They were already celebrating their first baby, Phoebe, a new home and winning £200 of John Lewis vouchers in a competition run by Redrow Homes – and then an invitation to attend a special 10 Downing Street reception for Help to Buy customers landed on their doormat.
They met Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior ministers at the event, which marked the end of Housing Week.
Speaking at Monday’s reception, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I’ve heard so many stories of meeting people who’ve taken part in Help to Buy and so many of them say really the same thing which is, ‘We really want to have a home of our own. We work incredibly hard. We’ve got a decent job. We put in the hours. We’ve got a decent salary. We can afford the mortgage payments. But we can’t afford a deposit because we haven’t got a rich mum and dad and we aren’t able to save up all that money when we’re renting and living where we’re living.’ And so that’s why I think Help to Buy has made a real difference.”
Holly said: “It was a fantastic to be able to go to No 10, we would never have thought we would have had the opportunity to go; money just couldn’t buy that kind of experience! We had a good chat to the housing minister Brandon Lewis about Help to Buy and how beneficial it has been for our family.”
Only three weeks after moving in to their new home at Kirks Paddock, in Scartho Top, Grimsby, little Phoebe, now two months old, came along. And, thanks to Help to Buy they’ve been able to afford a new home that’s big enough for their family to expand over time.
Holly, a secondary school PE teacher, and Tom, a mechanic for Great Coates Motors in Grimsby, used the Government-backed Help to Buy equity loan scheme to buy a four-bedroom Shrewsbury style home at Kirk’s Paddock.
The equity loan reduced the initial purchase price by 20% and meant that Holly and Tom only needed a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage to get on the property ladder. Like all good teachers, Holly did her homework first to make sure the scheme was right for them.
“At first we were quite cautious as it seemed too good to be true, but we looked into it carefully and talked to friends who’d also used Help to Buy,” Holly explained.
“Even after the five year interest-free period, the interest payable on the loan is very affordable compared to other loans and you can pay off the loan itself in 10% chunks or when your sell the property.”
Not that Holly and Tom have any plans to sell up and move on.
“Help to Buy was perfect for us as it meant we were able to afford a bigger home than we expected, somewhere that we could build our family. Without the equity loan we’d have had to buy somewhere smaller and move again in a few years’ time. This way we’re really settled,” Holly added.
The young couple chose Kirk’s Paddock because they like the area and also love the look and feel of Redrow’s traditional looking Heritage Collection homes.
They’d been living in rented accommodation previously but moved in with Holly’s parents in New Waltham while they waited for their new Redrow home to be built. Every weekend they visited the development to see progress and take photographs of their new home as it took shape.
It was on one of those visits that they entered a free prize draw held during a weekend of celebrations to mark Redrow’s 40th anniversary.
“It was a lovely surprise to find out we’d won,” said Holly. “We’ll probably spend the vouchers on things for our new home – and for Phoebe, of course.”
For more information about Help to Buy and the homes available, visit Kirk’s Paddock in Scartho Top, Grimsby between 10am and 5.30pm, Thursday to Monday, call 01472 453431 or see www.redrow.co.uk/kirks. Established more than 40 years, Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, operating across England and Wales, with a strong emphasis on high quality family housing in prime locations. Its Heritage Collection of family homes combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including, most recently, the Gold Award for Best Large Housebuilder at the WhatHouse? Awards 2014, the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year and four consecutive 5* awards in the Home Builder Federation (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey. Redrow also collected the award for best marketing initiative at the 2014 Housebuilder Awards and its ‘My Redrow’ online tool won the overall Customer Engagement category at the 2013 Peer Awards for Excellence.