How Help to Buy is Helping People Secure Their Dream Home

Earlier in the year, we published a blog post detailing everything you need to know about Help to Buy. The government scheme is still going strong and it’s still worth checking out how it could help you – if you haven’t done so already. There are so many success stories so far. In today’s blog post, we’re going to share some of these success stories and tell you how you could also secure your dream home.

What is Help to Buy?

For those who don’t know, we’ll quickly clear up what ‘Help to Buy’ actually means. This is a government scheme introduced back in 2013. It’s run by HM Treasury and the Ministry of Housing, available to residents of the United Kingdom. There are a few different sectors within Help to Buy, with different types of schemes catering to different people’s needs. The main ones you need to know about are: the Help to Buy ISA, Shared Ownership and Equity Loans. For more information on who qualifies for each scheme, check out our previous blog post or the government website.

But in a nutshell, it’s worth knowing the following:

  • You DON’T have to be a first-time buyer
  • The house price cannot be over £600,000 outside London
  • You can’t let out a house through the scheme
  • No second homes are allowed, this must be your only current home

A real success story

There are many wonderful success stories under this scheme. As of February 2017, over 100,000 houses had been bought using Help to Buy! However, we thought it’d be best to highlight just a few in this post.

The first story comes straight from the government website and is a classic example of the kind of person this scheme is designed to help. Louise Highton is a 26-year-old research technician living in York and she only finished her PhD at university just a year before buying her new home. She didn’t think she’d be able to afford her own home so soon after university. However, she knew she wanted her own home as she’d be permanently living in York. After hearing about it in the news initially, Louise started making enquiries. Then, Louise was put in touch with a mortgage advisor and found the entire process ‘really simple’. She now lives in her own home in Derwenthorpe, York and is enjoying her new life!

Next up, this success story comes from The Telegraph. Back in 2013, not long after the scheme was first implemented, a family of four from Darlington bought their own home for the first time. Claire and William Walton were living in rented accommodation with their two children at the time. They actually met with a mortgage adviser on the day that Help to Buy was introduced! With the money they’d saved for a deposit, the Waltons were able to get on the housing ladder through the scheme with a 5.5% two-year fixed rate mortgage. The family now live happily in their three-bed semi-detached home in Darlington – something they’d never imagined they’d be able to do.

How to apply for the Help to Buy scheme

Sound like something you’d be interested in? We don’t blame you. And there’s no harm in simply applying to see if you’re eligible and how you can get some help securing your dream home. This video informs you of how to fill out the online property information form (or, PIF), which can help you to apply for Help to Buy.

Alternatively, head to the government website where you can find out more information and figure out if this is the right route for you.

CB Homes supports the Help to Buy scheme

Yes, we’re pleased to say that we support the Help to Buy scheme here at CB Homes! Anyone considering buying one of our new-build homes will be able to do so using the scheme – assuming that they are eligible of course. As it stands, we have just one remaining property left on our beautiful Tilstock site: The Pastures. This 11-strong development of unique and charming homes boasts private gardens, off-street parking and quality fixtures throughout. If you would like to take a look at Plot 13 (the remaining home), then please visit our site here for more details or call Helen on 07400 062 349. The house is ready to move to and of course, there’s no chain. Remember, anyone can apply for the Help to Buy scheme to buy The Drayton – it’s not limited to first-time buyers. Check out some lovely snaps of The Drayton home below:

Want to speak to someone in person? You can get in touch with CB Homes by phoning us on 01829 730244. Alternatively, visit the contact page on our website! We’re always happy to advise on buying new homes and applying for the Help to Buy scheme.

What Do Today’s New-Home Buyers Prioritise? Here’s What

An impression of our new homes at Bunbury Heath, coming soon

What do new-build buyers prioritise?

Earlier this year, the NHBC published a collaboration of research with Savills that highlighted some interesting results about house buyers in the UK. More specifically, Savills and NHBC were focusing on the needs and wants of new-home buyers. With new-build homes on the rise in the UK, more than ever it’s important to see what potential purchasers are prioritising. And of course, here at CB Homes, we don’t just offer a self-build service but we also design and build beautiful property developments too. The difference is, each of our new-build homes is unique and bespoke. But that’s for a whole other blog post… Let’s find out the results of the Savills research and explore the findings.

