First Time Buyer February/March 2023

Page 24

the Ultimate Guide to... GETTING ON THE LADDER, THE PROPERTY MARKET AND HELP TO BUY February/ March 2023 £3.95 771758 973014 9 02> “It's vital that you research the buying process so you know what costs are coming up” BE MINE! OUR VALENTINES TOP PICKS LONDON LIVING RENT WIN! A 2L TUB OF V33 RENOVATION MULTI-SURFACE PAINT WORTH £42 ENERGY SAVING TIPS AND TRICKS THE MORTGAGE MARKET UNRAVELLED THE LOWDOWN ON STAMP DUTY Peter Komolafe Financial expert, coach, TV presenter and author

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Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful festive time with friends and family at Christmas. Many of you will be planning on buying your first home this year, which is a very exciting prospect. We do know how challenging it can be though, and research by Pocket Living has found that the situation is particularly challenging for Londoners. The findings are fascinating, so go to pages 2428 where we also highlight some affordable homes in the capital and within an easy commute, which I hope you find of interest.

If you can’t afford to buy your first dream home at the moment, then London Living Rent might be the answer to help you eventually get on the property ladder. It is an excellent scheme and well worth considering, so do turn to pages 30-32 where we explain how it works and who is eligible.

There were some changes to Stamp Duty last year which is great news for first timers. Please turn to pages 88-89 where we explain what these changes are and how they will help you.

I hope you enjoy this issue which is packed with information and help on buying your first home – enjoy!

Until next time, happy house hunting


I am so keen to get myself a new home and be right back where I belong, in Essex.

In order to save for the deposit, you can still use a Lifetime ISA to buy your rst home or save for later life.

Jonnie Irwin, Jonnie’s World, page 9

London Living Rent is a crucial foothold in the renting to homeownership pipeline.

Esaiyas Mollallegn, Save and buy with London Living Rent, page 30

Jason GordonCampbell, House Hunter, page 16

Buying a home for the rst time takes you out of your comfort zone.

Faye Winter, At home with, page14

Buying in a regeneration zone can provide a variety of bene ts, both nancial and lifestyle-related.

Kalumba Musambachime, Developer’s doctor, page 18

EDITOR’S LETTER First Time Buyer February/March 2023 3


For sale – the best FTB properties

What’s in…


9 Words from Jonnie

TV presenter and property expert Jonnie Irwin gives his views on the housing market.


FTB loves…

A round-up of our favourite romantic buys for Valentine’s Day.

12 Living

Be right on trend with the Colour of the Year to give you inspiration


Hannah Tomaselli, 27, and Dillon Hamill, 25, moved to Reading two years ago and were renting in Caversham, a suburb of Reading. They loved the area but they were keen to settle down and take a step on to the property ladder in the city they had come to call home.

when buying accessories for your new home.

14 At home with…

Faye Winter

Passionate about property and interiors, Faye Winter was a highly successful estate agent and lettings manager for many years before she became a finalist on ITVs Love Island in 2021. She bought her first home when she was just 18 and is currently looking to buy with her partner, Teddy. She talks to Lynda Clark about her life, her first home and gives some useful advice for anyone trying to get on the property ladder.


House Hunter

We try to find a home for Jason Gordon-Campbell who is searching for a property in Essex.

18 Developer’s doctor

Kalumba Musambachime, Head of Sales & Build to Rent at Network Homes answers your question.


20 The View: Peter Komolafe

Peter Komolafe is a financial expert, financial coach and TV personality whose personal journey is the driving force behind his passion for helping people. He founded Conversation of Money in 2020, a YouTube channel, and runs a weekly podcast. He talks to Lynda Clark about his fascinating life, his career and gives some excellent advice to first time buyers.

24 Capital Conundrum

The current cost-of-living crisis has

hit the UK hard. Research by Pocket Living has found that the situation is particularly challenging for those wanting to set up home in London. Debbie Clark looks at the research findings and highlights some of the affordable homes and locations in and around the capital that could be the perfect solution.

30 Save and buy with London Living Rent

If you are struggling to get on the housing ladder then London Living Rent might be the answer to help you eventually buy a home of your own. We give you the lowdown on how it works and who is eligible.

CONTENTS 4 First Time Buyer February/March 2023 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2023 / ISSUE 99 / FIRSTTIMEBUYERMAG.CO.UK
Cover photo © Mike Prior



Coralie Phelan, Partner and Head of New Build Homes at Prince Evans Solicitors LLP, explains the key conveyancing terms used at each stage of the transaction. 100 Directory Where and how to contact your homebuying agents or providers. 106 20 Questions We ask 20 quick-fire questions to a legal expert and in this issue

Coralie Phelan, Partner and Head of New Build Homes at Prince Evans Solicitors, is in the spotlight.

CONTENTS First Time Buyer February/March 2023 5
20 20
Peter Komolafe 79 Competition Nine lucky winners have the chance to win a 2L tub of Renovation Multi-Surface paint from V33, in a colour of their choice, worth £42. REGULARS 80 First home, first meal Created by Chris Mackett, Tom Kerridge Group Head Chef, this delicious recipe for Toad in the Hole served with roasted onion and ale gravy is the perfect choice on a cold winter’s day.
Inspector Gadget
some products and tips to save energy. 82
a property
Bill Dhariwal, Solicitor and Managing Director of Lawcomm, explains the important legal considerations and what documents you will need. 84 Ask Emilia Emilia is the Sales Director at Metro Finance. Here she answers some of the most common questions asked.
Finance Kay Hill looks at the latest moves in the mortgage market.
Market With the changes to Stamp Duty, Ginetta Vedrickas considers how this will impact first time buyers.
Agony Agent All your property questions answered by our panel of experts. 93 Buyer’s
Check out FTB’s Buyer’s Guide, which walks you through the property process. 98 Conveyancing
all first time buyers need to know



I have recently had a mortgage offer but I am not quite in a position to accept it just yet. How long does a mortgage offer last for?

FTB says: Every mortgage offer is slightly different, so the period of time your mortgage offer is valid for will vary from lender to lender. One thing they do all have in common, however, is that they are valid for a fixed period. In the vast majority of cases this will be three months but for new builds it is often six months when bought off-plan, as the mortgage criteria can be more complex. You may also be able to extend the offer for a new build property if you haven’t accepted within the time frame. It’s always advisable to talk to a mortgage adviser who will point you in the right direction once they know what kind of property you are looking for and the time frames you are looking to work within.


Having recently visited the bank to talk about mortgages I was offered a mortgage that comes with a mortgage arrangement fee. What does a mortgage arrangement fee cover and do all mortgage applications come with one?

This month’s star letter prize wins an Elegance post box, available in 10 colours from leading security specialist Burg-Wächter, worth £35. Choose from –white, black, pillarbox red, green, silver, Chartwell green, anthracite, midnight blue, French grey, antique cream.

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Big enough for C4 envelopes, the drop front opening makes it extremely easy to collect your mail, while a sleek post design embossed at the front gives it a touch of elegance.

FTB says: All fees associated with your mortgage should be outlined in your mortgage illustration document, which breaks down each fee, explaining what it is and how much it will cost you. A mortgage arrangement fee is what you pay the lender to set up your mortgage and most mortgages will have one. The cost can vary significantly, although on average it will cost around £1,000. You can usually choose between paying the arrangement fee upfront or adding it to the mortgage but it will ultimately cost more to do the latter as you will pay interest on it over a period of time.


Please send us your questions, comments and suggestions concerning property, or the articles in First Time Buyer magazine.


In the next few months, I am going to start looking at potential properties for my first home. Is there anything I should be particularly looking out for when I’m being shown around? Ismail Farley

FTB says: A good tip is to write down what is important for you in your home before you make any visits. Be prepared though, a home might not be able to tick every single box but it should give you some indication on whether or not the property will suit your needs. Whether it be lots of storage space, a big kitchen or stylish bathroom, everyone has their own preferences. A show home is a great place to start as you can get a real flavour for the potential of a property rather than an empty shell of a newly built house without anything in it. Be sure to ask questions if you are being shown around as well, and again, perhaps have some of these prepared before your visit. Finally, don’t jump at the first property you view no matter how nice it may seem. It is good to see a range of properties so you can make a better judgement on one of the biggest decisions of your life.


While looking for a mortgage I have come across the terms “credit score” and “credit report”. Is there are difference between the two and, if so, what are the differences?

Jacob Frost

FTB: Your credit report is the detailed record of all your financial behaviour. A credit score is a number, calculated by credit reference agencies and lenders, which sums up the information in that report. Your credit report tells the story of how you’ve handled credit in the past. Looking at your report allows credit providers to answer important questions

about your financial habits that will affect your ability to gain a mortgage and under what terms. It takes into account your current debts, whether or not you pay your debts on time and whether or not you tend to take on more debt than you can afford to repay. Your credit report isn’t the only data a credit provider will use to make a decision though. The information you provide in your application and other factors like your income are all important too.


For everything you need to know about buying for the first time, go to

LETTERS First Time Buyer February/March 2023 7

TV presenter and property expert Jonnie Irwin gives his thoughts and views on first time buyers and the housing market

Most of us like a good moan, don’t we? I find myself often at it, needlessly having a thought or making a comment that helps nobody, especially myself. Maybe it’s the inclement weather that moulds our subconscious, but as soon as the thermometer goes too low or too high, someone’s bellyaching! In a life where many of us live in comparative comfort compared to those in other countries around the world, we often find something to whinge about – and the more we do it, the gloomier our outlook becomes.

Conversely, I recently filmed with a crew on Escape to the Country and to a person, every member of the small team was unfathomably positive. Perhaps that’s something to do with their youth, but it was infectious, and I’ve thought about it quite a bit since. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still room for a bit of cynicism in short doses, but I’ve become more aware of negative vibes everywhere, and surprise, surprise, culprit number one is …our press!

Of course, there’s plenty of truth to the bounty of bad news out there to report on, but when it comes to financial outlook, focusing on just the negative can be dangerous. Those predicting the future of the financial or property markets find it easier to predict a downturn. After all, most markets are cyclical so the commentators will eventually be proved right.

It’s a brave prediction forecasting anything positive out there at the moment, but there are signs of movement in the market and help out there which should be good news to buyers.

Firstly, in order to save for the deposit, you can still use a Lifetime ISA (Individual Savings Account) to buy your first home or save for later life. You must be 18 or over, but under 40, to open a Lifetime ISA. If you can tighten your belt elsewhere you’ll be able to save up to £4,000 each year, until you’re 50. You must make your first payment into your ISA before you’re 40. Way too late for me!

The Government will then add a 25% bonus to your savings, up to a maximum of £1,000 per year. The Lifetime ISA limit of £4,000 counts towards your annual ISA limit. This is £20,000 for the 2022 to 2023 tax year. You can hold cash or stocks and shares in your Lifetime ISA, or have a combination of both. When you turn 50, you will not be able to pay into your Lifetime ISA or earn the 25% bonus.

As for the current UK mortgage market, the headlines reporting

on mortgage products being suddenly taken off the shelves is still fresh in the mind, so its perhaps arguably harder and less headlinegrabbing to paint a truthful and more positive image.

It’s true that interest rates are higher, but it doesn’t mean that mortgage lending is restricted or problematic. The mortgage is the product, the interest rate is a result of outside forces.

The cost of supplying mortgages has increased. It’s also why you can see action being taken by lenders and mortgage fixed rates being lowered. Reflecting this fact, several lenders are cutting margins, alongside small reductions in costs of funds. In other words, when a lender cuts margins, it means they are hungry to lend. Just like the car seller must sell cars, the lender “must” sell mortgages. Hold on, that’s good news isn’t it?

Right now, mortgage lending is healthy. The number of low deposit mortgages currently available demonstrates this. For shared ownership alone there are 99 mortgage products with just a 5% deposit! I didn’t see this on the news, I learnt it from Jon Lord at Metro Finance. This type of lending would disappear in a low liquidity market, just like it did in the financial crash back in 2008/09 when there were virtually zero low deposit mortgages.

Current times are nothing like a financial crash. Of course, affordability is a challenge –we all have “shorter arms and deeper pockets”, hence why shared ownership demand has increased, because it helps make the unaffordable, affordable. And why we’ve seen new lenders enter this sector in the last month. As an aside, lenders would not enter new sectors in a climate of restricted lending.

And, of course, interest rates are higher, but are they actually “high”? I don’t want to sound like an old grandpa, but even I remember paying 7%. When based against long term averages, 5% seems about right.

Obviously, the increases have been more sudden than desired, yet mortgage lenders are in their usual highly competitive battle to keep them as low as possible, especially on longer five-year fixed rates.

As we shiver through the winter you might not feel this is the time for you to buy a home, but when you are ready, I assure you that mortgage lenders not only want to lend, they need to, and face similar challenges of higher interest costs and higher overall costs.

OPINION First Time Buyer February/March 2023 9

Remember love isn’t just for Valentine’s Day, it should be for the other 364 days too! But just in case you need to remember to sprinkle a little romance, you could treat that someone special, whatever your relationship status, on 14 February with our FTB 14 top picks to set the romantic mood…



FTB LOVES 10 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
of roses letterbox, £27.50, Honeycomb hanging heart, £7.99, Ginger Ray
& Me bunting
Ginger Ray
socks, £2.99, New Neroli, lime and bergamot LED light up candle, £10, Marks & Spencer Felt heart
, £19.99, You
, £6.99,
Heart cupcake toppers, £5.99,
FTB LOVES First Time Buyer February/March 2023 11
of love chocolates, £11.95, Biscuiteers
napkins, £3.99, Ginger Ray
heart wall sign, £49.99, Lights4fun Velvet jewellery box, £11, Accessorize
heart curtain, £16.99, Lights4fun
heart wreath, £34.99, Lights4fun
mini heart pull through hoops, £12, Bryony Bel.


Looking to add something new this year, transforming a space or planning to move into your new home? The "Colour of the Year" may give some inspiration! If you fancy an earthy, glowing tone inspired from the natural world, check out Dulux’s "Wild Wonder" or if you are looking for a luxurious magenta, take a look at Pantone’s "Viva Magenta". Whatever your style, bright and bold or cool and neutral, we have something for you!

Tea tray, £29, Fy!

Mataram wall mirror, £72, Fy!

Woven placements, set of 2, £18, Fy!

Chalk paint, from £6.95, Annie Sloan

Leafy paradise removable wallpaper, from £32 sq m, Wallsauce

Olive branch napkins, set of 4, £33, Sophie Allport

Wire pendant light, £69, Cuckooland

Pink vase, £29.99, Dobbies

Natural rattan side table, £145, Fy!

Homepage LIVING 12 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
Homepage LIVING First Time Buyer February/March 2023 13 CONTACTS » Annie Sloan » B&Q » Bean Bag Bazaar » Benjamin Moore » Blinds 2go » Cuckooland » Desenio » Dobbies » Fy! » Julian Charles » Purlfrost » Sazy » Sofa » Sophie Allport » Wall Sauce
Wine paint, from £20, Benjamin Moore Beanbag recliner, £39.99, Beanbag Bazaar Jack armchair from £299, Geo handmade bowl, £24, Sazy Bee print throw, £15, Julian Charles
Place poster, £14.95, Desenio
effect window lm, £20, Purlfrost
lampshade, £30, B&Q
cushion, £20, Blinds 2go

At home with: Faye Winter

Faye Winter is passionate about property and interiors and was a highly successful estate agent and lettings manager for many years before she became a finalist on ITVs Love Island in 2021. She bought her first home when she was just 18 and is currently looking to buy with her partner, Teddy, next year. She has over 1.2 million social media followers and is an Ambassador for Guide Dogs UK. She talks to Lynda Clark about her life, her first home and gives some useful advice for anyone trying to get on the property ladder

FTB: Tell us about your first step on the property ladder

FW: I was 18 and bought a shared ownership home, which was a great way to get started on my property journey. I staircased to 100% so I owned it outright and it worked really well for me. When I decided to sell I could have converted it back to shared ownership but a lovely lady decided she wanted to buy it outright. I think shared ownership is brilliant and I can’t praise the scheme enough.

FTB: Did you go on to buy another home?

FW: I bought a three bedroom house, which was stunning and everything I ever wanted. After this I decided to return home and live with my parents.

FTB: Where are you living now?

FW: I am looking to buy with my partner, Teddy, who I met on Love Island. He originally comes from High Wycombe and has never bought before so it is quite frustrating because we can’t use any of the FTB schemes. We want to find the right property for us, in the right location that will work for us both, so we are looking around. But, with the change in interest rates and the state of the property market in general, we are watching the situation at the moment but would like to buy next year. We are renting but I am very keen to get back on the property ladder. I also have an idea to buy something in Devon, which is

Homepage LIVING 14 First Time Buyer February/March 2023

where I am originally from, that I could turn into an Airbnb. I love the countryside and it would be perfect to have a little bolthole. We have recently got a puppy, Bonnie, and I know she would love it down there too.

FTB: Tell us about your career

FW: I finished school when I was 16 and was always interested in sales. I firstly thought about going into car sales but that’s a very male-dominated industry. So, I got an apprenticeship in an estate agency. It was a foot in the door and I learnt everything there was to know. I worked there for five years and then decided to move on to a more corporate agency. I then decided to move to an independent estate agent, East of Exe, and because of all the knowledge I had I was able to sell homes and also do lettings and rentals so I could flip between the two and always hit my targets. I was in great demand and many clients insisted I look after them and I had so many referrals. One of the things I really care about is customer service, especially if you are helping a first time buyer. It is so scary for them and they need lots of help and advice, which I was delighted to do. I also used to give them a hand when it came to the interior of the property they were buying. None of them had much money to kit out their home so I enjoyed giving them hints and tips of how to design it on a budget. I also loved talking to prospective buyers and sellers and visiting properties. I stayed there for three years and it was a wonderful job.

