With prices soaring in the capital, the concept of owning your own home can seem a distant dream for those renting in London.
Some house hunters are choosing to escape the heat of the city and looking further afield for apartments at similar cost to what they could afford in London. Some are even finding that migrating out to the suburbs can give them the chance to afford a house over an apartment.
This rings true for a young couple, Callum and Chloë, who recently bought their first home in Horndean, Hampshire.
Callum Kelly, 30 and his fiancé Chloë Ferrier, 29 could not believe their eyes when they entered The Old Brewery development from Linden Homes, just at the bottom of the A3 in Hampshire. Previously renting in Ealing, London, the couple were looking to make their move onto the property ladder but found they could not afford a home in the capital.
Callum explained: “A friend recommended that we come and take a look at The Old Brewery in Horndean to see what was on offer, but it wasn’t until we came out to take a look that we realised the radical difference in prices to the London market. In comparison to the tiny one-bedroom flats we were considering in London, we realised we could afford a two-bedroom house rather than an apartment, with the luxury of a garden too!”
The house hunters were shown a number of properties at the stylish Old Brewery collection from Linden Homes and fell in love with a two-bedroom home nestled on the hill.
Callum said: “The houses were all very interesting. We hadn’t considered new build before and these were unlike other new developments where all of the houses look the same. We were really impressed with the different look of each property at The Old Brewery; each one had a sense of individuality and character about them.”
Callum continued: “We absolutely love the layout of our new home, the townhouse style which splits the kitchen on the ground floor from the living area upstairs and then a further floor to the bedroom really gives the place lovely character.”
To assist with getting the necessary funds together for their new home, Callum and Chloë took advantage of the Help to Buy scheme. This scheme is applicable on properties up to the value of £600,000 (other terms and conditions also apply), and buyers are required to provide just a 5% deposit to then borrow a further 20% from the Government in the form of an equity loan. Buyers then only need a 75% mortgage agreed by their bank or building society to secure their dream home.
Callum explained: “I was aware of the Help to Buy scheme and had originally been looking at Help to Buy 2 – available on the second-hand properties. However, after some research we realised Help to Buy 1 (the scheme applicable to new build homes) was a far better option; the 20% loan was a massive helping hand for us.
“The fact we only needed to find the 5% deposit was a huge draw for us, especially as first-time buyers; it meant we effectively had £50,000 more than we’d have been otherwise able to afford, which really opened up our options.”
The first-time buyers found the scheme an extremely simple process to follow: “We have seen a lot of friends buying and selling properties recently who have had lots of complications. Our experience has been quite the opposite; the Help to Buy scheme has been very simple and the team at Linden Homes assisted us along the whole way, making our mortgage approval an easy process. Being a new build property has meant no chains falling through either, which has saved us a lot of stress!”
Embarking on their new chapter as first-time homeowners, Callum and Chloë are starting from scratch so didn’t have any white goods or appliances. As with all Linden Homes, the two-bedroom house purchased by Callum and Chloë came with a fully fitted kitchen and bathroom. Their new kitchen is complete with an integrated and guaranteed fridge/freezer, washer/dryer, oven, hob, and extractor fan; perfect for the couple starting out.
Now, the two are settling into their new routine in the leafy Hampshire village of Horndean, which has all necessary amenities at its fingertips including a deli, a bakers, a post office, a local shop, and a selection of pubs and restaurants. Callum and Chloë are finding that they benefit from splitting their time between London and the Hampshire countryside with ease.
Callum who works as a credit controller in New Malden, Surrey is finding the commute to work each day in the car manageable, as is Chloë to her gardening job in Dorking, Surrey, just up the A3.
Outside of his day job, Callum runs an audio company supplying equipment to DJs and for events. Most of this business is currently in London, but Callum says relocating out of town has not hindered this in any way: “I can quite easily get back up into London at the weekends for my DJ and audio work and to see friends and family. Our new location really allows us to have the best of both worlds; we now have a beautiful house with the coast nearby, Brighton and Portsmouth in relatively close proximity and London in the other direction.”
The spacious home at Horndean also permits visitors, of which Callum and Chloë expect there to be a few: “The benefit of having the two bedrooms is that we can have friends and family to stay very comfortably. Also, we have our two dogs Finley and Tyrion, so our new garden is perfect for them to have a run around and let off some steam.”
Tina Chalk, marketing manager at Linden Homes Southern said: “It’s always wonderful to see first-time buyers find their perfect home and it’s even more refreshing to see those from London grasp the appeal of moving further afield to get more for their money. The Old Brewery is perfectly located for all of those working up and down the A3 for instance and with the excellent road links across the south coast this hidden gem really does work for a multitude of people. The result is a great mix of people to form what is becoming a lovely little community at our development in Horndean.”
The Old Brewery at Horndean was home to the former Gale and Co Brewery, whose familiar tower has been preserved as part of the development from Linden Homes. The award-winning housebuilder has created a large selection of new 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes and will be launching some refurbished apartments later this year (2014).
Rowlands Castle railway station is just two miles away from The Old Brewery and Havant station offers direct, regular services to London Waterloo. There are excellent road links too, to London, Southampton and Portsmouth via the A3, M27 and M3.
Currently, there are a number of 2 bedroom apartments and 3 bedroom houses available.
For more information on the properties available at The Old Brewery in Horndean or the Help to Buy scheme, please visit the Linden Homes website or call 0844 488 3119.
For further information, contact Claire Cathersides or Emma Cox at Remarkable on 01962 893893.
04 September 2014