using the Help to Buy scheme.


The couple, both 24, did not think they would be able to move into a brand new apartment and were concerned about being able to pay rent on a property; they also needed someone in a suitable location for landscaper James to access his varied working locations.

The figures

Cost of Home                         = £159,995;

5% Deposit                             = £8,000 paid by Georgina and James

Mortgage                                 = £120,000

Balance                                   = £32,000 paid as interest free five year interest free equity loan from Government

For James and Georgina the Help to Buy scheme allowed them to move out of their parent’s home into their own place.  “Without Help to Buy, we’d have had to wait a very long time to be able to save a deposit, even though we are both in full-time work,” said Georgina, who works in customer service for a finance company. “The scheme allowed us to avoid paying sky-high rent”

The project is led by Dee Park Partnership, a joint venture between Willmott Dixon and Catalyst Housing, in partnership with Reading Borough Council.



Barclays the latest lender to offer Help to Buy Loans

As predicted on this blog, ( As the Standard reports – )

Barclays is the latest lender to join the Government’s Help to Buy lending scheme. With more choice now for customer,s and growing interest, there really isn’t a better time to take advantage of the scheme. A lot of people will be disapointed in years to come if they don’t act now especially with house prices on the increase and the spectre of rising interest rates in the not too distant future. Being able to afford a home and get on the ladder might be a case of who took up the equity loans before the Government ceased the scheme.

Much of the press about Help to Buy is negative, and it is easy to be so, but more needs to concentrate on the timing of this scheme. Help to Buy is not forever, take advantage while you can.