FTB: You were a contestant on Love Island – was that something you had dreamt of doing?

FW: I loved my job and loved my life so I was really 50/50 about it. It was an experience and I met my partner, Teddy, who is the love of my life. I was then on Celebrity MasterChef which was so out of my comfort zone. I’m a pub grub girl from Devon but I made it through to the semifinals, which was quite an achievement. I would now like to get back into property as I am not your typical Love Islander. I have a few plans and ideas, so it’s a question of watch this space!

FTB: Tell us about your work with Guide Dogs UK?

FW: I used to board guide dogs for four and half years before I went on to Love Island and I am now an Ambassador. They do amazing work and I would board dogs in the evenings and weekends. They go to guide dog school during the day, so it worked well when I was working full time and I really loved having them and helping. I am now campaigning to raise funds and I worked on a collaboration with the fashion

chain New Look and produced a New Look Edit and donated part of my fee to them.

FTB: What advice do you have for FTBs?

FW: Don’t push yourself too far and if it doesn’t work out something else will always turn up. Get a Mortgage in Principle and don’t stress if it runs out, just make sure you get another one. Buying a home should be your passion project so stick to what you really want. Decide what your priorities are, and if you want a large kitchen/diner as an entertaining space and smaller bedrooms, for example, then hold out for that. Make a list of things that are important to you. It

could be location, green space, parking, near to shops or schools – whatever it is, you should decide what works for you. Buying a home for the first time takes you out of your comfort zone as it is the biggest and most costly thing you will ever buy, but try not to put pressure on yourself. Sometimes we can be blinded by something that is cheaper but if it’s not the home of your dreams you are bound to be unhappy, so take it slowly and steadily and you will get there in the end.

Follow Faye on Instagram



Homepage LIVING First Time Buyer February/March 2023 15


This month FTB goes on the hunt with Jason Gordon-Campbell who is looking for a one bedroom apartment close to his hometown of Chelmsford, Essex, with good local facilities and transport links high on the list of priorities

What we found…



Name Jason Gordon-Campbell, 30 Occupation Account manager

Maximum budget £290,000

Requirements A one bedroom home in Essex, within a 20-minute drive of Chelmsford. Outdoor space, good local facilities and rail links to London are a must

What he wanted…

I grew up just outside of Chelmsford in Essex and I have lots of family and friends in the area – many still in Chelmsford. Even though I’ve been renting in London for the past ve years I tend to spend a lot of my time travelling out to Essex to see my friends and family, to play football and go out. I really want to buy my own place and my home county is calling! I’m looking for an apartment and only need one bedroom – though two would obviously be even better. I work from home the majority of the time but have to travel into London once or twice a month. Being close to transport links would be ideal, as being able to travel easily into the city or to other towns in Essex on occasion without driving would be great. I have a budget of around £290,000.”

FROM £234,950

FROM £353,000

The pretty town of Kelvedon is home to this new collection of properties, which range from one and two bedroom apartments to two to ve bedroom houses. This sought-after location is popular for its history, picturesque surrounds and convenient travel links – the railway station is less than 500m away. Chelmsford and Colchester are 20 minutes’ drive, while London Liverpool Street is under an hour by train. The apartments are bright and spacious, with stylish kitchens, hallway storage and an en suite from the main bedroom in some of the two bedroom homes.

Perfectly located for commuters, with rail connections and stunning countryside on tap, this is a bestof-both-worlds location. The gated development, which is home to a collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments, sits between the suburbs of Brentwood, Hutton Mount and Shen eld, all of which offer shops, restaurants and green spaces. The apartments are beautifully designed, with openplan living spaces opening to a private balcony and oak ooring throughout. Shen eld station, with services to Stratford in 15 minutes, is a just a 15-minute walk.

What he thought…

This is a pretty good location for me –Chelmsford is a pretty quick drive from Kelvedon, and Mersea Beach and Colchester are also really easy to get to. I spent a lot of my childhood on the Essex coast as my parents really love it – especially Mersea and Clacton –and I’d enjoy being close enough to visit the seaside regularly. Kelvedon looks really nice, and though it’s quite a rural location there are shops, pubs and the railway station almost on the doorstep, so it’s a best-of-both-worlds situation for me!”

I used to work in Shen eld and know it well. This is a really great area for putting down roots and there’s loads to see and do in the surrounding areas. I have friends locally too, which is a bonus. The apartments are really attractive, with great styling and natural light. It’s great they have balconies too, as I love the idea of eating al fresco in the warmer months. It only takes 25 minutes by train into London Liverpool Street from here –and Chelmsford is also only around a 20-minute drive, so it’s win-win!”

16 First Time Buyer February/March 2023 Homepage FIRST RUNG


FROM £81,250

FROM £290,000

First choice!


L&Q at The Arbour Chelmsford, Essex

FROM £66,750*

This landmark development covers almost 443 acres and stretches along 2km of breath-taking southfacing River Thames. Among the many new homes and facilities at Barking Riverside sits L&Q’s range of stylish and well-sized one and two bedroom apartments, complete with balcony or terrace, video door entry and bicycle storage. The river is key to life here, with magni cent views, riverside shops and cafes, as well as Thames Clipper boat services directly into central London. On site facilities will include a new Overground station, school and parkland.

*Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £325,000

Wow, what a stunning location, right on the river! I love the idea of travelling into the city by boat, I’d never get bored of riverside runs and walks, and I think there would be a real sense of community here. The apartments have a clean, contemporary look, and there’s a good choice of layouts. It’s great that there are balconies, especially with all those Thames-side sunsets to take in. I like that both London and Essex are both so easily accessed; overall, it’s in a really great spot.”

Beam Park forms part of a brand new neighbourhood in the recently regenerated suburb of Rainham, designed with community in mind. Amenities including schools, medical, faith and leisure facilities, as well as purpose-built open spaces, are all geared towards encouraging interaction between residents. London Fenchurch Street can be reached in just 21 minutes from nearby Dagenham Dock station. Portland House, on the east side of the development, contains a range of high speci cation one and two bedroom homes, many with balconies.

There is so much on offer here, with a gym, cycle routes, parkland and lots of shops and cafes planned. There’s a nature reserve really close by, which I know I’d be visiting a lot, and that my nieces would absolutely love to explore. The apartments themselves have a de nite sense of luxury about them and are really appealing. There are some tall buildings within the development – with some apartments available on 15th oor – the views must be fantastic and I nd the idea of living so high up quite enticing.”

These new one and two bedroom apartments form part of the award-winning Beaulieu development situated just outside Chelmsford. Created on the site of Henry VIII’s summer residence, this new community bene ts from a range of facilities including new schools, shops, cafes, public open spaces and bus routes – as well as an abundance of green space. The apartments are thoughtfully designed, with openplan living spaces, tted wardrobe in the well-sized bedroom and separate utility room. Chelmsford can be reached in eight minutes by car, while London Liverpool Street is just over 30 minutes by train.

*Based on a 30% share of the full market value of £222,500


“I am so keen to get myself a new home and be right back where I belong, in Essex! My parents will come and view the development and apartments with me, then I hope to get a one bedroom home secured as soon as possible.”

These apartments seem to be offering everything that I’m looking for – the location is great, and with parks, green space, shops and cafes on tap, I feel I could achieve the lifestyle I want. I do tend to drive a lot, and getting around from here is super easy. I can get to football, friends and my parents within well under 20 minutes. What is really cool though, is that there’s a dedicated bus service for residents – which makes going out or commuting into London that bit easier and more reliable. I know that my sister and her kids will love to visit me here, too, as there are playgrounds and parks within the development – perfect!”

Homepage FIRST RUNG First Time Buyer February/March 2023 17
Barking Riverside east London Portland House Beam Park, Rainham

QI’m looking to buy my first home.

I have seen a few properties that I am interested in, but they are located in areas that are currently undergoing large redevelopment projects, so it is difficult to get a good feel for the local area. What are the benefits of buying a new home in a regeneration area?

ABuying in a regeneration zone can provide a variety of benefits, both financial and lifestyle-related. If you find a property that you are keen to make your own, don’t be put off by the surrounding regeneration works.

New housing is a key part of many regeneration plans to meet changes in demand. The way that we use our homes evolves over time. For example, working from home is becoming increasingly common, requiring us to think about new ways to use our space effectively. New build homes are carefully designed to support the lifestyle of the current buyers and so may be better suited to your needs than older properties.

Not only are you able to secure a modern property that is better designed to cater to a 21st century lifestyle, but you may also be able to apply for certain financial options that would not be available for older properties. Shared ownership, for example, is only available on selected new build homes and resale properties where the previous owner purchased through shared ownership. Under this scheme, you are able to buy a percentage share of your home and pay a reduced rent on the remaining share. You are then able to buy additional shares in the future up to 100% and full ownership, as and when you can afford to do so.

Another benefit of buying in a regeneration zone is that you know that you are buying in an area that is being reimagined to best meet the needs of the local community. This may include projects aimed at improving transport

infrastructure, green space, leisure facilities and/or employment opportunities.

Once complete, such projects provide a vibrant backdrop for the community to thrive in, creating an exciting place to call home. You can often find detailed plans online so you can see what has been proposed and when work is expected to be completed.

For example, we have a couple of upcoming developments in Edgware in north London (ICON and Edgware Parade). The area has recently benefited from a £5m regeneration project that has added playgrounds and active zone areas to Silkstream Park and Montrose Playing Fields, as well as a wetland area that combines a tranquil retreat from the city with habitats from a variety of local wildlife. Future

Network Homes is excited to be offering shared ownership apartments in two landmark developments in the heart of north London – Icon and Edgware Parade.

The London Borough of Barnet, in north west London, is fast becoming a Zone 5 hotspot for great places to live. Identi ed in the London Plan as one of the capital’s 35 major centres, there are exciting plans for Edgware, with improvements to cycle lanes, public realm appearance, a new swimming pool and a cinema.

regeneration work has also been announced for the town centre, aimed at enhancing the Broadway Shopping Centre and the surrounding bus station and garages. Buyers at ICON and Edgware Parade will therefore be perfectly positioned to enjoy a variety of new amenities in the years to come.

As a charitable housing association that has been committed to providing safe, secure and affordable homes since 1974, Network Homes believes that regeneration areas provide an incredible opportunity for first time buyers looking to get on to the property ladder.

For more information, please visit or contact Network Homes on or 0300 373 3000.


Edgware has always been a prime place to live and work. A good range of excellent schools and lots of green outdoor space nearby make this a soughtafter area for families and commuters alike. Not only are the developments located close to the shopping district, you can also access the underground at Edgware and Burnt Oak stations from where you can reach central London in just over 30 minutes, and there’s access to TFL’s 24-hour bus service.

Icon and Edgware Parade, Edgware

You will never be bored with so much on offer! Whatever your mood there is always something to do in the local area and beyond. The new neighbourhood offers a vibrant community where you can really belong. To the south, the hustle and bustle of central London is only 10 miles away, but you are also within easy reach of Hertfordshire’s peaceful greenbelt countryside to the north.

Register your interest at

Kalumba Musambachime is currently Head of Sales & Build to Rent at Network Homes. He has more than 15 years of experience in the residential property sector, working primarily in the areas of day-today operational management, portfolio management and sales. In addition to working for some of the UK’s largest housing associations, he has significant experience of working in the build to rent and private residential letting sectors. In his role as Head of Sales & Build to Rent, he has had to play a key role in ensuring that the affordable homes for sale by Network Homes are delivered in the right locations and at affordable prices
February/March 2023
Kalumba Musambachime, Head of Sales & Build to Rent, Network Homes


Peter Komolafe is a financial expert, financial coach and TV personality whose personal journey is the driving force behind his passion for helping people. In 2020 he founded Conversation of Money on a YouTube channel, and runs a weekly podcast. Since the launch they have gained over 1.8 million views and downloads. He talks to Lynda Clark about his incredible life, his career, and offers some excellent advice to first time buyers

20 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
THE VIEW First Time Buyer February/March 2023 21

If I say I was "blown away" after hearing Peter’s life story it would be a complete understatement. His fortitude, bravery and resilience is quite incredible. Peter’s parents came to England from Nigeria in the 1970s to study and work. He was born in 1979 but they already had three older boys and they felt they just couldn’t look after him. At that time, it was common for people to advertise in the newspaper for foster parents and when he was three months old he was fostered to a family in Hastings. He only got to see his parents once a year for two weeks in the summer holidays, but his life with his new family was very good and they treated him like he was their own.

By the time Peter was eight, his father had moved back to Nigeria and he was told that his father had booked him a flight to visit them so that he could get to know his brothers. Peter thought he was going for a couple of weeks but once there, they told him he wouldn’t be returning to England or his foster parents.

He said, “I was so young but I had to get a plane all by myself to Lagos and when I arrived there were some people holding up my name to take me to the place where my family lived. It was pretty scary! I had no idea that it would be 10 years before I went back to the airport to fly home. I was so unhappy and I didn’t want to speak Nigerian and always insisted that my parents spoke to me in English. It was hard because I looked the same as everyone else but somehow I was different. I was targeted at school and I just couldn’t adjust to the culture. All in all, I just didn’t want to be there. I never had any contact with my English foster parents either but I never forgot them.”

He finished his schooling and did well in science and physics and because Peter suffers from sickle cell anaemia his father wanted him to train to be a doctor to research the condition and hopefully help to find some sort of cure. Eventually, after two long years in limbo between applying for university and potentially coming back to the UK, his father cobbled together enough money for a plane ticket.

Peter was very excited about the prospect of returning home and his father told him his flight would be in a couple of weeks but then a few days later he came home from work and told Peter that actually

the flight was leaving in two hours. “I was in shock and had to quickly pack a bag with a few things and my dad gave me £50. It all happened so fast that I had no time to really think things through. I never had a plan of what I was going to do. I knew I was heading to my foster parents' address but had no idea if they still lived there or had moved. It wasn’t until the plane started its descent that panic started to set in.”

Peter never saw his father again and when he arrived at Heathrow he got a train to Hastings and found the house where he used to live. “It was about midday when I got there but nobody was in and I had no idea what to do. It was October and chilly but I sat in the alleyway by the side of the house for hours waiting for them to hopefully come home. Luckily a neighbour saw me and recognised me and explained that my foster family were at work and would be back soon. I was very happy to see them again but things had moved on and although they took me in for a couple of months they couldn’t offer me a home for longer. Of course, the £50 my father gave me had run out so I had no money and I looked so young and helpless. Shortly after leaving my foster parents I became homeless and slept on the streets. I was desperate – I had no money, no family and no friends but most importantly I had no permanent address, so I couldn’t get a job and I couldn’t claim any benefits.

“When you are on the streets you become very suspicious of everyone, but one night I was sleeping on a bench when a complete stranger spoke to me and said I would freeze to death if I stayed there. He offered to take me to his parents’ home and promised they would be happy for me to stay. I had to trust him as I knew I couldn’t survive for much longer. They welcomed me into their home and I started to try to turn my life around. The trouble was I had got into some serious debts and I was in trouble. When I was homeless I went into survival mode and had no choice but to issue cheques that I knew would bounce and the police started to make enquiries!

"Finally, because I had an address, I could get Jobseekers' Allowance, which helped a lot, but they insisted I apply for a job. They told me I had to go for an interview at a building society and if I refused then I would lose my allowance. I had no choice, so I tried to make myself

look scruffy and wore jeans, trainers and a leather jacket, which is obviously not what they would expect you to wear. The lady who interviewed me was very nice and we are still in touch. She said she wanted to give me a chance as she saw something in me and offered me the job even though I explained I had racked up so many debts.”

He started as a cashier in the Portman Building Society which is now Nationwide. As he was good at talking to people and very good with figures he prospered. He then moved up and became a sales consultant for them and eventually moved to NatWest where again he did very well. In 2012, Peter decided he should move to London. He wanted to progress and had always had a dream of working in Canary Wharf. He had no degree though, and he thought it would be useless, but he was approached by a recruitment consultant who had seen his CV online. They told him they might have the perfect job for him and it was based in Canary Wharf!

“I always watched The Apprentice on TV and remember the rolling shot over Canary Wharf and the pointed roof of One Canada Square. On the recruitment day, I turned up 20 minutes early to make a good impression but there were 25 other people already there who were more qualified than I was. So, I was shocked when eventually I found I had got the job – it was my dream come true and it was on the 50th floor at One Canada Square, right in the heart of Canary Wharf!

"I worked very hard and eventually after five years was on the executive team of a Fortune 100 company. I started on £28,000 a year as a telephone consultant and quickly learned that the guy who I was supporting on the phone was earning over £100,000 a year. I thought to myself that I was being a mug and I could easily do his job. I think I have a great deal of resilience which stemmed from my childhood and a spirit of never giving up. Eventually I left as I qualified to be a financial adviser in 2017. I always wanted to help people and advise them on what you can do with your money.”

Then in 2020, Peter founded Conversation of Money on a YouTube channel and did a weekly podcast. “I wanted to share my knowledge and break down what is a very complex subject into easy-to-understand language. I gained so much experience and understanding during the 15 years I was working that I wanted to have conversations that I would have loved to have had when I was in my 20s. Since the launch they have both gained over 28 million impressions and over 1.8 million views and downloads. “I am passionate about sharing the knowledge I gained through my career and the personal lessons I learnt along the way.”

