Blogs

Help to Buy hits high notes across the nation

Help to Buy hits high notes across the nation

In March 2013, the government launched its Help to Buy initiative to open the door to affordable home ownership for people right across the nation. 

Help to Buy is a scheme that is transforming the housing sector, as people priced out of the open market are being given the opportunity to pick up the keys to their very own home. 

The scheme offers buyers a five per cent deposit - half as much as the traditional 10% - meaning people stuck in the rental rat run are finally able to put enough money aside to get the ball rolling. 

Affordable home ownership: Take the Plunge

Affordable home ownership: Take the Plunge

The journey to home ownership is undoubtedly a daunting one, but compared to popular adrenaline thrills such as bungee jumping or sky-diving, it really is just a walk in the park. Homefocus writer Jeffrey Gritzman takes a look at how scary owning your own home really is.

Bungee jumping…now that takes courage

Young people are funny; it’s amazing how many of them have been back-packing which takes organisation and confidence, or horse riding which takes skill and courage, some have even been bungee jumping where you place your heart in your mouth and keep it there till the bouncing is over. Tell someone you’re thinking about a bungee jump and they’ll likely tell you that they, or a good friend of theirs has done it too. So no big deal then?

How to get your home guest-ready this christmas season

 christmas season

‘DECK YOUR HALLS’ WITH THESE BUDGET IMPROVEMENTS

Christmas is just around the corner.  You know what that means - soon you’ll be opening your doors to guests bearing gifts, food and drink. If there are bits of your home you’re not keen to show off, but you can’t splash out on pricey improvements, consider these affordable and easy overhauls to transform your living space and get your home guest-ready for Christmas.

 

Border tile

Japanese knotweed – what you need to know when looking for your new home:

Japanese knotweed

The words Japanese knotweed spark fear into property owners across the UK with stories about the cost of eradication, the damage it can do to buildings, driveways and gardens and the threat of being awarded an ASBO should you allow the invasive weed to grow onto your neighbours’ land. 

 

There is now thought to be an infestation of this invasive weed every few km in the UK but with particularly large pockets of difficult to treat growth in built up areas such as London, Cardiff and other major UK cities.

 

London – home to “Money Mutes” - People in the North far more likely to talk finance with friends

People in the North of England are far more comfortable talking about money with friends than their counterparts in the capital.

 

Yorkshire is the region with the lowest proportion of “Money Mutes” with 14% of people uncomfortable conversing about cash, followed by 16% of people in the North West and 17% in the North East.

 

The findings of the study by the free, online mortgage broker Habito, released to coincide with Financial Capability Week, show that Londoners are the least comfortable talking about money, with a quarter of people in the capital revealing that it’s their least favoured topic of conversation with friends.

 

There’s a clear North-South divide with the South East (24%) and the Midlands (23%) not far behind.

 

Eco-friendly and simple with plenty of storage: the UK’s ideal home revealed

Ideal home

When you think of the perfect British home, what do you imagine? A quaint country cottage or perhaps a regal manor house? 

Well, according to a survey carried out by GoCompare Mortgages it’s an ‘eco-minimalist’ detached home complete with three bedrooms and a modest, medium-sized garden.

Using the research, GoCompare teamed up with an architect from eye-kon to bring the dream house to life. 

 

UK’s ideal home revealed by GoCompare

New shared ownership housing scheme offers affordable ‘forever homes’ for London families

A new scheme offering family-sized houses to buy in London under shared ownership has been launched by housing provider, Octavia.

The scheme, which is a first for Octavia in that it is open to anyone currently living in a London borough, offers a selection of three or four bedroom houses at Octavia Living’s Gladstone Village*, a new development in a quiet, green space location, overlooking parklands near Dollis Hill, London NW2.

The scheme is aimed at helping working families across London, who are priced out of the London housing market but wish to live close to where they work and to be part of a community.  It represents a new departure in shared ownership for Octavia and recognises the growing need for affordable housing for people other than first time buyers.

From flat to flowers: A first-time buyer’s guide to owning a garden

From flat to flowers: A first-time buyer’s guide to owning a garden

As young people are spending almost six times more on rent than their baby-boomer counterparts, the concept of owning a garden is unfortunately a myth to many. If you are lucky enough to have made the leap on the property ladder, or your flat comes with some luscious greenery, you may be wondering where to start.

 

Gardening is a tough process of trial and error, but you will learn from it, be kept busy and might even grow some free food in the process too! Follow our beginner’s tips below and you will be set to get your green fingers in no time.

 

Pick seeds over plants

Advice for first time buyers on upcycling/restoring furniture

Advice for first time buyers on upcycling/restoring furniture

The Emporium Somerset’s Co-owner, Cato Cooper, has her own painted furniture and home accessories studio and workshop and she offers advice on how to upcycle and restore items, so first-time buyers don’t have to blow their budgets on furnishing their new homes.
 
She says: “Buying your first home can be a pretty big expense, so you’ll want to save money wherever possible. For many the cost of the purchase and the monthly payment of a mortgage make it tricky to buy furniture too, however if you aim to upcycle and restore, rather than buying brand new, you could save a fortune.