What the survey found out

So, in a nutshell, the report showed some pretty unsurprising, but still interesting, results. There were some factors which were held as high priority by all new-home buyers. However, the majority of priorities differed between the varying circumstances of people buying new-builds. As we well know, there are no single demographics purchasing new homes. From growing families looking to upsize to first-time buyers just fleeing the nest, there is a great variety in purchasers. NHBC and Savills surveyed people from the under 25 age group to over 65s. And these varieties, obviously, influence individual priorities. In terms of universal priorities, over 59% of new-home buyers in the survey held ‘minimum maintenance’ as very important. The second most important priority to buyers across the spectrum was ‘new-home warranty’. An exception was first-time buyers, who felt that the Help to Buy scheme was the top priority when purchasing a new home.

Help to Buy scheme - a mother and baby looking happy

Take note…

Some other notable priorities included the appreciation of modern architecture and design along with the fact that there is no purchasing chain. As to be expected, purchasers in urban areas considered walking distance to amenities higher than parking arrangements. And vice versa, purchasers in suburban areas considered parking much more important than walking distance to amenities. When it comes to local amenities, different types of people hold different priorities. For example, local NHS services were most important to suburban buyers whilst rail or tram stations were most important to high-density urban buyers. In terms of specific types of purchasers and their priorities, 70% of downsizers voted minimum maintenance for their top spot. Off-street parking was most important for around 60% of both upsizers and relocators. As we mentioned earlier, first-time buyers (58% to be precise) see Help to Buy as their top priority.

new-home build in Cheshire

What you’ll get from a new-build CB Homes property

So, why are we so interested in this research? Well, as we touched on at the start of this post, we offer new property developments as well as our self-build service. It’s always interesting for us to learn about the preferences and habits of our potential customers! Our homes are built in beautiful rural and suburban areas across Cheshire and Shropshire. So, of course, we can always offer incredible locations, good parking arrangements and ample living space. Not to mention, modern design and tip-top fixtures and fittings are second nature to us! Not only that, but you’ll also get a 10-year NHBC warranty which each of our new-build homes, for that extra peace of mind. We’ll also ensure that you have a low level of maintenance for your new home, including the efficient dealing with of any initial snags. If you don’t believe, you can hear it straight from our current homeowners…

Why We Support the Joshua Tree and How You Can Too!

Get involved and make a difference

In today’s blog post, we thought we’d do something a little bit different but massively important. Here at CB Homes, we love to give back to our community whenever we can. So, naturally, this leads us to support the fantastic cause we’re going to discuss today. Say hello to The Joshua Tree – you may have heard of them! If you haven’t, don’t worry. The Joshua Tree is an amazing charity based in Cheshire, just like our office and many of our properties. Although we could shout out about this charity every day of the week, this time is even more important than usual. The Joshua Tree has been chosen as one of Global Radio’s special charities, to be involved in their “Make Some Noise” charity campaign. The official “Make Some Noise” Day is this Friday – 5th October! But more information on that later…

Why do we support The Joshua Tree?

Well, where do we start? As we mentioned earlier, we enjoy giving back to our community and it’s important for us to support local community campaigns and organisations, like The Joshua Tree. This brilliant charity supports families who are going through the incredibly challenging experience of childhood cancer. Not only is The Joshua Tree a massively worthy cause but it’s also very close to us geographically. As we are based in Cheshire, we take a great interest in what happens in and around our local council, so it was a no-brainer that we show our support for the charity. What’s more, we have to mention how impressive it is that The Joshua Tree have built themselves up from nothing to this amazing organisation!

Supporting The Joshua Tree for “Make Some Noise Day” & “Strive to the Summits” challenge

But why are we really here today? Well, we wanted to bring some attention to the fantastic Make Some Noise campaign that The Joshua Tree is proudly a part of. If you’re wondering how they are getting involved, keep reading. Joshua, who originally inspired his parents to set up the charity after being diagnosed with childhood leukaemia, will be walking the famous Three Peaks challenge with Make Some Noise, starting in Snowdon. The team actually started yesterday and we’re wishing them the best of luck for completing the challenge tomorrow (Thurs 4th October)!