Peter was approached to appear as a

THE VIEW 22 First Time Buyer February/March 2023

financial expert on Channel 4's Secret Spenders and is a regular contributor on Lorraine on ITV. He contributes to news stories with GB News, The Express, The Sun, The Times and the BBC World Service He also appears on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4 every Tuesday.

He bought his first home, which is a four bedroom house on three floors. “It’s not my dream home but it’s got enough room if anyone wants to stay and it’s a great start. There is also plenty of space to work which is good too." He has some sound advice for first time buyers, “Speak to a mortgage adviser to get a clear picture of what you can afford. Get a good idea of what you actually want to buy and what location you want. If you can live outside of London you will find that properties are much more affordable. Get a Lifetime ISA and also be realistic about how much you can save for a deposit. Take each stage in bite-sized chunks so you don’t get overwhelmed and you will make more progress than you think, if you are disciplined.”

Peter’s story is inspiring to say the least. Looking back at his erratic upbringing and desperate times, it’s amazing that he is so warm and passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping people – his future is looking very bright indeed!

Website – Instagram – peterkomolafe  YouTube – Peter Komolafe

Peter’s new book, The Money Basics: How to Become Your Own Financial Hero, will be published by Harper Collins on 16 March

THE VIEW First Time Buyer February/March 2023 23


The current cost-of-living crisis has hit the UK hard and has obvious implications for all those looking to invest in their first home. Research by Pocket Living has found that the situation is particularly challenging for Londoners, with over a quarter (27%) of the 25 to 45-year-old renters polled considering leaving in the next 12 months. We look at what London has to offer, the barriers to buying in the city, and the options available for those who are keen to continue to call London home or to live within reach


Pocket Living’s research found that transport links are of high importance to buyers, with 65% of respondents noting they are particularly important when selecting a location to live in. The accessibility of the capital is therefore key to its appeal. This is followed by parks and green spaces (49%), which the city has in droves. When it comes to the home itself, 62% of buyers view "space" as being particularly important to them when buying a property, followed by "access to transport" (59%), "storage" (53%) and "Wi-Fi" (46%).

Buyers are also looking to the future when making their plans; for many the decision to have children is impacted by whether or not they own a home. Almost six in 10 (59%) of non-homeowners say they'd be more likely to have children within the next five years if they owned their home, and almost half (46%) of homeowners claim they were motivated to buy due to their desire to have children. Conversely, 46% of renters say that not owning their home is one of the biggest barriers to considering having children. Of the homeowners polled, approximately seven in 10 claim owning a home has improved both their stability in life and quality of life.


Many first time buyers choose to settle outside of the city, but sadly 54% of those

currently planning to leave don’t want to – an increase of 11% in just a year. A huge majority (71%) of these agree they are less likely to afford a home as a direct result of the cost-of-living crisis, and 69% say the current economic climate is delaying their plans to buy their first home.

Of course, London property prices remain by far the biggest obstacle to homeownership for renters (60%). Of the homeowners polled, over half (55%) received financial help from their parents to raise a deposit, and those who have bought in the past two years have spent an average of £594,288 on their home, raising an average deposit of 22.1%. These figures are simply unobtainable for many, with 39% claiming they can’t raise a deposit, and 36% saying they can’t afford the mortgage. In fact, 52% have seen a decrease in the amount of money they can save, and a concerning 26% are increasingly in debt.


Over half of renters (51%) feel they would have to sacrifice too much if they were to move outside of London to afford a home, so what hope is there? Savvy renters looking to get on the property ladder are already making changes to their lifestyle in an attempt to stay in the city; 60% have reduced the number of times they are eating out each month and 54% either have or plan to lower their household heating usage.

at Pocket Living, comments, “There are hundreds of thousands of hardworking people trying to get their foot on the housing ladder, who are currently hampered by high London property prices, the ability to raise a deposit and a lack of quality homes in London. Our aim has always been to help these people find a place of their own in their local area and as many Londoners battle increasing rents, bills and the price of everyday services, genuinely affordable housing in accessible areas will become even more vital.”

There are developers committed to providing high-quality, affordable housing, and there are schemes designed specifically to support first time buyers to access that housing, so before making a big move out of the city we would encourage our readers to assess their finances, have a look at the schemes available to them and speak to a broker – you may be pleasantly surprised.

Alternatively, it may be that you simply can’t afford the home you want in the capital, in which case you will need to be very honest with yourself about what compromises you are willing to make in order to secure your first home.

What is it you feel you would be sacrificing by leaving London, and can it be found elsewhere? If you had good transport links, could a home further afield work for you? Would the extra space you could afford give you the option to work from home? Consider carefully what your priorities are long term, and work from there.

CAPITAL COMMUTE 24 First Time Buyer February/March 2023



Home X

Home X is an exciting new neighbourhood, forming a key part of the Preston Barracks Regeneration on Lewes Road. The range of homes includes studio, one and two bedroom apartments plus three bedroom triplexes. A selection of homes have private outside space in the form of a balcony or terrace, while all residents have access to beautiful landscaped podium gardens. Internally, homes are light lled with a high-quality speci cation, including sleek matt blue tted kitchens with integrated appliances. As part of Home X’s travel plan, residents will also bene t from two years’ free car club membership and choice of either a Network Saver ticket, £150 bike voucher or 12 months BTN Bikeshare membership. 0333 210 0437


Crescent Gardens

Croydon has been named the London Borough of Culture of 2023 and these 79 shared ownership apartments by Latimer are located in its exciting new urban culture quarter. The new studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments at Crescent Gardens deliver accessibly priced housing without sacri cing on design. High-quality xtures and ttings come as standard in these generously proportioned apartments, which all enjoy private outdoor space. Residents can reach East Croydon railway station in a few minutes via a new station entrance, with direct trains to Clapham Junction in nine minutes and London Victoria and Gatwick in just 15 minutes. 0300 100 0309


Union Walk at The Green Quarter

Buyers can choose from a collection of contemporary suites plus one and two bedroom apartments in this development along the Grand Union Canal, which will feature tree-lined avenues, 2,500 freshly planted trees and living green roofs to enhance the biodiversity of the area. Residents will also bene t from a buzzing community including a new school, retail and leisure hub, restaurants, cinema and two new parks. The homes are nished to an excellent standard, with modern-day living at their core. Inside, openplan living areas enable exible lifestyles, while stylish kitchens come complete with a range of integrated appliances. Many homes also bene t from private balconies. 0300 100 0309

First time buyer Rhianne, 28, and her partner Sam, 29, had been renting a one bedroom at in Hampshire, but rising house prices meant buying a home in the south east was out of reach. Now, having purchased a three bedroom semi-detached house through the shared ownership scheme at Weston Woods by Latimer in Crewe, Cheshire, the couple have space to grow and are enjoying their new lives in the countryside.

Rhianne says, “House prices in Hampshire and the south east had rocketed and showed no sign of coming back down so we explored alternative avenues. With contemporary hybrid working, I realised we were no longer geographically constricted by work commitments. With my role as Global Visual Communication Manager at Reiss, I have the exibility to live outside of the heavily priced areas surrounding London and Sam did too.”

After discovering the Weston Woods site, Rhianne and Sam’s journey from viewing to completion took just six months. Rhianne recalls, “After the viewing, we knew this was the home for us. I am the sole mortgage holder and bought a 45% share of the property which has a full market value of £205,000 and required just a 5% deposit. Our monthly outgoing is about £100 less than our one bedroom rental in Hampshire, which my friends and family can hardly believe. For a lower monthly cost, we now have three bedrooms, a lovely garden and so much more storage space than our rental offered. I plan to staircase in the future and hope to eventually own 100% of my home, something which wouldn’t have been possible had we stayed near London.”

The couple are making the most of the location and rural life of South Crewe, and particularly enjoy the village community feel, “where everyone says hello to one another and helps each other out”. Rhianne continues, “The home itself is absolutely beautiful. It’s fresh, spacious and is in a wonderful location. We have converted one of the rooms into a home of ce and the other is used for guests. Our garden looks on to an area of green space which come spring will look incredible. We have made our home warm, cosy and full of colour and indoor plants.” The commute is no bother either. “I’m well positioned to reach all the big cities like Birmingham and Manchester,” Rhianne explains, “and a ticket to London is £40, nearly the same as when I was in Hampshire.”

As a rst time buyer and solo mortgage holder, Rhianne was particularly grateful for the Latimer sales team’s support and professionalism. “My experience was brilliant, it showed that buying a home is possible and can be a seamless process if you have a helpful sales team and make use of the shared ownership scheme.” In fact, Rhianne loves her home so much, she is documenting their new build journey on her home Instagram account @village_newbuild

CAPITAL COMMUTE First Time Buyer February/March 2023 25
FROM £105,875* FROM £90,675* FROM £66,875* *Based on a 35% share of the full market value of £302,500
on a 30% share of the full market value of £302,500
value of
a 25% share of the full market

Hristina, a business management student, and Vladamir, a lorry driver, have bought the house of their dreams with a 30% price reduction, thanks to a Government-funded scheme. The First Homes scheme allows buyers to own 100% of their home but pay 30% less than its market value, with the Government supplementing the rest. The discount will apply to the home forever, so when selling, the home must be sold to another rst time buyer at 30% less than the market value at the time of sale.

Housebuilder Chestnut Homes is the rst in Lincolnshire to offer the First Homes scheme, aimed at helping rst time buyers get on the property ladder. Helene Key, Sales Manager at Chestnut Homes, said, “The First Homes scheme is a brilliant way for rst time buyers to get on to the property ladder. The Government support will make a huge difference to the overall cost and may even allow some to purchase a home sooner than planned. We’re proud to be the rst housebuilder in Lincolnshire to offer the scheme, and we’re delighted we could help Hristina and Vladamir nd the right home for their family.”

The couple are the rst recipients of the scheme at Chestnut Homes’ development, The Quadrant, in Boston. To be eligible for the scheme, buyers must be able to get a mortgage for at least half the price of the home and be part of a household where the total income is no more than £80,000. Hristina and Vladamir, who have two children, had originally hoped to buy a family home using the Help to Buy scheme but found out they didn’t meet all the requirements.

Hristina recalls, “One day we were driving home and stumbled across a Chestnut Homes development and it felt like fate. We knew we wanted to buy soon, so we decided to pop in and speak to the sales staff to nd out what we could get. We were told we couldn’t use Help to Buy on this occasion, which was disheartening until we were told about the First Homes scheme. We had never heard of it before, and it happened that we t the criteria.”

Hristina adds, “After the pandemic, so many people lost their jobs and we had to reassess our dream of getting our own home. I can’t thank Chestnut Homes enough because no matter what silly questions we had, their staff supported us throughout the entire process. Even when we moved in, they checked in multiple times to make sure we were settling in. We’re so thankful we came across The Quadrant and without their recommendation, we wouldn’t have found our dream home.”

WELWYN GARDEN CITY SO Resi Welwyn Garden City

This collection of new one, two and three bedroom homes forms part of an impressive development around the landmark of the city’s famous Shredded Wheat factory. The light and inviting

are ideal for those who love the vibrancy of modern life surrounded by endless green space. Welwyn

City bridges city and country and sits a 29-minute train journey from London King's

All apartments will bene t from private balconies and terraces to

the local scenery. nd-a-property/so-resi-welwyn-garden-city 020 8607 0550


Guinness Homes has launched Phase One of its new development in Kingston upon Thames comprising 78 one bedroom apartments, 103 two bedroom apartments, six two bedroom duplex apartments and 24 three bedroom apartments. Situated within a three-minute walk of Tolworth station, Signal Park is strategically located among nearby amenities; its central location is ideal for young people and families. The line leading through Tolworth station takes travellers directly to Waterloo in 31 minutes, stopping at Clapham Junction and Vauxhall beforehand for convenient access into the city. nd-a-home/signal-park-tolworth 020 3824 9500


Fontwell Meadows is a development of two, three and four bedroom homes located in the village of Fontwell, close to Barnham – a perfect location for semi-rural living. Each home comes with a fully tted modern kitchen and a spacious living area. Homes also bene t from private gardens and a garage or allocated parking. Surrounded by scenic countryside with amenities and several Ofsted-rated Good schools nearby, it is a great location for families. 01903 337 449

CAPITAL COMMUTE 26 First Time Buyer February/March 2023 CASE
homes Garden Cross. enjoy
FROM £70,000* FROM £88,125* FROM £249,950 *Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £280,000 *Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £352,500

FROM £310,000


Annington – Nene Road

This collection of refurbished mid and end-terrace cottage-style homes include new carpet and ooring throughout, with updated bathrooms. The former MOD homes bene t from good-sized gardens, access to an off-road driveway and dedicated cycle stores. Some homes come tted with an electric vehicle charging point. Arlesey railway station is only a ve-minute drive away from the development, offering services to London King's Cross in 45 minutes. 01462 459 643


Currently available are a collection of one and two bedroom apartments, located just a twominute walk away from Bracknell train station, SO Resi Bracknell is ideally located for those returning to their city of ces, with London Waterloo under an hour’s commute away. nd-a-property/so-resi-bracknell 01462 459 643


OVAL, LONDON Zone at Oval Village

This chic collection of one and two bedroom shared ownership apartments, by Peabody, are ready to move into. All homes are nished to a high speci cation, with a private balcony and access to signi cant landscaped communal gardens; a city oasis for those who enjoy the great outdoors. Residents also bene t from a concierge service and pay-as-you-go gym. The development is located in Zone 1, within 10 minutes’ walk of Vauxhall, Kennington and Oval stations, offering transport connections via the Northern and Victoria Lines. 020 7021 4842

This beautiful development, by Moat Homes, offers a limited collection of art deco-inspired two and three bedroom houses. The on-site facilities are set to include shops and of ces, a new school, wildlife corridors, a cricket pitch and much more. Canterbury city is 12 minutes away, and the seaside town of Whitstable just 20 minutes. Both Canterbury East and West railway stations provide excellent links into central London, making this the perfect location for rst time buyers looking to embrace country living while maintaining those all-important city connections.

The location of Micklewell Park, on the outskirts of Daventry, was perfect for Ben and his apartment has excellent countryside views from the balcony. He says, “I’m surrounded by the countryside and I’m able to go for scenic walks, without having to travel far. I’m also close enough to shops and everything I need, but far enough to enjoy the outdoors.”

The layout of the apartment was ideal too; it has suf cient space for a big desk, meaning he can work comfortably from home. In fact, his friends and family say it’s much bigger than they expected and are now asking him to host dinner parties and get-togethers!

Ben found the experience of buying his rst home very positive. He says, “My mortgage adviser was fantastic and the team at Orbit Homes were super responsive to any questions I had.”


on a 30% share of the full market value of £350,000

CAPITAL COMMUTE 28 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
£137,500* 07711 438 500 CASE
FROM £74,250* FROM £105,000*
Ben, 24, recently moved into his brand new apartment at Orbit Homes’ agship development, Micklewell Park, in Daventry. Ben had been house sharing with friends and was saving little and often into a Lifetime ISA. His search for a new home began when he had saved enough money for a deposit, and he decided to buy through the shared ownership scheme as it was an affordable way for him to get on to the property ladder.
Asked what advice he would give to someone thinking about getting on to the property ladder with shared ownership, Ben suggests, “Save early and save often. Even if you think you are miles away from your deposit, contribute to that fund whenever you can. You might be closer than you think.”  *Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £550,000
*Based on a 30% share of the full market value of £247,500



London Living Rent is funded by the Mayor. The idea behind London Living Rent is that it is designed to help people to switch from renting to shared ownership.

London Living Rent homes are for middle-income households who want to build up savings to buy a home through shared ownership. Landlords are expected to actively support their tenants into homeownership within 10 years.

London Living Rent homes will be offered on tenancies of a minimum of three years. By offering a below-market rent, tenants are supported to save and given the option to buy their home on a shared ownership basis during their tenancy.


The amount of rent you pay will vary according to where you choose to live in London.

Across London, the average monthly rent for a two bedroom London Living Rent home is around £1,077 a month, almost

three quarters of the average market rent. The Mayor publishes benchmark London Living Rent levels for every neighbourhood in the capital, which are updated annually.

These are based on a third of average local household incomes and adjusted for the number of bedrooms in each home. So, to ensure family-sized London Living Rent homes are affordable, the rent for a three bedroom home will be set at no more than 10% above the two bedroom rent.


To be eligible for a London Living Rent home, you must:

Live or work in London

Either have a formal tenancy (for example, in the private rented sector) or live in an informal arrangement with family or friends as a result of struggling with housing costs

Have a maximum household income of £60,000

Not own any other residential home

Be unable to currently buy a home (including through shared ownership) in your local area

LONDON LIVING RENT 30 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
If you can’t afford to buy your first dream home at the moment then London Living Rent might be the answer to help you eventually get on the property ladder


WHITE CITY Macfarlane Place

As part of the iconic Television Centre development, Macfarlane Place sits within the new sought-after hotspot, White City, and features a stylish collection of one and two bedroom apartments available through London Living Rent (due to launch January 2024) and shared ownership (due autumn 2023); including spacious wheelchair-adaptable homes.*

The apartments feature contemporary kitchens, sleek fittings and fixtures, spacious carpeted bedrooms and private outdoor spaces. In addition, the development also benefits from landscaped communal podium gardens.

White City is positioned for excellent transport connections, unrivalled retailing, world-class education facilities, a wealth of social and cultural establishments and an established employment hub. Adjacent to Westfield shopping centre, everything is within easy reach connecting you across the capital by tube, rail, bus and cycle networks.

For more information about Macfarlane Place, register your interest at

*Wheelchair adaptable apartments available with parking.


