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Exploring Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes

Photo of new home example of available on shared ownership scheme or help to buy schemes in UK

Have you ever heard the words “shared ownership”, or “Help to Buy” but always wondered exactly what people were talking about?

The world of affordable home ownership might seem like a complex one, particularly for first-time buyers, but here at HomeFocus we strive to cut through the jargon and tell you exactly what you need to know.

Thanks to the sky-high prices of homes and houses nationwide, people right across the country are being priced out of the open market, and add that to the extortionate cost of renting, it’s no wonder that people are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

However, there are affordable home ownership schemes in place to help you buy your own home - and the key word there is affordable.

Brit's Can't Make Sense Of The Spring Clean

Brit's Can't Make Sense Of The Spring Clean

BRITAIN is a nation with a lack of understanding about the annual spring clean, new research reveals.

A survey of 1,015 UK adults carried out by leading household appliances retailer, AppliancesDirect.co.uk revealed how only 41% of Brits said that they did the annual clean this spring season.

In comparison, the majority (59%) admitted that they hadn’t done the spring cleaning housework this year.

When quizzed on the reasons for these spring cleaning habits among Brits, an overwhelming 44% of those surveyed revealed that they don’t know which cleaning tasks are involved when it comes to the annual spring clean.

Bovis Homes - Delivering quality over the decades

Bovis Homes - Delivering quality over the decades

Much has changed in the world since Pat Haggerty worked in the payroll department at Bovis Homes more than 40 years ago.

What hasn’t changed is the home builder’s commitment to building quality new homes and stunning communities across the south east, and Pat knew just what she was getting when she recently moved into a new Bovis Home in West Sussex.

The spacious four-bedroom detached home at Bovis Homes' Hampton Park location in Littlehampton is ideal for Pat, her daughter Dawn and granddaughter Teri-Rose.

Impressive Home Improvements

Impressive Home Improvements

Investing in home improvements? These are the things that impress your neighbours the most

Owning a wine cellar is seen as the biggest indicator of success in the home 

Brits aspire to own a walk-in wardrobe more than any other household item or feature 

A double garage and real-wood flooring are also seen as ‘status symbols’ 

A recent study of 2,000 UK adults by Hitachi Personal Finance, reveals the home features that Britons most associate with being successful, as well as the ones we most aspire to own ourselves. 

The household items and features that were seen to hold the most status are: 

Walk in wardrobe (29%)

A log burner (22%) 

A Smart TV (21%)

The truths behind remortgaging

The truths behind remortgaging

After the 2017 Base Rate rise – and the predictions that it may rise again – many homeowners will be considering remortgaging to lock into a fixed rate. But for many, remortgaging is a tricky topic to understand. Will it actually save you money? Is it the right time to do it? Will you have to pay extra fees?

Leeds Building Society unearths the truths behind the common misconceptions.

‘You get more for your money with Bovis Homes’

Bovis Homes

When Dan Smith was searching for a brand-new property in the South East, he always knew that he could depend upon Bovis Homes to make his dreams come true.

His strong belief and confidence in the national house builder was built on firm foundations as he had enjoyed many happy times in the property from which he was looking to move – which had been built with pride by Bovis Homes a few years before.

British homeowners look but don't touch

British homeowners
  • British homeowners are styling their homes for social media likes
  • 88% of homeowners inspired by social media to style their home
  • Nottingham residents are the most house-proud Brits

BRITISH homeowners are forgoing a lived-in home in a bid to style their house for an increased social media following, according to new research.

A survey of 1,000 UK adults by DiscountFlooringDepot.co.uk has revealed that 62% of British homeowners would prefer their house to look like a show home rather than a homely comfortable look.

88% of Brits are inspired by social media to style their home to perfect show home standards rather than opting for a more comfortable lived in home.

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.
 

Preparing your home for winter

Preparing your home for winter

Now that autumn is officially here, it’s time to start to think about preparing your home for even colder weather over the winter months.

Fortunately, leading specialists Gutter Supplies have some top tips that will save your home from taking the brunt of the harsh weather.

Gutters

Although gutters may not be on the top of your list of priorities, it is essential to keep them damage free and in working order through the colder months.

The UK property market is evolving

The UK property market is evolving
  • Adults are choosing to buy homes with friends rather than wait for a partner
  • Increased number of online searches for ‘tenancy in common’

 

The homeownership market in the UK is evolving, with more tenants choosing to buy and live in homes with friends, rather than with a partner or on their own.

 

To understand this emerging trend, online furniture retailer Furniture Choice conducted a UK wide survey and spoke with individuals who have already bought a house with a friend.

 

Modern day living at the heart of community village

Leading housing developer announces Help to Buy homes in the heart of community village

A stylish new development is offering househunters the opportunity to sample the perfect blend of modern living: state-of-the-art affordable home comforts combined with traditional village life. 

Just over 12 miles away from the city of Chester, David Wilson’s Haddington Park development is ideally located for young professionals looking for affordable homes and an easy commute across the North West.

Located on the edge of the chocolate-box village of Tarporley, Haddington Park offers residents a friendly community feel, in addition to a wide range of facilities. 

Don’t look now! When house viewing, getting distracted by clutter could cost you thousands

First-time buyers spend just two minutes reviewing structural features on buildings before placing an offer
Buyers spend more than half their time looking at clutter, decor and personal items

Buyers are distracted by clutter and personal items when viewing homes and could be missing problems that would cost thousands of pounds to fix, new research suggests.

The innovative study, conducted by Anglian Home Improvements, used eye tracking technology to monitor potential buyers as they viewed a property and revealed how little time is spent looking at the building structure itself.

