Getting your foot on the ladder can feel like an impossible feat for many, with large deposits required and costly agent fees to make a move possible. That’s how Ruth McNamara and her partner Jeremy Hart felt before they visited Linden Homes’ Hawthorn Mews development in Bedhampton.
Prior to visiting the new build collection, they were renting in Chichester, West Sussex and struggling to find a way to afford the jump to buying their own home. Ruth explained: “We were renting for about four years together down in Chichester. And renting these days is expensive – you’re basically paying for someone else’s mortgage and costs to cover the property. So we decided we wanted our own place, but were trying to find a way to do it affordably. You obviously need the deposit, but also the solicitor’s fees and Stamp Duty which add more cost to the move. We were also aware that property in Chichester would be very expensive.”
Location was an important factor for the couple who have family in Guildford, whilst their jobs mean they need to commute into West Sussex where Ruth is a theatre nurse at St Richard’s Hospital and Jeremy works as a police sergeant. They hadn’t considered Bedhampton as a location before, but then Jeremy found Hawthorn Mews, tucked away at the northern end of Langstone Harbour in the borough of Havant.
These stylish new homes which are available on Help to Buy, have proved popular with young professionals, who have been drawn to its unbeatable value for money and excellent transport links.
Ruth explained: “Jeremy had found the development and we’d done our research on Help to Buy. Our financial advisor had recommended the scheme to us too, to make buying a home more affordable, so we felt confident that the scheme would be secure and the best way to get on the ladder.”
Once they stepped inside the showhome, Ruth and her partner were convinced that Hawthorn Mews was the place for them to buy their first home. Ruth commented: “We fell in love with the show house. The look, the feel of the place – it just felt like home! It was beautifully dressed – everything from the kitchen finish through to the bathroom fixtures and garden. At that moment I knew I wanted to live there.”
Initially, Ruth and Jeremy put an offer down on a smaller three-bedroom home, that ended up falling through, which Ruth explains was a stroke of luck: “It was blessing really; we ended up buying a larger three-bedroom home – the Benbow – the one I had had my heart set on from the start. It’s a stunning home with loads of space to entertain and enjoy.”
To make the purchase more affordable, Ruth and Jeremy opted to use the Help to Buy scheme. “We wouldn’t have been able to buy a home without Help to Buy. When you’re renting you pay over the odds anyway and then having to save for the deposit on top of general living costs is so hard nowadays. Help to Buy allowed us to secure that all important deposit and luckily my parents very kindly gave us a large proportion of the monies we needed which helped pay for our deposit and solicitor’s fees to make it happen.”
Available for use at a number of new build sites across the UK, Help to Buy applies to properties up to the value of £600,000. Buyers like Ruth and Jeremy are required to provide just a 5 per cent deposit to then borrow a further 20 per cent from the Government in the form of an equity loan. This leaves the buyers to find just a 75 per cent mortgage from a lender to secure their new home. Ruth mentioned; “the monthly repayments are really affordable and we’ve got such a beautiful house we can now enjoy.”
Ruth and Jeremy have also been really impressed with the quality of their new Linden Homes house. Ruth says they shopped around before they committed to buying at Hawthorn Mews: “We looked around a number of developments by different housebuilders, but this one really stood out. With so many of them you get a shell and everything from turf to a tap has to be paid for on top; you really get a bare minimum! Our house from Linden Homes is beautifully finished and we had all the white goods included as standard. Our garden was turfed and even came with a shed and a padlock – which was amazing as they are lots of expensive items we haven’t had to fork out for!”
The elegant town houses at Hawthorn Mews have very easy access to the A3 and A27/M27 as well as a regular train service to London and Portsmouth. This is ideal for Ruth and Jeremy in getting to work and being so close to the A3 means that Ruth can get up to Guildford extremely easily to visit her family.
The happy first-time buyers both love how peaceful their new place is. Ruth commented, “The homes are carefully arranged and it’s not a through-road so it means the road is really quiet. We have a dog called Bert and being so close to Portsdown Hill with all of its dog walks is perfect for us to go and enjoy the great outdoors. I have already joined the local gym so we are definitely taking advantage of the local amenities in the area.”
The couple have also found customer service from Linden Homes to be excellent: “The team at Linden Homes have been brilliant. The site staff have been very attentive and made the whole process so simple. And the Help to Buy process has been seamless too. There isn’t lots of paperwork as people might imagine; it’s no more detail than when you apply for a job for instance. We have been recommending the development to friends as it really checks every box and Help to Buy makes getting on the property ladder a reality!”
Susan Whiting, marketing manager at Linden Homes South commented: “It’s so wonderful to see more first-time buyers getting a leg up onto the property ladder. The townhouses at Hawthorn Mews are perfect for young professionals like Ruth and Jeremy who like having lots of space to enjoy and share with friends, family and their dog alike! It’s great that the location has unlocked a great work / life balance too and we’re sure to see more people like this couple taking advantage of the development with all it has to offer.”
Linden Homes still has some properties remaining at Hawthorn Mews available on Help to Buy. The three, four and five bedroom homes like Ruth and Jeremy’s Benbow house boast large, open-plan kitchens, expansive living spaces and glorious balconies. For more information, call 02392 809 670.
Media can contact Fotini Efstathiou or Alice Cannell at Remarkable Content on 01962 893893 for more information, images and interviews with Linden Homes.
11 May 2016
All images are used for illustrative purposes only and are representative only. They may not be the same as the actual home you purchase and the specification may differ. Images may be of a slightly different model of home and may include optional upgrades and extras which involve additional cost. Individual features such as windows, brick, carpets, paint and other material colours may vary and also the specification of fittings may vary. Any furnishings and furniture are not included in any sale. Please check with our sales consultants for details of the exact specifications available at the development(s) for each type of home and the associated prices.