Market Financial Solutions, the specialist lender, commissioned an independent survey among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults – 702 respondents were tenants and 211 were landlords. It found that 58% of tenants have seen their rent increased in 2022, with one in two (49%) worried they will not be able to afford rent in 2023.

• 58% of tenants have seen their rent increased in 2022

• 49% are worried that they will not be able to pay rent in 2023

• 48% of landlords have had to increase rents due to rising interest rates and higher mortgage repayments

• 56% would allow flexibility on rental payments in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis

• 77% of tenants say that more needs to be done to control rental prices in the UK

First Time Buyer comments, “With statistics like this, London Living Rent is a very attractive and viable way to rent an affordable home and begin the journey to get on to the property ladder.”

As one of London’s key affordable homes providers, we know that the so-called traditional route to homeownership is no longer accessible to the majority of first time buyers.

London Living Rent is a crucial foothold in the renting to homeownership pipeline for first time buyers, and falls under the umbrella of shared ownership. In a nutshell, this scheme allows first time buyers to rent a high-quality home in London with a secure long-term contract, and most importantly the monthly rental cost is based on a third of average local household incomes and adjusted for the number of bedrooms in each home. We have found that unstable rental housing is a significant hurdle to homeownership, which is why we are offering long-term secure tenancies with capped annual rental increases. The below market average rent will allow tenants to set aside savings in order to build up a deposit and eventually be able to afford to purchase the property themselves through shared ownership. To ensure the scheme is helping the people that need it the most, tenants must have a maximum household income of £60,000 and be ineligible to buy a home through any other means, including shared ownership.

LONDON LIVING RENT First Time Buyer February/March 2023 31


St John’s Road

1 bedroom apartment from approximately £907.60 per month

2 bedroom apartment from approximately £1,008.44 per month

3 bedroom apartment from approximately £1,109.29 per month Rents are exclusive of bills and council tax. Rents subject to change for 2023-24 financial year.

These spacious and light open-plan one, two and three bedroom apartments are offered by Network Homes through London Living Rent. Living spaces feature high ceilings and there is a fitted wardrobe in the main bedroom. The larger one and two bedroom apartments include an en suite shower room in addition to the main bathroom.

Isleworth is in Zone 4, with six trains an hour taking the 35-minute journey to London Waterloo, so ideal for commuters. The development is close to numerous amenities, with Waterman’s Art Centre on the riverfront which is a cultural hub with live and recorded performances and exhibitions. There is also plenty of green space nearby including Syon Park and Osterley Park. If you are looking to lead a healthy lifestyle then there are plenty of opportunities to keep you fit with Thistledown Tennis and Social Club, St John’s Centre, Osterley Sports and Athletics Centre, Zen Elephant yoga and Isleworth Recreation centre on the doorstep. For all your daily needs there are supermarkets, a post office and pharmacy around the corner.

For more information go to:

General Eligibility for London Living Rent at St John’s Road

Eligibility for London Living Rent is restricted to existing private and social renters with a maximum household income of £60,000, without sufficient current savings to purchase a home in the local area.


You must be currently living or working in London 9

You must either have a formal tenancy (for example, in the private rental sector) or have an informal arrangement with family or friends as a result of struggling with housing costs 9

Priority will be given to applicants who live or work in the London Borough of Hounslow  9

Your household income must not exceed £60,000 per annum 9

Your gross income must exceed the minimum income requirement for your preferred home which will be:

• £36,000 per annum for a one bedroom home

• £42,000 per annum for a two bedroom home

• £48,000 per annum for a three bedroom home 9 You must be unable to currently buy a home (including through shared ownership) in your local area 9 You must provide one month’s rent in advance and one month’s rent as a security deposit 9 You must be able to cover pro rata rent for the month in which your tenancy starts  9 You must demonstrate you have the ability to pay the rent without recourse to savings 9 You must demonstrate the ability to save toward a purchase deposit 9 The apartment will be your primary residence 9 You must not own a property either in the UK or abroad 9 You must be employed on a permanent contract or a temporary contract with six months remaining, the original contract being issued for at least 12 months 9 You must supply three months of payslips, or if you are self-employed, a full year's accounts or last tax year SA302 form and six months latest bank statements 9

You must meet lenders general criteria to obtain mortgage finance 9 You must have no history of rent arrears from previous properties within the last 12 months 9 You must not have breached the terms of a tenancy agreement 9 You do not have any adverse credit or financial events – this includes County Court Judgements (CCJ), bankruptcy, Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVA), going over unarranged overdrafts etc.

Priority Policy

To reflect the Mayor of London’s Homes for Londoners programme, priority will be given to British Armed Forces Personnel (serving military personnel and former members of the British Armed Forces discharged in the last two years).

Additionally, for the first six months following full market release of the development, priority will be given to applicants from the following groups, in priority order: 9

Council or housing association tenants meeting the London Living Rent eligibility criteria living in the London Borough of Hounslow 9

Applicants meeting the London Living Rent criteria living in the London Borough of Hounslow 9 Applicants meeting the London Living Rent criteria working in the London Borough of Hounslow.

Where there are multiple customers looking to rent a home, who meet the above criteria, priority will be given in the first instance to British Armed Forces Personnel, and then on a first come, first served basis. Eight weeks after full market release we may accept applications for any homes that remain available from those living outside of the development host borough.

LONDON LIVING RENT 32 First Time Buyer February/March 2023

Horsham HOTspot

Horsham is perfectly placed for buyers wanting to dip a toe into country life while maintaining their connections to the capital. The past few years have seen many more house hunters making the move south to Sussex and, notably, to Horsham. We explore why this West Sussex town is regularly rated one of the UK’s best places to live


Horsham, 30 miles south west of London and 18 miles north west of Brighton, is surrounded by farmland, with the river Arun running through it. The modest market town came fourth in the Halifax’s recent Quality of Life Survey (2020), an in-depth review which compares local authority areas, considering 26 factors including happiness, wages, properties and even rainfall!

Horsham began to gain its identity in the Middle Ages, when it was known for its annual fairs. It ourished during the Victorian era and early 20th century and remained a prominent brewery town until 2000. Horsham’s population has grown by 11.8% since 2011, to 146,800 in 2021; higher than the increase for the South East overall (7.5%) – testament to both the popularity of the town and the investment in new homes.

Its key industries are nancial services, pharmaceuticals and technology. It’s also a popular commuter town serving London, Gatwick and the South East coast. The commuter appeal is clear – there are up to 286 trains a day from Horsham to London, with an average travel time of 1h 16m. Gatwick is just 12 miles away and Horsham is close to main road routes, the A24, the A264, the M23 (east) and the A29 (west).

Horsham is also well-served by local buses running a circular route from Horsham to Crawley. Cyclists can reach Guildford and Shoreham via the Downs Link, a long-

distance bridleway and cycle route which passes through Southwater, south of Horsham – the perfect way to explore the Sussex countryside.

The town is a popular choice for those looking to relocate from the south London suburbs as you get a lot more for your money, and is ideal for young professionals and families alike. It is worth having a mooch around the area as there are distinct districts with their own appeal.


The cobbled Carfax area (derived from the Latin quadrifurcus, via the French carrefour, both meaning “crossroads”) is the focal point for many of Horsham’s events. With authentic gas lighting, you will find a space here to relax, dine al fresco, or enjoy one of the many musical attractions that frequent the Bandstand through the year.

You will also find Horsham Markets here on Thursdays and Saturdays, offering fresh local produce, street food, and an impressive range of boutique shopping. The Horsham general market also runs on Saturdays in the Bishopric area, which derives its name from the Archbishop of Canterbury who owned the land in the 15th century and received a charter to hold regular markets. There is also a local vegan market and an Artist and Makers market, each of which are held monthly, in Piries Place.

including –a social club with a gym and

The Roffey area to the north east of the town is home to a large number of newer developments. Crawley Road runs through the centre, providing access to Horsham in one direction and to Crawley in the other. Holbrook also consists mainly of residential housing – both older style properties and newer estates. It is very much a community in its own right with a parade of shops including a post of ce, convenience store, cafe and hairdresser, a popular local pub – The Sussex Barn – and a social club with a gym and sporting facilities. Littlehaven has a strong appeal to commuters as it boasts its own railway station, just one stop from the main Horsham station, which also runs directly into London throughout the day.

Horsham’s High Street and Swan Walk, the main undercover shopping centre, have all the usual offerings you would expect from a town of its size, including John Lewis, Marks &

Spencer and a large Dunelm store –perfect for buying everything to get your new property really feeling like home.

perfect for buying There are also

parks locally with

LOCATION 34 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
stores including
Fantastic transport links
Historic town centre
Excellent quality of life
Sussex countryside on the doorstep Horsham Museum and Art Gallery

Average property price in Horsham (October 2022) – £468,197

Property breakdown*

Detached – £781,474

Semi-detached – £479,883

Terraced – £378,482 Flat – £222,636



Currys, Homebase and Carpetright.

Dining options in Horsham are plentiful, with Market Square at the heart of the busy restaurant district. Popular chains include Wagamama, Giggling Squid, Pizza Express and Nando’s. There are plenty of cafes and sandwich shops too, and the Buenos Aires Argentine Steakhouse is hard to beat for a special occasion. If you prefer pub dining, there are lots of fabulous country pubs in the surrounding villages.

Nightlife in the town is fairly low key –mostly pubs – but there are some real gems! If you like cocktails, Piries Bar is the place to be, with a daily happy hour and Sunday night karaoke to see out the weekend in style! Head to The Capitol for an evening of culture – the unique multi-arts community venue comprises a 410-seat theatre, two cinema screens, studio theatre and gallery space. Horsham Museum, housed in a medieval timber-framed building, is also worth exploring to learn more about the history of the town and county.

Keen to get – or stay – active? You’re in the right place. Whatever your sporting interests, you’ll find a local club in Horsham, with football, cricket, rugby, running and squash clubs to name but a few. There are a number of well-equipped gyms in the area too, including The Pavilions in the Park which can be enjoyed by the whole family.

There are, of course, plenty of parks and green spaces in and around the town itself, but one of Horsham’s biggest pulls is its proximity to the beautiful countryside of West Sussex, Surrey, and Kent; all right on the doorstep, and ready to be explored at your leisure.

HORSHAM Highwood Village

Creating a thriving community adjacent to the pretty market town of Horsham, Highwood Village has many added bene ts for the residents who are lucky enough to live there. Alongside the highquality homes, the development offers extensive facilities, sports pitches, play areas, allotments and a BMX track, creating an appealing place to call home.

The latest phase of homes at Highwood Village includes a selection of two bedroom apartments and two to ve bedroom houses, available in varying layouts to suit buyers' needs. These homes are designed to re ect the local Sussex vernacular and the interiors are inspired by simplicity and quality, with fabulous open-plan layouts, wood-effect ooring and large windows that create an impressive sense of space and light. All properties boast the high speci cation and intricate level of detail synonymous with Berkeley.

The enviable outdoor spaces at Highwood Village range from the perfectly manicured gardens of the village green and village square, to riverside walks and meadows, all carefully planned to connect residents with nature. Several cycleways and footpaths have been created to encourage people to travel on foot and by bike. For those looking to embrace sustainability, the on-site allotments are allocated via Horsham District Council. Plans for a community centre and day care nursery have also been approved.

This safe and welcoming neighbourhood is conveniently located within walking distance of Horsham town centre, which offers a wide range of leisure, shopping, dining and entertainment options. Horsham station is just a 10-minute drive away with regular rail services to London Victoria and London Bridge in under an hour. Direct access to the A24 offers links to the main motorway network, providing convenient connections with the rest of the country. For trips outside of the UK, Gatwick airport is a quick 25-minute drive away.

Prices of homes within the current phase at Highwood Village start from £345,000 for a two bedroom apartment and £445,000 for a two bedroom house.

For further information, please contact the sales suite on 01403 886 449 or visit

LOCATION First Time Buyer February/March 2023 35
• TV presenter Holly Willoughby Screenwriter Simon Nye
• Pop band The Feeling
• Conservation biologist Joshua Powell
• Artist and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett FAMOUS RESIDENTS
*According to the Land Registry House Price Index


Recently voted one of the coolest streets in the world, Deptford High Street blends traditional and modern, embracing diversity, vibrancy and captivating architecture¹. Described by Time Out² magazine as “the most alive street in London”, the quirky hotspot, located in the borough of Lewisham, south east London, features a bustling community keen to soak up the trendy atmosphere, experience the local markets and enjoy the green pockets nestled within the urban convenience

Situated in the heart of the Deptford community is the new mixed-tenure development No.1 Creekside by Lewisham Homes, consisting of linked six and eight-storey buildings connected by a landscaped communal garden, blending seamlessly into the surrounding architecture. Offering a range of one, two and three bedroom apartments available to buy under the shared ownership scheme, each home is fitted with a spacious openplan kitchen, and private outdoor space with views over the bustling town.

From artistic cafes tucked under the railway arches to the rich selection of restaurants and bars, including both family run venues and high street favourites, Deptford’s hospitality industry has regenerated at impressive speed, all while the integrity of its origins remains.

A strong network of local businesses supports the area including charity shops, bakeries and florists, which can be found throughout Deptford Market Yard and the

neighbouring streets. The thriving market stalls bring delicacies from the Caribbean, hand-crafted gifts from local sellers and hidden vintage treasures such as clothing, antique silverware and classic record players. For a cosy pub visit, The Birds Nest is a favourite among locals and is on the doorstep of No.1 Creekside.

A stone’s throw away from the development, residents can find a wide choice of supermarkets and high street retailers as well as international food stores. For fitness fanatics, Wavelength Leisure Centre, multiple gyms, an archery club and yoga studios are located within the nearby vicinity and for young families, a selection of reputable schools, parks and leisure activity centres, such as Deptford Discovery Centre, make this the ideal place to call home.

Also, just a 20-minute train ride away is the desirable neighbourhood of Blackheath, which offers a tranquil green heath, trendy eateries and a popular market.

Away from the bustling hub of the markets and local facilities, Deptford also has plenty of idyllic green spaces dotted around, including the serene Deptford River and the biodiverse waterside haven Broomhill Park.

The contemporary apartments of No.1 Creekside are positioned just outside these natural sanctuaries and residents also have easy access to the nearby Greenwich Park and its iconic Royal Observatory. With each apartment benefiting from its own private outdoor escape, in the form of a balcony or terrace, the development provides homeowners with the metropolitan dream combined with rural retreatism.

Architecturally, the trendy warehousestyle apartments nod to the historic character of Deptford, with bronze metalwork and recessed balconies. The interior has a modern feel, featuring high specification fixtures and fittings including an integrated Zanussi 50/50 fridge-freezer, dishwasher, freestanding washing machine and engineered hard flooring to the kitchen/living/dining area.

Each primary bedroom has a built-in wardrobe and all bedrooms are carpeted, while stylish bathrooms are fully tiled with a shower bath, large mirror and chrome towel rail. The apartments are heated with a central air source heat pump system and a video entry system ensures residents feel secure at all times.

For transport, Deptford Bridge DLR station connects commuters and residents to the rest of the city and is situated just a short walk from No. 1 Creekside. The carfree development has efficient bike storage, and a complex network of pedestrian and cycle routes make Deptford an incredibly accessible and green location.

Prices start from £98,750 for 25% of £395,000 full market value for a one bedroom apartment. creekside



SHARED OWNERSHIP 36 First Time Buyer February/March 2023




looks at how shared ownership helps first time buyers get on to the property ladder

The start of a new year brings with it new resolutions, commitments and, for the property market, a reinvigorated interest as buyers scout out the best offers available for their first home purchase. The economic climate of 2023, however, brings still-elevated interest rates, the loss of Help to Buy and a cost-of-living crisis which is squeezing real incomes. This period of uncertainty for the private market means that the not-for-profit sector, spearheaded by shared ownership, will be key in helping first time buyers who now cannot afford a 10% deposit at full market value.

The end of Help to Buy has been seen by some cynics as leaving a generation of first time buyers without a leg up on to the property ladder. However, shared ownership is able to step in to give a new chance of homeownership for young professionals, families, downsizers or restarters alike, as the average deposit paid in London by a SO Resi buyer was significantly lower than that paid by the average buyer on the private market. While many first time buyers feel that they are stuck renting, with no possibility of owning the property at the end of their tenancy, shared ownership provides an opportunity to own a tangible product, with the opportunity to staircase to 100% ownership as and when they can afford to do so.

As many of us look to become fitter and spend more time outside as spring

arrives, green space continues to be high on buyers’ wish lists. Located in one of only two garden cities in the UK, SO Resi Welwyn Garden City offers

residents a greener lifestyle with access to open areas, with a focus on wellbeing and sustainability. The Gosling Sports Park sits on our development’s doorstep, offering a dry ski slope, a cycling velodrome, driving range and athletics track to name but a few of its amenities. Furthermore, the two large lakes provide opportunities for residents to enjoy a variety of water sports, ideal for those looking for a slice of adventure.

More than half of the first phase at SO Resi Welwyn Garden City sold within two months of its launch, and we look to release our second wave of apartments in the coming months. We will also be launching our first later-living phase at the site this summer, which will bring another

demographic to the area to regeneration project,

enjoy the Wheat Quarter

comprising of art galleries, restaurants, and a variety of communal spaces, bringing city and country living together. Prices at SO Resi Welwyn Garden City start from £68,750 for a 25% share of a one bedroom apartment with a full market value of £275,000.