Metropolitan has a large range of new homes 

Metropolitan

Metropolitan has a large range of new homes to offer across a range of locations in London, the Home Counties and East Midlands.  

Most of the homes we have for sale in this financial year will be available through Shared Ownership – the part buy, part rent option where buyers purchase a share in the value of the home that they can afford (between 25% and 75% of the value of the home) and pay us a subsidised rent on the remainder.

Shared Ownership brings down the costs of entering home ownership as buyers only have to raise a deposit on the share that they are buying (as opposed to on the full market value) and monthly housing costs for Shared Ownership are less than they would be for the same home being bought outright or being rented privately.

How to Get On the Property Ladder

Home buying

In today’s economic climate, getting on the property ladder has never been more challenging. The label of ‘generation rent’ seems to cause set back upon set back but, fear not, as all is not lost; there is a way to save money and buy a house as well. In this article, estate agents Loveitts, share tips on how to save for your first home, how to get a deposit and what other costs might be involved when you begin to climb the property ladder.

 

How to save for your first house

 

A step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process

A step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process

Transferring ownership of a property from seller to buyer, known as the conveyancing process, begins when the offer is accepted by the seller. When you’re buying a property, instructing a solicitor will help keep the complicated and lengthy conveyancing process running more smoothly.

 

Step One: Choose a Property Solicitor

Online conveyancing services often appear to be the cheaper option, but working with a qualified, local solicitor, with knowledge of the area means you won’t have to pay for any extra unnecessary checks. Document transfer is also much quicker in person rather than relying on the postal service.

 

Step Two: Terms of Engagement

Think You're Ready To Become A First Time Buyer

Think You're Ready To Become A First Time Buyer

Revealed: The UKs’ Top 10 Questions Asked by First Time Buyers
 
Getting ready to buy a first home can often be a daunting experience. Taking the plunge into an unfamiliar world of credit scores and mortgages can often lead first time buyers to turn to the Internet to provide them with the answers they need.
With average house prices increasing and people investing more time searching for their ‘forever home’, Strata has investigated the most common questions first time buyers are faced with.

Top 10 interior design trends for 2017

Top 10 interior design trends for 2017

Bring nature indoors for 2017
Textures and tones set to create calm, warm homes and hotel rooms
Graphic inspired art, statement rugs and textured glass lighting all key essentials
With 2017 set to see interior design services embraced increasingly by individuals and house builders alike, the experts at Alexander James Interior Design have used their 20 years experience to compile a list of the top ten interior design trends for 2017.

 

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director at Alexander James Interior Design, comments,

Property Priorities: New homeowners will kip on the floor for a month

Property Priorities: New homeowners will kip on the floor for a month, but candles and cushions are unpacked within a week

·         For 57% of homemovers, the kettle is the first item that is unpacked
·         Over half (57%) of new homeowners set up the Wi-Fi router within 24 hours
·         A third (32%) of homemovers will live without a wardrobe for a fortnight or more
 
One in twelve (8%) UK homeowners admit they slept on the floor for a month or more after moving into their new home, according to a new study by UK housebuilder Redrow.
 
The research, which polled almost 2,000 homeowners, looked into how we approach the challenge of setting up home and asked questions about priorities and unpacking that all important first box.
 

Why Rent When You Can Buy?

Why Rent When You Can Buy?

If you’ve always dreamt of owning your own home, you could find that taking those first steps onto the property ladder are more affordable than you think, with a Help to Buy scheme.

New figures compiled by Strata Homes show that buying a home is often cheaper than renting, especially with the government’s Help to Buy scheme.*

Using data from Zoopla, we’ve compared the price of renting a two-bedroom home against buying a 2-bedroom new build home, both with and without a Help to Buy equity loan.  This is where you only need a 5% deposit for your new home, which the government will boost by a further 20%. You’ll only need a mortgage on 75% of the property price, making it an affordable alternative to renting.

Home Improvements – Where should we begin?

Home Improvements – Where should we begin?

Thousands of people every year will make New Year resolutions to update their home and thousands of people will not keep to them, I know, I am one of them.  This is mainly because we set goals which are not realistic, we give ourselves too much to do and often don’t set ourselves a realistic budget.  However if we plan to update our home over the course of the year, we can tackle what seems like a huge task in smaller chunks.

To manage any sort of project, it can be helpful to break it down into three main requirements:

  • Decide what needs to be done
  • Prioritise what needs to be done
  • Set yourself a budget and time frame to which you would like the updates to be finished by

 

Help To Buy Property Tips from a Conveyancing Expert

Help To Buy Property Tips from a Conveyancing Expert

I know from experience that the process of moving into your new home can be a very anxious and exhausting time, both physically and mentally. There is the obvious excitement of finally moving in, but also the worry of being able to afford everything you need to furnish and decorate the home how you want it, and of course the considerable weight of taking on the burden of a mortgage.

 

These anxieties come after you have decided to take the plunge and enter the property market for the first time, which is a pretty seismic decision in itself. I have experienced many meetings talking to young couples and young professionals, who are worried about being able to afford mortgages and all the other fixed costs that come with a property purchase.

 

Helping your children buy a home

Helping your children buy a home

House prices are high, wage inflation is low and rents are amongst the most expensive in Europe. It’s no surprise that we are seeing an increasing number of parents helping their sons and daughters to buy their first home.

Boosting your child’s deposit is vital to helping them get a more affordable mortgage rate. Getting a mortgage with a 5% deposit is difficult and still relatively expensive even with 10%.

So what are your options when helping your children onto the property ladder?

 

Gifted Deposits

The most common way we see parents helping their children to buy is by simply giving their children money towards part/all of the deposit, this is called a ‘Gifted Deposit’.