As for Make Some Noise day, that will follow on Friday 5th October. There will be challenges and events all across the UK. The charity is asking supporters to Dress Loud for the day, hoping people will sport their jazziest shirts and craziest colours. From schools to offices, Global Radio is hoping to raise plenty of money on the day to support the amazing charities that work so hard to make a difference in people’s lives. And you can help too!

Heart Radio presenter Toby Antis and Olly Murs dressing loud for Make Some Noise via makesomenoise.com

How to donate

There are plenty of ways you can get involved yourself. Find out more information on the Make Some Noise Day here. To donate to the Make Some Noise ‘Strive to the Summits’ challenge click here. Alternatively, to get involved directly with The Joshua Tree, please visit their website here.

How to Add Value to Your Property

There are certain factors that naturally make your property more valuable than another. For example, a larger property with more bedrooms is going to be worth more than its smaller counterpart with fewer rooms. On the other hand, if that smaller property were to reside within a much sought-after postcode, it could well be more expensive. Local amenities are also one of the crucial elements of determining a property’s value, along with size and postcode. If there’s an up-market supermarket nearby, chances are the area has more expensive homes than that of an area with budget supermarkets. However, these things can sometimes vary. Commuter towns with good transport links can also bump the price up, as well as the surrounding areas of a property location. Of course, we can’t really change these factors. But don’t worry, there are plenty of steps we can take within our four walls to add value to our homes. Keep reading to find out how.

Easy steps to add value to your property

Keep a good standard of cleanliness and maintenance

This one should be a no-brainer but all too often people can forget. Maintaining a good standard of cleanliness throughout your property is a sure-fire way to make sure it stays at its deserved value. A run-down home that’s not been looked after is never going to get the price it deserves when it comes to selling time. Maintenance is also an important one – looking after your home is just like looking after your car. A regularly serviced vehicle will always be worth more. Plus, people are always attracted to a home that they can move straight into. That means getting a new boiler when you need one, ensuring any superficial damage is fixed and seeing to any structural problems as and when they occur.

Maximise your property’s space

It’s a well-known fact that potential viewers hold space very high on their list of priorities. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up if you have a smaller house. You just need to use the space you do have wisely! Make your rooms look bigger by keeping furniture and knick-knacks to a minimum. The best way to make the most of a smaller space is to utilise clever storage. Double up your bookshelf as a TV stand. Install shelves instead of taking up floor space with cabinets. Use under-bed and under-desk storage where possible. This allows estate agents and buyers to see the true potential of your home… and therefore add value to your property!

Invest any spare cash into your kitchen

This is an important one. If you’re planning on redoing any room in your house to boost its value, it should be the kitchen. The kitchen is a central part of the home and also takes the most work to improve. Because of this, potential buyers are more likely to pay a premium price for a recently-renovated and well-presented kitchen. It will be well worth your while to renovate and re-decorate your kitchen, especially if it has become outdated or needs freshening up! This is also your chance to utilise space better – there’s nothing like starting from scratch.

Spruce up the garden

The garden is a massive selling point for most properties. Leaving the grass to grow into a tangled mess isn’t going to help when it comes to putting your home on the market. No-one wants a jungle so consider putting in some hours to sort out what lies just beyond your four walls. Bear in mind that you don’t have to go all-out with luxury landscaping to increase the value of your property. However, a neat, tidy and well laid-out garden is sure to attract a higher selling price. Keep on top of the weeding, feed the lawn well and add in some nice borders or beds with a splash of floral colour. If you’re really not into mowing (who is?), consider laying down artificial grass or decking to create a functional space that requires little maintenance. Your future buyer might appreciate that too.

Are you looking to add value to your property?

If you need a little extra to add value to your property, whether you’re planning on selling it soon or you’re just preparing for the future, we can help. We can recommend high-quality kitchen suppliers and garden landscapers, as well as offering plenty of great advice over on our blog! Join in the conversation with us over on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.