Likewise, SO Resi Bracknell is also seeing high levels of interest from local buyers, many of whom are fed up with renting and feeling priced out of these key commuter hotspots. SO Resi Bracknell gives people the opportunity to start their homeownership journey in an area that will benefit from almost £1bn in investment, without the stress of saving an extortionate deposit. All apartments at SO Resi Bracknell have a private balcony or terrace, but if residents want to stretch their legs further, Swinley Forest, which covers over 2,600 acres, is only a 16-minute cycle ride away and offers a range of diverse activities from horse riding to mountain bike trails for residents to enjoy. Prices start from £73,500 for a 30% share in a one bedroom apartment with a full market value of £245,000, with a 5% deposit starting at £3,675.

We believe that 2023 is the year of shared ownership. While the wider market may appear challenging, first time buyers have an exciting opportunity to make the move on to the ladder, and we will continue to support as many people as possible to access homeownership in 2023.

To nd out more about shared ownership or the new homes with SO Resi, visit

SHARED OWNERSHIP 38 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
Guy Burnett, Executive of Development at Resi, SO Resi Welwyn Garden City SO Resi Bracknell


With the new year comes the opportunity for new beginnings – and what better way to start afresh than getting a foot on to the property ladder? Whether you’re looking to relocate to another part of the country or wanting the freedom to replace outdated wallpaper with a fresh lick of paint, buying a home allows you to take control and have a fresh start in 2023

Given the shortage of affordable housing and high deposits that are required to buy outright, we know that many people can’t afford to purchase a home on the open market. Combined with Help to Buy ending, buyers may be left feeling as though a home of their own is simply out of reach.

Shared ownership with Legal & General Affordable Homes can help your dream of a fresh start this year become a reality. It’s an alternative route on to the property ladder where you buy an initial share of between 25% and 75% of the home’s full value and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder. You can purchase further shares until you own 100% of the property should you choose to.

Since you only need a mortgage for the share of the property that you are buying, your mortgage is usually a lot less than a traditional mortgage. You will also pay less rent compared with private renting, which will decrease over time should you decide to increase your share. This makes getting on the housing ladder much more accessible to those with lower incomes or who don’t benefit from financial support from family.

We realise that one size doesn’t fit all, which is why Legal & General Affordable Homes offers a huge range of properties available through shared ownership to cater for all lifestyles and needs – whether you’re a first time buyer, have a growing family, or are looking to downsize in a beautiful part of the country.

If you’re looking for a luxury apartment at a more affordable price, the one bedroom homes

at Hampton Tower, South Quay Plaza, offer fantastic views over Canary Wharf and South Dock through floor-to-ceiling windows. Just a short walk from both South Quay DLR and Canary Wharf tube stations, homes at Hampton Tower offer a simple commute and easy access to a variety of shops, restaurants and entertainment, including regular music events and art exhibitions.

Elsewhere in London, the studio, one and two bedroom homes at Acer Apartments in White City are part of a vibrant new community set within eight acres of parks and gardens. With Westfield shopping centre on your doorstep and White City and Wood Lane tube stations a short walk away, homes at Acer Apartments are perfect for those looking to be amid the hustle and bustle of Zone 2 with endless opportunities for shopping, eating and entertaining.

Want to swap the business of London living for a slowerpaced lifestyle? Legal & General Affordable Homes’ new collection of three and four bedroom houses at Broadland Fields, Norwich, offer the best of both worlds.

Close to both the beautiful Norfolk countryside and the cobbled streets of Norwich, they are also perfectly placed to benefit from local amenities, including shops, restaurants, pubs and well-regarded schools all within an easy distance. With open-plan living areas, a private garden, two parking bays, space for a home office, and a garage attached to selected properties, homes at Broadland Fields are ideal for growing families.

To find out more about shared ownership and how you can get a fresh start in 2023 with Legal & General Affordable Homes, visit

SHARED OWNERSHIP 40 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
Hampton Tower Acer Apartments, White City


From expansive green spaces and historic markets to exceptional transport links and thriving cultural attractions, the London Borough of Lewisham is home to a range of communities that offer an exciting lifestyle for first time buyers. Peabody’s latest collection of homes at Arden in Lewisham and Frankham Walk in Deptford provide two unmissable opportunities for those looking to get on to the property ladder in the borough

The final phase of homes to be released at the landmark regeneration project, Arden at Parkside is a stylish collection of 53 studio, one and two bedroom shared ownership apartments, ready to move in to from autumn 2023. With an acre of landscaped gardens and mature woodland surrounding the development, those keen to enjoy the combination of green space in a city environment could not be better placed. Getting out and about is easy, with Elverson Road DLR station and Lewisham station just seven and 10 minutes away.

Residents at Arden enjoy a range of onsite amenities that make life easier. To help maximise productivity, the development offers a co-working hub complete with high-speed wireless internet, charging stations and a refreshment point. The comfy snug room has space for up to 10 people to cosy-up in front of the 55-inch television, with a fridge on hand to store all your

drinks, creating the perfect setting to enjoy your favourite film. Encouraging a sense of wellness and wellbeing, an extensive fitness suite is complete with a free weights room, spin room and yoga studio, ensuring buyers can enjoy a comprehensive and varied training regime. Convenient when out and about, a dedicated concierge service is on hand to sign for and store deliveries.

Just moments from the heart of eclectic Deptford, Frankham Walk blends traditional Victorian architecture with contemporary new buildings that reflect the area’s rich diversity. Offering one, two, and three bedroom shared ownership apartments, Frankham Walk is home to newly created green spaces and communal gardens. Children can also enjoy hours of outdoor play in a variety of areas. Designed to complement the rich mix of retail, education, and community facilities on offer, Frankham Walk is just moments away

from the trendy bars, eateries, and cafes of Deptford High Street. For those looking to explore further into the city and beyond, Deptford Bridge DLR and Deptford High Street Overground station are both just a short walk away.

Prominently placed at the centre of Lewisham; Greenwich, Blackheath, and Deptford are easy to explore from Arden and Frankham Walk. Lewisham is a creative hub enjoying the benefits of a thriving regeneration period. To the north of Lewisham is all the excitement of Deptford. Local micro-brewery, Villages Brewery, is nestled into three railway arches, highlighting the area’s rich industrial heritage. Inspired by the multicultural community, eateries serve everything from Tapas to Caribbean food – there is something to satisfy every tastebud.

Greenwich is the perfect place to experience village charm, filled with shopping streets, artisan stores and a popular market. The Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark and National Maritime Museum provide an opportunity to get lost in the history of the area. The O2 arena is a must-visit destination with a schedule packed full of concerts, comedy shows, and sporting events. Capturing iconic views of St Paul’s Cathedral, Canary Wharf and beyond, Greenwich Park is home to a small herd of deer, as well as a range of birds and wildlife, effortlessly blending nature with the metropolitan.

Blackheath Common provides 211 acres of grassland and heathland. Renowned as the starting point for the London Marathon, the space hosts community events ranging from fireworks to music festivals. Day to day, this is a great spot to slow down and unwind, or work on your fitness in the miles of open space, fly kites with the kids, or go for a walk with friends.

For buyers hoping to enjoy culture, creativity and community, Peabody’s new homes are the perfect place to enjoy the buzz of Lewisham all year round.

Find your home with Peabody and visit

SHARED OWNERSHIP 42 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
Frankham Walk, Lewisham Arden, Lewisham


Buying a first home can sometimes be a daunting process. When Eliza Rweikiza found her new Weston Homes’ apartment, her mind was quickly put at rest once she had viewed the luxurious show home. She saw the fantastic specification included

Every apartment or house across Weston Homes’ property portfolio, regardless of price or size, includes the developer’s unrivalled, premium specification. Its founder, Bob Weston, recognises the time and dedication it takes for first time buyers to save for a deposit, which is why he believes in giving everyone the very best included in the price.

Eliza said, “Weston Homes’ specification was superior to what other companies were offering. I have mirrored fitted wardrobes in my bedroom and the flooring is fantastic. The smart technology in the bathroom and the A-rated appliances in the kitchen all save energy and that was pretty important to me.”


Buyers can choose from an extensive range of designer, high-quality kitchens, bathroom and flooring choices (subject to stage of construction). The variety of options ensures there is something to suit everyone, enabling purchasers to transform a blank canvas into the perfect place to call home. First time buyers can avoid spending time and money redecorating or renovating, or even having to live with someone else’s decorating disasters.


At the heart of the home, every kitchen has been designed with sustainability in mind. The energy-efficient, integrated appliances

have been installed to help towards saving your pocket and the planet, including a quick-heat ceramic hob. The instant boiling and filtered water tap, alongside the weighted, built-in chopping board and integrated soap dispenser, make everyday life easier. Just as practical as they are stylish, quartz stone worktops and luxurious strip flooring complete the look.


Flooded with natural light, bedrooms offer a tranquil place to unwind at the end of the day, with plush carpet that is soft underfoot and a fitted, mirrored sliding wardrobe to the principal bedroom where your belongings can all be tucked away.


State-of-the-art bathrooms feature sanitaryware with smart technology. The precisely calibrated heating controls allow a comfortable, constant temperature and you can add a water-saving time limit to save you energy and in turn money, making it a huge hit with new homeowners.

The bathroom mirror has a digital clock to keep you from running late, integrated LED lighting to help you get ready, but best of all, it never mists up.

Both sleek and stylish, the bathrooms feature porcelain wall and floor tiles and a fitted vanity cupboard for neatly storing toiletries out of sight.


Hyperfast broadband is included in every home for working from home with ease and staying connected with friends and family.

The majority of Weston Homes’ properties include private outdoor space to enjoy all year round. Eliza said, “Most evenings when I am working from home, you can find me sitting on my balcony enjoying the best sunsets, whatever the British weather brings. For anyone looking to buy, it is an investment you’ll not regret. Weston Homes make the best homes one could ever dream of.”

Weston Homes is an award-winning developer building new and converted one to four bedroom luxurious homes across London and the South East from £199,000. Every home is finished to an exceptional standard, with sustainable technology throughout and the smallest details carefully considered to provide buyers with the very best in modern living. In Weston Homes you can find a developer you can trust and a home you will love.

For more information contact Weston Homes on 01279 873 300, or visit for development specific information. Marketing suites and show homes are open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Watch Eliza’s story here:

NEW HOMES 44 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
as standard and didn’t hesitate to reserve a home off-plan
Eliza Rweikiza in her new Weston Homes’ apartment


The perfect location to enjoy the capital in all its glory, Leaside Lock offers a collection of stylish studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments, just a threeminute walk from Bromley-by-Bow (Zone 2) underground station – with a direct underpass built into the site.

With two tube lines running through the station (District and Hammersmith & City), the DLR at Devons Road and numerous bus stops nearby, residents are always just a short journey away from all that London has to offer. Take the Hammersmith & City Line to King’s Cross for a spot of shopping at Coal Drops Yard or take in the sights at the Tower of London via the District Line, both in under 25 minutes.* Come the arrival of summer, watch the tennis champions serve an ace at Wimbledon, sip on a refreshing drink by the Thames at Embankment or stroll through St James’ Park, all reached directly on the District Line from Bromley-by-Bow.

Accessible for first time buyers, Guinness Homes has recently launched 33 two bedroom shared ownership apartments at Leaside Lock, offering an affordable route on to the property ladder. The major new development will ultimately comprise 965 homes and is already a new focal point for the area, created with modern convenience in mind.

While offering fantastic transport links to the rest of London, the neighbourhood has been carefully designed so that residents also have everything right on their doorstep. Creating a lively new communityfocused neighbourhood, there is planned to be a broad range of unbeatable amenities on site, including a health and fitness studio, a cafe, a gym, a convenience store and coworking space.

Set on the banks of the River Lea, Leaside Lock has a plethora of local shops, restaurants and bars on offer in Bow. A

short walk away is Roman Road, a historic street lined with independent cafes, boutiques and bakeries, where three times a week a 150-year-old market brings fashion stalls, fresh produce and delicious street food to both locals and visitors.

Leaside Lock’s local pub, The Galvanisers Union, offers an impressive beer menu, locally renowned roast beef and weekly comedy nights, while further afield, Hackney Wick, Here East and Stratford provide a multitude of independent establishments and chain restaurants.

Apartments at Leaside Lock are finished to a high specification throughout, featuring contemporary open-plan kitchens, complete with integrated Bosch appliances. Bathrooms and en suites are finished with sleek sanitaryware and underfloor electric heating is fitted in all apartments. Recognising the importance of outdoor space in London, private balconies offer spectacular London views, and this space allows residents to create an extension of their living space.

As well as outdoor space within the community, Leaside Lock is close to some of London’s best parks. Victoria Park is close by and is ideal for outdoor sports with its running trails, tennis courts and sports ground. Also nearby, Three Mills Island hosts local events and has plenty of green space to enjoy, including an outdoor children’s play area.

On top of green spaces, Leaside Lock has an unrivalled waterside location, with the development set on the banks of the River Lea. A rarity in London, residents are within easy reach of east London’s bustling canal network. Stratford and the Olympic Park can be reached by walking east along the towpath where you’ll find stretches of outdoor space alongside the world-famous London Aquatics Centre and Westfield Stratford. Alternatively, hop on your bike to

travel along the Cycle Superhighway or use the towpath where you can make it all the way along the water’s edge to Canary Wharf.

At Leaside Lock, there’s only one private sale apartment remaining. A studio apartment available for £312,500.

Shared ownership prices start from £87,500 for a 25% share of a one bedroom apartment (full market value £350,000).

Shared ownership terms and conditions apply *Google Maps

AFFORDABLE HOMES 46 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
When purchasing a home in London, transport connections are undoubtedly high on first time buyers’ wish lists. Whether it’s for commuting into work or exploring the city during the weekend, a home near a tube station is a “must-have” that usually comes with a hefty price premium


Throughout the pandemic, there were reports of Londoners moving out of the city to smaller towns and villages; however with the delights of the capital’s social and cultural scene now stronger than ever, many have returned and are now looking to put down permanent roots there.

Through shared ownership, the path to homeownership can become a reality for Londoners this year, and Notting Hill Genesis has a range of fantastic homes to choose from across the capital.


Buyers can be part of London’s new Borough of Culture with a home at Aspect Croydon, where a collection of contemporary one, two, and three bedroom apartments is available.

Enjoy open-plan living with the added luxuries of floor-toceiling, dual-aspect windows, a private winter garden and access to a concierge. One bedroom homes start from £90,625 for a 25% share.

Commuters will benefit from

excellent transport connections, with a five-minute walk to East Croydon station as well as Wellesley Road tram stop on the doorstep. The area lives up to its new cultural status, with a vibrant selection of restaurants, bars and local attractions, including BOXPARK, where locals can enjoy movie screenings, live music and comedy nights.

Elsewhere in south London, first time buyers can enjoy stylish living in the heart of Zone 2 at NINE Brixton, set in this eclectic south London neighbourhood known for its cultural diversity and thriving sense of community. Modern, open-plan homes are available, with two bedroom properties starting from £156,250 for a 25% share.

Just a nine-minute walk from Brixton underground station, residents can sample the culinary delights of Brixton Market with its vast palate of street food inspired by the area’s Caribbean, African and South American ties.

For culture vultures, a series of live-music venues championing up-and-coming artists are complemented by larger concerts halls such as


On the banks of the Thames, Notting Hill Genesis’ Woolwich Reach offers homes with panoramic views of the river or the green open space of neighbouring Royal Victoria Gardens, all from the comfort of a private balcony. One, two and three bedroom homes are available at the development, with prices starting from £95,000 for a 25% share.

There are excellent transport connections to central London via King George V DLR station, a five-minute walk away, and buyers won’t have to travel far to find things to do or see – the Royal Docks, just a stone’s throw from the development, is emerging as a new leisure and cultural destination, with a regular programme of events perfect for all ages.


Buying a home in the capital doesn’t mean choosing urban living over green space. In the heart of north London, at Heron Quarter at Woodberry Down, first time buyers can find tranquillity in homes nestled beside 42 acres of lake and wetlands. Prices start from £155,625 for a 25% share in a two bedroom home.

Elsewhere in west London, the walking trails, tennis courts and rose garden of neighbouring 40-acre Lampton Park can be enjoyed from development Lampton Parkside. Located minutes from the Piccadilly Line at Hounslow Central underground station, this collection of stylish two bedroom apartments starts from £104,375 for a 25% share.

For more information, contact the Notting Hill Genesis sales team on 020 3733 3571 or visit

SHARED OWNERSHIP 48 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
O2 Academy Brixton and Electric Brixton.
in full swing, many buyers are looking to the year ahead as the time they purchase their first home, with London remaining a sought-after location
Aspect Croydon NINE Brixton Woolwich Reach


Standing in the heart of the creative and sociable neighbourhood of Walthamstow, on the site of the 1930s Art Deco cinema that gives this new development its name, Dominion Apartments are now being offered for shared ownership sale by Newlon Living

An exclusive collection of one and two bedroom contemporary homes designed by award winning architects forming a stylish addition to this historic corner of East London - the perfect place for you to call home.

Known affectionately by residents as ‘The Stow’, you can now picture yourself living in one of London’s coolest neighbourhoods fusing the buzz of urban living with unparalleled access to some of the capital’s finest green spaces.

Dominion Apartments are approximately five-minute* walk from St. James Street Overground station and 15 minutes* walk from Walthamstow Central Underground station (Overground and Victoria Line services) and less than a minute from the High Street.

These new homes are central to all that Walthamstow has to offer. A short stroll will bring you to a wealth of eateries from artisan delis to friendly cafés, homely restaurants, and proper East End pubs.

Browse the quirky boutiques, artists’ studios and carpenters’ workshops to get a real feel of the independent spirit that flows through this of cultural quarter.

