First time buyers hop on the housing ladder with Help to Buy
Jamie Girvan and Natalie Walls (26), are purchasing their first home together at Regent Quay, a Redrow community in Sittingbourne, Kent. Jamie is a financial adviser working in Canary Wharf and Natalie is a cabin crew member for British Airways.
The first-time buyer couple purchased their home using Help to Buy. When asked why they opted to go down this route, Jamie commented: “Help to Buy was a smart option because it enabled us to purchase a home with longevity, somewhere we have space to grow into. We were keen to opt for a future family home, not just a first home. As first-time buyers, we initially wondered whether we might struggle to get a mortgage, but the process so far has been relatively easy and straightforward.
“Leveraging Help to Buy put us in a stronger position financially, and we were able to put down a good deposit which helped. The Redrow home we’ve purchased is perfect because it’s spacious and adaptable. Help to Buy has meant we could afford a home with four bedrooms, one of which we will use as an office, and eventually convert into a children’s’ bedroom.”
Saving on Stamp Duty
The couple were grateful to benefit from the recently announced Stamp Duty holiday. Jamie commented: “Finding out about the stamp duty holiday felt like the icing on the cake for us, as we’ll be saving almost £5,000 which we are re-investing back into the property by purchasing various extras and upgrades. The money is also being put towards a car, as although I’ll be working from home most days, it gives the option of driving into the office when I need to go in, rather than commuting on public transport.
"With the newly announced stamp duty holiday, Natalie and I have been able to invest some of the money saved back into the house by purchasing various extras and upgrades. Redrow has an online platform called MyRedrow where you can select different extras at specific stages of the build programme.
“We decided to opt for high quality carpets throughout the house, an integrated dishwasher and thermostats in every room which can be controlled via an app on our phone. My girlfriend often travels for work and I tend to work long hours, so it's reassuring to know we'll have the ability to adjust the heating settings on the move and ensure we're being as energy efficient as possible.”
When asked why Jamie and Natalie opted to buy their first home in Sittingbourne, Jamie explained: “Sittingbourne is the ideal location as it’s good value for money with ideal connections to the Capital. It will take approximately 1hr and 20 minutes if I were to commute by public transport to my office in Canary Wharf, or I could make the most of the easy motorway access and drive. The Redrow development is only an 11-minute walk to Sittingbourne station and the trains are on the high-speed line which is a bonus.
“Being close to family was front of mind when selecting a location and Sittingbourne is in between Maidstone and Whitstable, where our families live. If we were looking for a home this time last year, we probably would have looked to buy somewhere central. However, the Coronavirus pandemic has shifted our priorities somewhat and we’d like to be closer to family.”
Our Regent Quay development in the Kent town of Sittingbourne is a new 383 home community, a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments and three and four bedroom houses. Regent Quay is ideal for first-time buyers looking to get a foothold on the property ladder and for families seeking more space. Currently, there are a range of three and four-bedroom homes remaining to buy, starting in price from £399,955.
Regent Quay is located on Crown Quay Lane in the centre of Sittingbourne and a ten-minute walk from Sittingbourne train station, which connects residents to London St Pancras International station in under an hour.
The homes are from our award-winning Heritage Collection and feature traditional gable ended roofs, porches and red and yellow brick exteriors. The news homes are set within several attractive areas of open space, including play parks and exercise areas for the new community to meet and socialise.