For the real old East End head to Walthamstow Market, Europe’s longest street market dating back to 1885, where locals stock up on fruit and veg while E17’s arts crowd browse for materials.

Night owls can venture slightly east of Walthamstow Village to enjoy evenings in chic cocktail bars with live music events, DJs and bands. Sample the street food from pop- up food vans and taste the local ale and cider from the ‘The Stow’s’ very own burgeoning breweries.

To recharge your batteries, head to the Walthamstow Wetlands, a cluster of 10 reservoirs and canal inlets. As Europe’s

largest urban wetland nature reserve, why not spend time exploring its 200-acres of picturesque walking and cycle trails? It’s the ideal place to relax and reconnect with nature.

Keeping fit is easy in the many local gyms or find your inner zen at popular Pilates and yoga classes.

From a quick commute by train into the city or a leisurely bike ride to pick up your weekend provisions, you are perfectly placed to make the best of London. Living here brings you close to the energetic hubs of Tottenham Hale, Hackney, Leyton, Dalston and Stratford.

To complete the picture, each apartment has been carefully designed to provide a light and airy open plan living area that mixes 21st century style with the best of home comforts.

You will find stylish fitted kitchens with integrated appliances, plush bathroom suites and luxurious carpets fitted to each bedroom. All homes benefit from some private outside space, either a garden, balcony or terrace, isn’t it time you started enjoying your new home in ‘The Stow’?

Prices for Dominion Apartments start from just £103,500 for a 30% share with a full market value of £345,000 for a one bedroom shared ownership home.

For more information about the range of homes and services available from Newlon Living go to

Prices are correct at the time of publishing. *Travel times from

50 First Time Buyer February/March 2022


There’s no doubt the village is experiencing a boom with residents opting for practicality over bright lights. Its fantastic transport links – you can get to London Victoria in an hour – and close proximity to excellent schools and childcare providers, makes the area attractive to commuters and families alike.

And thanks to Hyde New Homes’ new shared ownership development, St James Square (, becoming part of this up-andcoming coastal community has never been easier.


Promising desirable waterfront living, St James Square is a brand new collection of 55 one, two and three bedroom apartments found just minutes from the shoreline and available to purchase via shared ownership.

Situated in a once-industrial area, the reinvention of the square is part of a wider initiative to create a vibrant place to live, giving residents the choice of quiet tranquillity but with the option to venture into the nearby cultural and creative hub of Brighton, just nine minutes away by train.

Tree-lined pedestrian walkways weave their way through the development, while the stylish apartments, with their generously sized private balconies and windows, overlook the courtyard space, or, on the south-facing side, enjoy views across Baltic Wharf and the sea beyond.

St James is also a prime location for adventure lovers thanks to its close proximity to Hove Lagoon – one of the country’s premier watersports centres. People of all ages can enjoy the various activities on offer there including windsurfing, wakeboarding, sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding.

Venturing into the village, residents can enjoy Portslade’s busy and eclectic shopping street, which has a variety of independent stores, a large post office and several wellknown convenience and beauty brands.

For those preferring to use public transport, the development is well connected with bus stops, found on Wellington Street just on the doorstep, while Portslade railway station is situated a 10-minute walk away. There is also opportunity for cyclists to enjoy a scenic coastal ride to Brighton city centre, which takes half an hour.


Hyde New Homes has created three alternative design and specification options for St James’ spacious, contemporary apartments, offering flexible colour selections for the high-specification flooring, kitchen units and splashback, bathroom tilling and roller blinds.

Promising an affordable option for buyers without compromising on location, prices at St James Square are:

• Manhattan-style studios and 1 beds; £76,500 for a 30% share, based on a full market value of £255,000

• 2 beds; £103,500 for a 30% share, based on a full market value of £345,000

• 3 beds; £101,875 for a 25% share, based on a full market value of £407,500 Minnie Dando, Head of Marketing and

Communications at Hyde New Homes, said: “With house prices in East Sussex on the rise, getting on the property ladder can sometimes feel like a race against time.

“The added benefit of a 10% deposit, only payable on the equity purchased, can bring this first step closer, enabling buyers to enjoy their desired lifestyle and begin to make over their home to their own taste.”

She continued, “Along with a mortgage, buyers will then pay a subsidised rent to Hyde New Homes on the remaining share. Further shares can be purchased in the future through a process known as staircasing, which allows homeowners to own up to 100% of their home at any time if they wish (subject to status).”

St James Square in Portslade will launch on 11 February 2023. Buyers are welcome to pre-register on to Hyde New Homes’ database on 20 & 21 January.

The marketing suite will be open on Saturday 28 January from 10am for prebooked appointments.

Minnie added, “We expect demand to be high at this wonderful development so are urging buyers to register their interest and make an appointment.”

For more information, please visit

SHARED OWNERSHIP 52 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
Brighton buyers priced out of the bustling seaside city are now turning their attention to nearby Portslade – which not only gives you more bang for your buck but also a bounty of benefits
Image depicts a typical Hyde New Homes show apartment


More than half of all home hunters would consider buying a new build home, with energy efficiency and the appeal of no expensive renovations or DIY noted as being among the benefits according to modern homebuyers. Those searching for a new build home should look to award-winning Inland Homes, which offers a fantastic variety of stylish properties across the South East, from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom houses. Not to mention a collection of brand new shared ownership properties offered by its subsidiary, Rosewood Housing

Inland Homes’ developments are designed to suit a range of purchasers, including first time buyers, young professionals, families and downsizers. For those looking for a new home in 2023, house hunters have the choice of Templar Green in Cressing and Cheshunt Lakeside in Cheshunt. Those who are looking for a shared ownership property can explore Rosewood Housing’s Wilton Park development in Beaconsfield and check their eligibility for the scheme.

The contemporary one and two bedroom apartments at Cheshunt Lakeside are perfect examples of homes ideal for first time buyers, offering a high-quality specification, private balcony to every home, open-plan living and dining areas, en suite bathrooms and a fantastic location with excellent commuter links into London. Set to regenerate the area, this exciting new development will enhance the landscape and provide its residents with improved public transport links, excellent pedestrian and cycle routes and plenty of green open space to enjoy nearby.

Residents will have access to a plethora of leisure and retail facilities, all on the doorstep. Cheshunt High Street itself is home to two village shops, a Co-Op, post office, leisure centre and a selection of coffee shops. A 10-minute drive down the road will take residents to Brookfield Shopping Centre, where they will find larger supermarkets and coffee shops, including Tesco Extra, Marks & Spencer and a

Starbucks. Prices at Cheshunt Lakeside start from £300,000 with homes ready to move into this spring.

Located in the quiet village of Cressing, Templar Green is a rural “green” development where an emphasis on the environment takes centre stage. With the brand new phase now launched, this modern development boasts a stunning collection of two, three and four bedroom homes, each designed with today’s lifestyle in mind. Generous open communal spaces include naturally landscaped areas, a village green, play spaces, orchard and surrounding woodland, while many homes benefit from generous gardens. Set against the timeless backdrop of beautiful Essex countryside on the fringes of this picturesque village, residents can enjoy the serenity of a rural lifestyle yet have all the convenience of Braintree Village shopping centre and Braintree town centre close at hand.

Homes at Templar Green are finished to a high specification throughout, including a beautifully lawned garden with patio, designer kitchen with integrated appliances, generous family living space, high-quality bathroom/en suite and a 10-year Premier warranty. There is no compromise on parking, as each home benefits from either a garage, carport and/or parking spaces. Prices at Templar Green start from £345,000 with homes ready to move into this spring.

With no Stamp Duty for first time buyers

Inland’s subsidiary, Rosewood Housing, is proud to offer a new collection of affordable one and two bedroom apartments, a two bedroom coach house and a selection of two bedroom houses at its scenic Wilton Park development in Buckinghamshire. Nestled in the charming town of Old Beaconsfield, these attractive new homes are available off-plan through shared ownership.

Life at Wilton Park promises contemporary living in an attractive parkland setting, with two hectares of parkland and wildflower meadows to enjoy. The development is surrounded by an abundance of woodland and countryside, including the rolling Chiltern Hills where residents can enjoy walking, cycling, and exploring. Prices at Wilton Park start from £395,000 with a 25% minimum share available. Those who are interested in the scheme should contact the Rosewood Housing sales team who will be in touch to discuss their eligibility:

Rosewood Housing 01494 762450

up to £425,000, buyers looking to make their 2023 move are encouraged to get in touch today to avoid disappointment. Speak to a member of the team today.

For more information about Inland Homes’ developments, visit

NEW HOMES 54 First Time Buyer February/March 2023


Quality and innovation are at the heart of Plumlife’s homes, and we have several house types on offer to suit your personal and professional needs – many are ideal for people whose home is a place of work, as well as a retreat to escape to at the end of the day.

Many of the homes we sell are available through shared ownership too. If you don’t know already, shared ownership is a scheme for people who cannot afford to buy a home on the open market; instead you can buy a share of the property and pay an affordable rent on the remainder. You can then buy a larger percentage of the property as and when you’re ready. Shared

ownership is a great solution for all types of people, including those looking to step on to the property ladder for the first time.

One of our exciting new developments is Mabel Gardens in Lancaster. With contemporary bungalows and large family homes on this development, we’re giving lots of people the chance to live in this fantastic area. There is something for everyone in Lancaster and that’s perhaps why it has been named one of the happiest places to live and work in the UK. Those who love greenery and rural life are spoilt by fantastic parks, renowned walking spots and idyllic locations on the doorstop including Ribble Valley, Yorkshire Dales and

Fylde Coast. For those who love to keep busy, Lancaster boasts historical locations, a bustling night time scene and awardwinning bars and eateries.

We’re also proud to have recently released a brand new selection of properties at Calico Grove in Rochdale. Calico Grove features a mixture of two, three and four bedroom homes, all available through the shared ownership scheme and all with private gardens and allocated parking. Located close to Rochdale town centre and to the M62, this development is ideal for first time buyers, growing families and commuters looking to get into nearby cities.

Throughout this year we’ll have new homes being released across the North West, including apartments a stone’s throw from Manchester city centre and beautiful homes close to Sheffield city centre.

Why not stay in touch with us to find out what else we have coming soon?

All of these properties and more are available to view at or you can check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Alternatively, you can call us on 0161 447 5050 for more information, or to book an appointment at one of our show homes

SHARED OWNERSHIP 56 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
At Plumlife we understand that the need for high-quality, affordable homes has never been greater, and with a range of exciting new homes available now, and with many more coming throughout the rest of 2023, we have you covered


Greenside is a beautiful new development from Optivo (now Southern Housing) in the pretty leafy suburb of Roehampton, sitting directly adjacent to Richmond Park Golf Course, right where Richmond Park meets up with Putney Heath and Wimbledon Common. Lynda Clark discovers that Greenside really does offer the best of town and country living

On a Saturday, I frequently get the train to Putney where I walk to Fulham to watch the football – yes, I am a season ticket holder to most people’s amazement, but I love it! Every time I go there I am always looking in the estate agents’ windows to see if there is a home which I could afford as it’s a very special area and one I would love to live in. So, when I visited Greenside I was more than impressed. It isn’t very often you get the opportunity to buy an affordable shared ownership home in such a perfect location.

Offering one and two bedroom apartments, each with their own balcony or terrace, the development is surrounded by beautiful landscaping and has an enclosed courtyard. It truly does feel a long way from the hustle and bustle of London but is on the doorstep to Richmond Park with its spectacular 40-acre Victorian woodland, Wimbledon Common which will appeal to sporting enthusiasts with 10 full-sized football pitches and Putney Heath, all offering wonderful walks and cycle paths to enjoy too.

Greenside is also well served by rail with Putney station (Zone 2/3) nearby where it takes just 21 minutes to London Waterloo and the District Line tube from East Putney with a 20-minute journey to Paddington. There is a bus stop almost directly outside, which is serviced by three bus routes. For drivers, some apartments come with parking and everyone will be provided with car club access for 12 months and there is also a secure communal cycle storage.

The homes themselves are really luxurious – spacious and so full of light, even on a dull winter’s day! Kitchens come with integrated appliances including an oven and hob, extractor hood, fridge-freezer, dishwasher and washer-dryer, which is located in one of the hallway cupboards. I thought the bathrooms were sumptuous and I particularly liked the ceramic tiles on the walls and floor and the very useful heated ladder towel rail. The two bedroom apartments come with a lovely en suite.

The open-plan kitchen/diner/sitting room is large enough to accommodate a dining table and there is even room for a desk, perfect for anyone who is working from home. One of the aspects that really stood out was the amount of storage,

including a very large cupboard in the hall with useful shelves and lots of space to store all those items you need to hide away. You seriously can never have enough storage space and this certainly ticked all the boxes!!

The weekly shop can be done at the ASDA superstore which is just a 10-minute walk from Greenside, and there is a plethora of cafes, bars and restaurants nearby. Highlights include the Wimbledon Farmers’ Market every Saturday, Putney Arts Theatre where you can watch everything from Shakespeare to young performers theatre, Kingston upon Thames which is a shopper’s paradise and Barnes

which is home to the spectacular London Wetlands Centre – there truly is something for everyone.

Greenside is a unique development –when I visited I felt I was deep in the heart of the country but in reality, I was on the doorstep to all the action of south west London. These homes offer a quality of life that everyone aspires to and, if I could, I would snap one up tomorrow!

Prices for a one bedroom apartment start from £112,500 for a 30% share with a full market price of £375,000.

For more information email, or call 0800 012 1442,

AFFORDABLE HOMES 58 First Time Buyer February/March 2023


Holders Hill and nearby Mill Hill consist of several distinct parts: the original Mill Hill Village; the laterdeveloped Mill Hill Broadway (now the main hub of the area); and Mill Hill East – alongside large swathes of countryside

At leafy Mill Hill East, an easy walk from woodlands and parks, and a short walk from Mill Hill East tube station, you’ll find The Mews – a new community of spacious energy-efficient apartments and houses by Zen Housing.

Zen builds communities for people who need them most. Its modern developments reflect a focus on quality, service, sustainability and design, setting a new standard in the sector, with purchasing options that meet the needs of the first time buyer.

The Mews is a collection of modern boutique apartments and houses available to own through shared ownership, with one bedroom apartments starting at just £98,750, which is an affordable way of getting on the property ladder in a sought-after London neighbourhood. Being both affordable and coming with the potential to be in King’s Cross in under 20 minutes, make this an extremely attractive proposition and as expected, interest has been particularly high, with 25% already sold in the first month – so the advice would be to get in early.

Prices are from £98,750, with just a 5% deposit of under £5,000.

You can find out more and register your interest at

AFFORDABLE HOMES 60 First Time Buyer February/March 2023


Orchard Close is situated in the quiet rural town of Upper Gravenhurst in Bedfordshire. It’s in a desirable location, with beautiful green landscapes surrounding the village, and is a short car journey away from towns like Bedford and Hitchin – perfect for quiet country living with access to town life when you want it

A collection of 35 stylish two and three bedroom houses for shared ownership, the homes at Orchard Close have been designed to complement the village’s existing nature and surroundings. These homes allow for natural light to flow freely, giving them a sense of space and light throughout the interior.

A fusion of traditional and contemporary, the homes draw on the appearance of existing houses in the village, including brick detailing, building orientations, roof forms and entrance features, with solar panels incorporated into the roof line. The sleek kitchens have a range of integrated appliances, and the bathrooms are contemporary and elegant. Situated on a sloping hillside, there are impressive views and each unique garden comes with a terraced patio area from which to enjoy outdoor living. The homes have been designed with space and landscaping in mind to enhance visual links

to the surrounding countryside, including private parking spaces between houses rather than along the street edge.

Cosy, country living with the convenience of modern life is embodied through the stylish shaker-style kitchen fitted by Premier Kitchens. Matt white kitchen cabinets perfectly complement the stoneeffect worktops.


Upper Gravenhurst is a small, rural village in central Bedfordshire, home to the Church of St Giles, which has been established in the village since the 12th century. It’s an outdoor lover’s paradise, with endless green spaces to explore and just a short drive from the Barton Hills.

Social lives are well catered for nearby, with relaxing country pubs to meet with friends, and village halls serving the local community with clubs and sports

activities for all the family’s talents and interests. You’ll feel a sense of nostalgia in nearby villages such as Shillington and Meppershall, which have amenities ranging from a post office to the local bakery.

Step into history and explore life in the 17th century as you discover the remarkable garden landscapes of Wrest Park. The breathtaking manor house follows the style of an 18th century French chateau. You’ll stand in awe at the idyllic architecture throughout the gardens. Featuring activities for the whole family, Wrest Park is truly a highlight of local English heritage.

In addition, the nearby towns of Bedford and Hitchin offer regular farmers’ markets, a range of nice local restaurants and, in the case of Bedford, a choice of two multiplex cinemas. So, when living at Orchard Close you certainly won’t be short of things to do at the weekends.


As the name suggests, we want to help you settle in a new community – by delivering new homes that meet local needs and creating diverse new neighbourhoods that let you live the life you choose.

At settle we are proud providers of high-quality, affordable homes across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. We provide a variety of tenures to suit everyone’s needs, including offering affordable rent and shared ownership options.

For more information, including prices, floor plans and to arrange to view the show home, visit

SHARED OWNERSHIP 62 First Time Buyer February/March 2023


As applications for the Government’s popular Help to Buy scheme officially closed in October 2022, thousands of hopeful first time buyers are now seeking alternative routes on to the property ladder. As a result, homes available through shared ownership have become more sought-after than ever before, typically offering more affordable deposits and lower monthly repayments than properties on the open market

As a Government-backed scheme, shared ownership enables eligible purchasers to buy a percentage share of the property, usually between 25% to 75%, and pay rent on the remaining portion. Buyers interested in shared ownership will only require a deposit and a mortgage on the share they are purchasing, making homeownership much more accessible for many of the capital’s first time buyers who would have otherwise opted for the Help to Buy loan.

Those hoping to navigate London’s competitive property market using the shared ownership scheme are well catered for, with an array of contemporary new build apartments across the city, in some of the capital’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. One such development is Harrow and Wealdstone Heights by Origin Housing, a new collection of 82 contemporary one, two, and three bedroom shared ownership apartments located in the heart of the north London borough of Harrow, situated within a 15-minute journey to central London.

Combining easy access to the capital’s expansive transport network with the charm of a leafy London neighbourhood, Harrow has blossomed into a thriving suburb with plenty to offer a variety of homebuyers.

Whether it’s commuting into work or exploring the city during the weekend, buyers in Zone 4 Harrow are spoilt for choice when it comes to transport connections. A five-minute walk from Harrow and Wealdstone Heights, the mainline railway network runs services twice an hour towards London Euston, with the Overground TFL trains running more frequently as an alternative to the mainline services. In the opposite direction trains go to the beautiful Hertfordshire town of Tring.

For underground links, Harrow & Wealdstone is on the Bakerloo Line, which

travels to popular London destinations like Elephant and Castle, Paddington, Marylebone, Baker Street, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly, and Waterloo stations, to name just a few. The Metropolitan Line runs from nearby Harrow-on-the-Hill station, with stops including Wembley and King’s Cross. Alternatively, Kenton station provides direct links to the West End and Oxford Circus, with Marylebone accessible in just 17 minutes.

Closer to home, Harrow offers a wealth of excellent local amenities, top-class schools, and a plethora of green open spaces. On the doorstep of Harrow and Wealdstone Heights, the buzzing local high street is home to retail facilities, including St Ann’s Shopping Centre, plus an array of independent favourites as well as a cinema complex. Harrow Leisure Centre has a state-of-the-art gym and a 33m swimming pool and offers a range of exercise classes for those looking to get active.

When it comes to open space, Harrow and Wealdstone Heights is located close to Pinner Memorial Park, a well-manicured expanse of green situated around a picturesque lake. Down the road, the 2020 Green Flag awardwinning Canons Park and peaceful Harrow Recreation Ground are the perfect green

The view from Harrow and Wealdstone Heights, 48m up the building, looking north

retreats away from the city streets. Plus, Hertfordshire is a short drive, offering plenty of opportunities for rural walks and scenic day trips.

Origin’s sleek new build apartments at Harrow and Wealdstone Heights offer hopeful purchasers a slice of life in this thriving London neighbourhood. Each home has a private balcony and access to a communal roof terrace, providing a unique vantage point from which residents can enjoy views of London’s skyline. A central public realm will accompany the homes, with new play spaces and mature planting.

Homes at Harrow and Wealdstone Heights can be secured with a 5% deposit starting from just £4,031. Since launching the scheme in April 2021, 40% of homes have already sold, proving Harrow is a popular choice with buyers seeking a wellconnected, vibrant London neighbourhood to settle in.

Shared ownership prices start from £80,625 for a 25% share of a one bedroom apartment (full market value: £322,500).

For more information, contact the ve-star Trust Pilot-rated sales team. Please visit

SHARED OWNERSHIP 64 First Time Buyer February/March 2023

With Places for People, you can have the home you’ve always wanted… Creating good-quality homes in thriving communities is what we do best. We have over 50 years’ experience delivering all kinds of homes for all kinds of people, so we know what makes places great. And with a range of ways to buy –including through the Government-backed shared ownership scheme – you could own your very own home sooner than you think


It doesn’t get much better than Abbeville Park, a superb new development of spacious three and four bedroom houses and apartments in the vibrant growing town of Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

These contemporary homes benefit from a spacious, open-plan design that adapts perfectly to relaxing, entertaining or working –however you choose to live your life. Generous room sizes along with plenty of storage also feature, while the statement kitchens with


integrated appliances are sure to be an instant hit. For your added convenience, each downstairs living area leads out through stylish French doors on to a private turfed garden, which you can enjoy from the day you move in.

The exterior surroundings are just as appealing, with parking areas and landscaping carefully planned to enhance your environment.


With everything you need on your doorstep and significant investment quickly


There’s no denying the appeal of Abbeville Park’s elegant homes and winning location but did you also know they’ve been designed and built with energy and cost-efficiency in mind?

Our homes benefit from the very latest heating systems, excellent wall and loft insulation and double glazed windows to create a warm, comfortable and energy-efficient home that costs less to run.

We also provide a 10-year warranty, which means you can move in with peace of mind, without the worry of expensive structural repairs.*

*T&Cs apply – please see our website for details.

transforming Burgess Hill into one of West Sussex’s most desirable locations, where better to put down roots than Abbeville Park?

The transformation is delivering a wealth of new amenities, such as shops and restaurants, along with jobs and businesses, while a good choice of schools together with excellent sporting facilities –among them the spectacular Triangle Leisure Centre –means this is a popular location for families as well.

Here, you’ll be able to enjoy an enriched, fulfilling lifestyle, thanks to an annual line-up of festivals and theatrical events as well as nearby nature reserves and the beautiful South Downs National Park.

Perfect for commuters, Abbeville Park benefits from excellent road links and two railway stations. London – 39 miles north – is an hour-and-ahalf’s drive or a 50-minute rail journey away, while Brighton –10 miles south – can be reached in around 30 minutes by car or 12 minutes by train.


Even better, is the fact our Abbeville Park homes are priced from just £51,000 when you buy through the shared ownership scheme.

With the scheme, you only need to pay part of the price of your home (between 10% and 75%) and pay rent on the rest – the example above is based on purchasing a 10% share of a three bedroom town house.

Your mortgage will be smaller, and you don’t need to save as much for a deposit. It’s a simple and cost-effective way of owning your home, so you can get a foot on the property ladder sooner rather than later.


Explore our beautiful brand new Abbeville Park homes today and find out if you qualify for shared ownership.

Visit abbevillepark

66 First Time Buyer February/March 2023


Located in the heart of Monton, one of the fastest growing property hotspots in the North West, this exclusive new development comprises a collection of new one and two bedroom apartments, unrivalled in their location and design. The Foundry is located on Lansdowne Road, within walking distance of Monton Village and just a stone’s throw away from a wealth of exceptional amenities.

With its central location and excellent transport links, The Foundry is the perfect place for a range of buyers. This exciting new four-storey development consists of five different apartment types, due to be ready to move into in April 2023.

All of the 36 apartments at The Foundry boast an open-plan layout that maximises space and natural light. The Foundry is designed with modern living in mind and each apartment is home to a fully fitted Paula Rosa Manhattan kitchen, LED lighting and a suite of integrated appliances. Bathrooms at The Foundry benefit from Porcelanosa ceramic tiling, an over-bath shower, heated towel rail and LED lighting complete with an illuminated mirror. The Foundry also offers secure

cycle storage, parking, and a beautifully landscaped exterior.

The Winsor is a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment that benefits from the same modern finishes and high specification as its two bedroom counterparts. The Hale, The Faraday, The Swann and The Sprengel are all two bedroom apartments with both a bathroom and an en suite. Each of these designs has a slightly different floorplan, offering a variety of layouts so that your home is as unique as you are!

Shared ownership provides a perfect opportunity for first time buyers to buy their own share in one of The Foundry’s amazing apartments, with shares of 40% to 75% available to purchase. So, you can buy a share in one of these stunning new homes with a mortgage, and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder, with the option to buy more shares in your home in the future.

Gecko Homes, part of Southway Housing Trust, is based in Manchester and prides itself on making the buying process as

simple and straightforward as possible.

Gecko aims to provide a home for every need with its new, high quality and beautifully designed homes. There are options to rent and buy, including shared ownership, ensuring that luxury living is affordable for every buyer and budget!

To register your interest in The Foundry, or find out more about Gecko Homes and other new properties it has available across Manchester, please email, call 0330 995 1333, or visit

AFFORDABLE HOMES 68 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
It can be difficult to find a home in a location that offers the perfect balance between city and village living, especially one that’s affordable for first time buyers. Gecko Homes has created somewhere with the perfect balance, for both you and your bank –The Foundry


With the new year comes the opportunity for new beginnings – and what better way to start afresh than getting a foot on to the property ladder? Whether you’re looking to relocate to another part of the country or wanting the freedom to replace outdated wallpaper with a fresh lick of paint, buying a home allows you to take control and have a fresh start in 2023

When it comes to buying your first home, the process can be daunting, often exacerbating the challenges of stepping on to the property ladder. In the current environmental and economic climate, first time buyers are increasingly looking at new build developments to find their perfect home

For those looking to get on to the property ladder in one of the capital’s most popular addresses, Greenwich Millennium Village, Countryside’s joint venture scheme with Taylor Wimpey in association with the Major of London, is the perfect choice –with homes carefully designed to be more energy efficient and a specially trained team on hand to help guide you through each stage.


Designed to be greener and more energy efficient, all Greenwich Millennium Village homes are sold with energy performance features as standard. With careful steps taken during the design and build process, new homes are 56% more energy efficient than Victorian homes, meaning buyers can expect to pay less for heating bills while also reducing their impact on the environment.

Adding to the appeal for first time buyers, homes have double glazing to ensure plenty of light while minimising heat loss, A-rated boilers, low energy LED lighting, smart thermostats and appliances with high efficiency ratings, meaning that buying at Greenwich Millennium Village could save buyers £1,200 on household bills every year.

After renting in Limehouse Canal, east London for three years, Ted and Ellie decided it was time to buy a home of their own. Set on buying a new build home, the couple secured a one bedroom apartment at The Observatory at Greenwich Millennium Village.

Ted adds, “We are both environmentally cautious, so it’s a great comfort to have the energyefficient benefits of a new build home included as standard; we are sure it will also positively impact our bills, especially in the current climate.”


To make the process even smoother, new build homes at Greenwich Millennium Village have no onward chain, which means buyers are not waiting for the previous homeowner to leave before moving in. In this way, when buying, first time buyers can avoid frustrating delays and are able to remove

the element of uncertainty when it comes to worrying about the seller’s end of the deal falling through.


Offering buyers invaluable reassurance, homes at Greenwich Millennium Village are covered by the NHBC Buildmark warranty and insurance policy. This warranty covers against structural defects, ensuring buyers are protected against any possible damage caused by a build failure for 10 years.


Residents at Greenwich Millennium Village also benefit from an internal team, specially trained to help with any issues you may have with your new home. Enabling peace of mind, the sales progression team keeps in regular contact

throughout each stage of the buying process.

For those who have moved into their new home, the friendly and responsive Customer Service teams will continue to be available to residents for the first two years, as part of their unrivalled after care.

Impressed by the customer care team, Ellie adds, “When we moved in, we received a welcome gift set which was a lovely personal touch for us to celebrate moving into our first home. There was also an event which was organised for all new buyers, so we were able to meet our neighbours and instantly become part of the community here.”

Prices at The Galleria start from £449,995. For those who are looking to move in sooner, there are a handful of homes remaining at The Observatory starting from £499,995.

For further information, please visit or call 020 3993 0167

NEW HOMES 70 First Time Buyer February/March 2023

Shared ownership: Reading

Having first met in Bristol, Hannah Tomaselli, 27, and Dillon Hamill, 25, moved to Reading two years ago for Hannah’s new job in the emergency services. Renting in Caversham, a suburb of Reading, offered the couple some of the things that they wanted for their life together – a welcoming local area close to the river and within easy access of Reading centre. However, they were eager to set down more permanent roots and take a step on to the property ladder in the city they had come to call home

Hannah explains, “Moving to Reading had been an exciting step for us, but renting was not how we envisaged our future. It felt like we were throwing money away. I had always wanted to buy in order to have more stability, so we wouldn’t have to move with a month’s notice and would have the opportunity to properly decorate.”

When it came to property hunting in Reading, the couple used Zoopla to search for homes in their chosen areas. As Dillon explains, “We didn’t want to settle with any old property, so we were quite particular about which areas of Reading we looked in, but we found that lots of properties on the open market were out of our budget. That was until we started seeing adverts for new developments that offered homes through shared ownership, which we were aware of, but hadn’t properly considered as an option.”

Doing more research into shared ownership, Hannah and Dillon learnt that they would be able to purchase a percentage share of a property, with a lower deposit than they had initially imagined. They quickly discovered L&Q at Huntley Wharf, a brand new development in the heart of Reading, which ticked lots of their priorities.

As Hannah recalls, “L&Q at Huntley Wharf was immediately appealing to us, as it was a modern development right in the centre of Reading, close to the station for Dillon to get to work in Bath, and a short walk to my work in the town centre. Plus, it was right on the river, within walking distance of the shops and with lots of nearby green spaces.”

Dillon adds, “I think we were both expecting our property hunt to take longer, so when we went to the open day at L&Q

at Huntley Wharf we weren’t expecting to actually find a home – and yet, we ended up reserving on the day!”

Hannah and Dillon purchased a 25% share of a two bedroom shared ownership apartment with a full market value of £350,000. Speaking about their new home, Hannah says, “While at the open event, one of the sales team was able to show us the actual apartment that we went on to reserve. We loved the show flat, but actually seeing our future home was a whole other story – it had a lovely open-plan living space, with large windows and I could picture where we would put our furniture.

“Even though the apartment is slightly smaller than where we were previously renting, it doesn’t feel it – it’s been wellthought-out with plenty of storage.”

Dillon said, “The apartment has been perfect on the days I work from home. We have enough space for me to have an office, with a big window that our cat loves to look out of. Plus, we have communal gardens


Property: Two bedroom apartment

Share value: £87,500 for a 25% share

Full market value: £350,000

Deposit: £4,300

Monthly mortgage: £370

Service charge: £187 Rent: £590

Total monthly outgoings: £1,147

on-site that we can use. For weekends, the location of our new home is ideal. We are less than a 15-minute walk to the town centre, meaning we can go out for food and drinks at all the different places near the Oracle Shopping Centre and don’t have to worry about getting home. Plus, we’ll soon have the Riverside Square which will mean we’ll have a cafe and shop right on the doorstep. We are also just an 11-minute walk from the station and with the new Elizabeth Line it only takes 25 minutes to get into London Paddington.”

With the opportunity to decorate, Hannah has enjoyed making the apartment their own. She says. “We’ve gone for really cosy colours which break up the clean white surfaces throughout the apartment – dark teal in the office and dark purple in our bedroom. It’s been really nice making it more homely and personal, something we never had the freedom to do while renting. Our apartment at L&Q at Huntley Wharf really feels like home already.”

REAL LIFE 72 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
FOR SALE First Time Buyer February/March 2023 73 THE CREAM
THE CROP FOR SALE Each month, FTB scours the market for the best starter homes for rst time buyers. So, if you’re looking for an affordable home to get you started or a pad for your growing family, we hope you will enjoy our selection.


Points Cross

These superbly located homes give residents the very best taste of Leeds – perched just outside the city centre, with the railway station, docks and a plethora of entertainment options within a 10-minute walk. The landmark development will provide a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments, all with private balconies or terraces. Residents can also enjoy communal gardens and on-site tness facilities. Inside, the homes are nished to a high standard, with oor-to-ceiling windows for optimal light, sleek styling and some great views out over the thriving city.

Guinness Homes 01452 541 814

FOR SALE 74 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
★★★ FIRST CHOICE FROM £89,500* *Based on a 50% share of the full market value of £179,000

Junction West

Moments from Southall station, and with the town centre and canal on the doorstep, these new properties are in an ideal spot for enjoying all the area has to offer. Travel connections are great, too, making it a perfect spot for commuters. The apartments range from one to three bedrooms, all with bright open-plan living

FROM £92,625*

areas, oor-to-ceiling windows and en suite bathrooms in the bigger properties. Residents have access to a central landscaped garden, while Southall Park is a short walk away, and Osterley Park a short drive or cycle.

Clarion Living 0300 100 0309

*Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £370,500

The One

This boutique collection of homes in Woolwich has proved popular with buyers, with just seven properties still available. The one, two and three bedroom homes here have been created with a green ethos, with biodiverse rooftops and renewable energy technologies. All of the apartments feature private, recessed


FROM £235,000

Rochester Riverside Redwood Gardens

With riverside and castle views, great commuter links and a range of properties, this landmark development in Kent has much to offer buyers. The site, which will eventually comprise 1,400 new homes, will also include a 2.5km river walkway and 10 acres of open space, including play areas and landscaping. Homes will

range from apartments to two, three, four and ve bedroom family houses. Properties feature open-plan living spaces, optimal natural light and private outdoor spaces. Trains into London St Pancras take just 37 minutes.

Countryside 01634 775 227

Located on Fylde peninsula in Lancashire, this new collection of homes is ideally located for enjoying the quiet calm of Lytham St Annes and the bright lights and beaches of Blackpool. Just minutes from the beautiful Fylde coast, the three and four bedroom properties are perfect for growing families and lovers of the great outdoors. The spacious

balconies, while residents also share a wild-planted communal terrace. Woolwich has been transformed in recent years. With the new Elizabeth Line, DLR, mainline trains and the Thames Clipper, it’s ideal for commuters.

LH1 Global 020 7129 7900

FROM £345,000 FROM £259,995

homes feature separate living rooms and kitchens, French doors that open to a rear garden, and a downstairs WC. Upstairs there’s an en suite from the main bedroom. All of the homes here are available Stamp Duty free for rst time buyers.

Elan Homes 0845 528 0821

FOR SALE First Time Buyer February/March 2023 75


Beauchamp Park

Just a mile from the centre of historic Warwick, and with views towards the stunning castle, the new homes at Beauchamp Park are in a prime position. A selection of three and four bedroom houses has just been launched, and these are ideal for families who want to enjoy the very best of the thriving market town and the beautiful surrounding areas. The three bedroom, three bathroom townhouses are arranged over three storeys and feature open-plan living/dining rooms that open to a well-sized garden. Good schools, amenities, university and transport links are all just a short walk away.

FOR SALE 76 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
FROM £130,375*
L&Q 01926 259 381 *Based on a 35% share of the full market value of £372,500

Origin at Middle Yard

Several three bedroom apartments remain at this landmark development in Brent, north west London. The collection of new properties sits across three buildings at the top of Dudden Hill, offering fantastic views. Great for families, the onsite facilities include landscaped gardens, playgrounds and a

FROM £109,375*

nursery, while commuters can reach central London in 20 minutes from nearby Dollis Hill station (Jubilee Line). Beautiful Gladstone Park is nearby, while Willesden High Road is a few minutes’ walk.

Origin Housing 0300 323 0325

*Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £437,500

FROM £285,000

Badbury Park

The nal phase of this popular new development has just launched, with a range of three and four bedroom homes, on the edge of Coate Water Country Park, within easy reach of the town centre. The homes feature spacious bedrooms and living areas, beautifully nished kitchens and bathrooms,

Three Js

These two, three, four and ve bedroom homes are located in Abberley, surrounded by unspoilt Worcestershire countryside. Endless rural pursuits are accessible right from the front door, along with the village hall and primary school. The beautiful Malvern Hills and spa town of Malvern, plus Worcester and

Birmingham, are easily reached by car. The family homes have been built in keeping with the surrounds, and inside, the three bedroom, three bathroom houses feature spacious kitchen/diners that open to the garden.

Elan Homes 0845 528 0821

Manchester city centre is a 10-minute bus ride from this new collection of family homes featuring two, three and four bedroom properties. Saxon Square marks the nal phase of the wider Platting Village development, which has created a thriving new community in East Manchester. Due to complete

and internal garages. With the sprawling parkland on the doorstep, there are endless opportunities for outdoor exploring and days out, while supermarkets and shopping options lie within easy reach.

Redrow 01793 384 601

FROM £380,000 FROM £TBC

Saxon Square at Platting Village

in 2024, the homes will feature stylish interiors, open-plan living areas, private outdoor space and allocated parking. On-site facilities include play areas, gardens and open spaces, just 1.5 miles from the city centre.

Lovell Homes 0161 905 1727

FOR SALE First Time Buyer February/March 2023 77

As a rst time buyer, when you move into your new home you may be faced with the challenge of bringing back to life old tiles, refreshing wood panelling, giving furniture a makeover or simply lending walls a new shade. You’ll want to be able to apply paint as easily and quickly as possible. But it’s not always obvious which one to use, especially when you’re dealing with different types of surfaces. Wouldn’t it be helpful to be able to use just one paint for the whole job, which also ensures a great nish? That’s exactly the solution provided by a major innovation in emulsions from V33 called Renovation MultiSurface, which really gets the job done quickly, and offers optimal performance.

V33 Renovation Multi-Surface is an easy-to-use, unique solution. Its highly adherent formula means it can be applied on over 20 surfaces in any room inside the home. Available in nine on-trend shades plus white, this ground-breaking satin nish paint is resistant to water, stains and knocks, and is ultra-washable, affording a professional-looking nish even for novice DIYers.

Requiring no undercoat, V33 Renovation Multi-Surface paint achieves a beautiful result

on surfaces including bare, varnished, painted or stained wood; wood derivatives such as melamine, laminate, OSB and plywood; tiles in granite and porcelain; various metals and even glass. This means you can use the paint to refresh a very broad variety of areas of your home including walls, woodwork, radiators, windows, doors, built-in and freestanding furniture, objects, worktops, oors and stairs. There's no need to buy multiple paints to tackle them all!

Your only challenge will be deciding which colours to choose. Colour options include Graphite Black, Pebble Grey, Porcelain Grey, White, Hemp, Green Khaki, Grey Blue, Turquin Blue, Bohemian Rose and Honey Yellow. You could even use just one colour on all surfaces in a room in order to create a thoroughly co-ordinated look. The 2L option provides coverage for approximately 12 m2 when applying two coats.

In the meantime, if you’d like to nd out more about this amazing innovation in decorating, go to V33 can also be found on Facebook at @V33UK and on Instagram at V33_UK

First Time Buyer February/March 2023 79 COMPETITION HOW TO ENTER Answer the following question: Excluding White, in how many on-trend shades is V33 Renovation MultiSurface paint available? Send your answer with your full name, address, telephone number and colour choice to: lynda@ Closing date: 8 March 2023 THE PRIZE… NINE LUCKY WINNERS HAVE THE CHANCE TO WIN A 2L TUB OF RENOVATION MULTI-SURFACE PAINT IN A COLOUR OF THEIR CHOICE WORTH £42 T&Cs • The prize is non-transferable, and no cash alternatives can be given • The competition is open to UK mainland residents only NEW V33 MULTI-SURFACE PAINT MAKES LIFE EASIER FOR THE FIRST TIME BUYER


What could be better than serving up this delicious and warming recipe for Toad in the Hole created by Chris Mackett, Tom Kerridge Group Head Chef. Perfect for all the family to enjoy, it’s also an affordable meal for weekday suppers or Saturday lunch


Born on the Isle of Wight, Chris won a scholarship to the Isle of Wight Catering College. His first significant roles were working at events including Wimbledon and The Paris Air Show. His first chef role came at The Saville Court Hotel in Egham, where he worked for a year, before a move to Claridge’s as a Demi Chef de Partie.

Re-locating to Norwich to work at Tatler’s, a two Rosette restaurant, under Sam Clifford, saw Chris rise to the ranks of Junior Sous Chef, and it was here that he heard of a chef who was serving tuna with bone marrow – Tom Kerridge. A Sous Chef position came up at Adlards, where Tom was the Head Chef, and Chris worked alongside Tom and became good friends.

When Tom left Adlards to start The Hand & Flowers in 2005 with his wife Beth, Chris joined the opening team as Sous Chef and the pub won a Michelin star in its first year. In 2011, the pub won two Michelin stars and became the first pub in the UK, and the world, to hold this accolade, which it still holds today. Chris became Head Chef of The Hand & Flowers in 2016 and stayed for two more years before taking a break from Michelin-starred kitchens. He worked as a Head Chef for a range of banks before a catch-up lunch with Tom Kerridge saw him offered the role of Development Chef for the Tom Kerridge Group.

Chris is now Group Head Chef, having worked for Tom for over 16 years, and his role encompasses work on media recipes, menu development, cookbook recipe development and events, including The Monaco Grand Prix, San Sebastian Gastronomica and events in New York and San Francisco for British Airways, as well as overseeing Pub in the Park and assisting Tom on the demo stage. Chris’s knowledge of seasonal ingredients is second to none, a skill he thanks his grandmother for, as is his technical ability to build recipes and flavour profiles to create exceptional dishes.

Chris takes part in triathlons and when he isn’t training, he enjoys relaxing at home with his wife and two sons in Farnham.

1 Make the Yorkshire pudding batter the day before by whisking the milk and eggs together, then slowly incorporating the flour. Be careful not to mix too vigorously, as this will stretch the gluten in the flour. Put the mixture in a plastic container and let it stand in the fridge for 24 hours.

2 The next day, wrap the sausages neatly in the bacon and refrigerate until ready to cook. Preheat the oven to 180C.

3 To make the gravy, cut the onions in half through the equator horizontally going against the grain and sear them middle side down in a pan until the rings have gone black. Then, place the onions on a baking tray lined with tin foil. Sprinkle on the demerara sugar and the thyme and drizzle with a little oil. Seal the tin foil up into a bag, place into the oven and roast for 3.5 to 4 hours until the onions are really caramelised and soft.

4 When they are done, scoop out the onion flesh and whizz in a food

processor until a brown rich pulp is formed.

5 Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the flour to make a roux-style base. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the dark ale and the onion pulp, add a good pinch of salt and cook on a low heat for 30-40 minutes until it has reduced by about a quarter. Taste, and season if required.

6 Heat oven to 220C (200C fan assisted).

7 Put the sausages in a roasting tray, then place in the oven for 15 minutes to colour.

8 Pour the Yorkshire pudding batter mix into the tray with the sausages. Bake for a further 40 minutes.

9 Be careful not to open the oven door during this time as the Yorkshire pudding will sink! Serve the toad in the hole with the onion gravy and English mustard mash.

FIRST MEAL 80 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
INGREDIENTS (serves 4) 9 8 pork sausages 9 8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon 9 140g plain white flour  9 225ml whole milk 9 6 large free range eggs  9 3 onions 9 1/2 bunch of thyme  9 2 tbsp demerara sugar 9 30g plain flour  9 30g butter 9 1 pint (568ml) Rebellion ale (or a good ale equivalent)


The cost-of-living crisis is on everyone’s minds this year and homeowners are looking to save on energy bills however they can. FTB gives you top tips on reducing energy costs in your home with

Wundasmart Starter Kit, £199.99,

The WundaSmart Smart Thermostat Entry Kit allows you to schedule or manually control your hot water from anywhere in the world. WundaSmart's Zoned Heating Controls promise savings of up to 31% on energy bills as you only heat the rooms you use, when you use them, by zoning your home with WundaSmart thermostats and radiator heads.

Simple Countdown Timer, £11.99, This simple plug-in countdown timer just couldn’t be easier to use. Installing a simple countdown timer can stop devices being left on unnecessarily. Multi-socket extension leads can be plugged into the power saver to allow more of your devices to fully disconnect when they are not in use!

TECH First Time Buyer February/March 2023 81
these simple saving hacks
“Take control of your
FTB'S TOP ENERGYSAVING TIPS… 9 Turn your combi boiler flow temperature down to 60C 9 Turn down radiators in rooms you aren’t using or turn them off 9 Turn appliances off at the socket when you are not using them 9 Use your tumble dryer less 9 Close all your curtains and blinds at night to keep in the heat 9 Find and fix draughts in your home 9 Switch to energy saving lightbulbs 9 Install a smart meter 9 When you finish cooking open your oven door to allow the heat into your house 9 Wash your clothes at a lower temperature

Buying a property together?

According to the Office for National Statistics, cohabitation is the fastest growing family structure. The number of cohabiting couples has grown by almost 23% in the past decade.

However, couples who live together without being married have very few legal rights. In England and Wales, there is no legal concept of common law husband or wife. Accordingly, unmarried couples are exposed to various risks should their relationships breakdown.

In order to avoid a painful and costly separation, it is useful to have a grown-up conversation about cohabiting and enter into essential legal documents before you buy a property together.


Buying a home together is a huge step. For many, it will be the single biggest financial commitment they will undertake. Apart from choosing your home you will need to consider how you will raise the deposit and pay the monthly mortgage payments, bills and maintenance costs. You will need to decide whether contributions will be made equally and, if not equally, whether any adjustments will need to be made to reflect any unequal contributions.

In terms of mortgages, you will need to decide whether you obtain a joint mortgage or, where one of you may have impaired credit, whether the mortgage should be in a sole name.

Importantly, you need to decide on what will happen if your relationship ends.


There are various ways of holding property in England and Wales. You will need to decide which is the most appropriate before you purchase:

Joint Tenants – This is the most common form of joint ownership. Joint tenants means that a couple will be deemed to own the property in equal shares, regardless of how much each has contributed towards

and what documents you will need

the deposit, maintenance or the monthly mortgage payments. It also means that should either die, their share would pass to the other party regardless of whatever was contained in a Will. This is called the “right of survivorship”.

Tenants in Common – This means that each person holds a distinct share in the property. This could be equal but it also enables couples to allocate unequal shares between them. For example, where one person pays the entire deposit they may wish to ensure that they ringfence that contribution with the rest of the equity being divided equally to reflect equal mortgage payments. There is no right of survivorship, so it is recommended that Wills are drafted to ensure that shares are passed as intended on death.

Express Trust – Where a property cannot be purchased in joint names, for example, where one person is unable to obtain a mortgage, it may be possible to buy the property in the name of one party but for there to be a written trust deed setting out that the equity in the property is owned by the couple jointly, either in equal shares or as otherwise agreed.


Cohabitation Agreements – These agreements are sometimes called living together agreements. They act like “prenuptial agreements” in a marriage context. These agreements set out who owns what and in what proportion. Couples have the freedom to decide how they intend to split their property and assets should the relationship end. The agreements are flexible and can even record how the couple want the relationship to work and who will pay the mortgage, the holidays or renovations to the property. They can also cover whether a couple take out life insurance, make Wills, deal with their own separate debts and make arrangements in relation to joint bank accounts.

Wills – If a person dies without leaving a Will (called dying “intestate”), there are specific rules governing estate distribution.

Unmarried couples are not recognised in the same way as family members under the intestacy rules. The only way for an unmarried partner to inherit is under a properly prepared Will. It is therefore essential that unmarried couples obtain Wills and keep these updated.

Declarations of Trust – These documents set out who provided what towards the purchase price and the proportions they will each receive upon sale. Extracting money out of a jointly purchased property will be easier if there is a clear, legally prepared Declaration of Trust agreed by both parties. Rather than have the cost and heartache of sorting a significant mess out in the event of a relationship ending, Cohabitation Agreements, Wills and Declarations of Trust can help save acrimony and legal costs should the relationship fall apart.

For further information regarding buying a property, please email Bill Dhariwal of Lawcomm Solicitors on, call 01489 864 117 or visit

82 First Time Buyer February/March 2023

Ask Emilia...

Common questions asked by shared ownership buyers

Emilia is the Sales Director at Metro Finance, the largest shared ownership mortgage provider. Metro Finance helps around 2,400 shared ownership buyers each month, working with more than 90 housing associations to make the process for the buyer as simple as possible, and helping to innovate the shared ownership product. Emilia has worked with Metro Finance for over 10 years, specialising in shared ownership

Tracker/discount rates – these rates can be far riskier as they follow the Bank of England base rate. The benefit of these is that currently they are sitting around 4.09% at 95% for shared ownership, which is much lower than a fixed rate. But beware – they are not for everyone. These rates will likely increase, and when this happens your mortgage payments will go up. So, you are best budgeting for a higher payment, and just thinking of the lower payment as a short-term gain. If your affordability is tight, it might be best to go with a stable fixed rate, rather than running a risk.

Why shared ownership?

Buyers are understandably nervous as they look at buying their first home, or taking another step on the housing ladder. Here, I answer some of the most common questions we are asked.

When is the interest hike going to end? There’s no doubt it’s a scary world at the moment. The Bank of England has again confirmed it has lifted the base interest rate by 0.75% to 3%. In reality, it’s not a huge surprise that the rates are increasing, this was always on the horizon, although circumstances may have forced it a little sooner than expected. And ultimately what is the norm for Bank of England base rate? The long-term average for the Bank of England isn’t where it has been since 2008, so we could now be going back to the norm. If you listen to economists, the expectation is that you will continue to see the Bank of England base rate drive upwards into next year – to maybe 4.8% by summer 2023, and lenders are pricing now in expectation of that. So, the fixed rates you see today are priced on the expectation of a higher Bank of England base rate.

Is now really the time to buy? This is difficult to answer, and ultimately only a buyer can answer this themselves.

Every buyer should feel comfortable when purchasing a property; it’s not something to go into lightly. That being said, just as interest rates have increased, we’ve also seen the rental market increasing.

The average rent in the north is £1,162. Based on this payment, you could buy a 25% share of a £340,000 property, far above the average house price.

The average rent in London is £2,343. On this basis, you could buy a 25% share in a £690,000 property, again above the average house price in the area.

Ultimately, if it’s your desired property and affordable, then yes, it is the right time –as it’s a home for you.

What are the mortgage options in terms of rates at the moment?

A. Fixed rate – for a first time buyer this is probably the most common type of rate. A fixed rate means the interest rate will not change for a number of years, be it two years, five years etc. The benefits of a fixed rate are simple – you know what your payments are. Irrespective of what happens in the world, you have that rate secured for a period of time. The disadvantage – you could end up paying a little more for that extra security, but for many people, especially during times like this, that cost is worth it for the security.

Shared ownership is an affordable product for those who cannot afford to buy on the open market. It allows you to get on to the housing ladder, where otherwise it may not be possible.

For many it’s a pipe dream to own a property, either because they don’t have the deposit or they don’t have the income needed for the area they want to buy in, and shared ownership tackles both of these.

The average house price across the UK is £305,000; the below table demonstrates how shared ownership opens up the market to so many more buyers

Open market £15,250 £65,000

Shared ownership (25% share)

£3,813 £33,000

I’m interested in buying, what are my next steps?

Every person’s circumstances are unique, making every mortgage application unique. My best advice would be to speak to an adviser to guide you through the process, work out what is affordable and within your budget, and obtain an Agreement in Principle for you, which is the first step to securing your dream property.


FINANCE 84 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
Deposit Required Income Required

Ready, willing and able

In the fast-moving mortgage market, it pays to be prepared. Kay Hill looks at the latest moves in lending

There are so many variables at play in the housing market, that predictions are harder than ever! Depending on who you ask, house prices in 2023 could drop by 25% [economist Roger Bootle], drop by 8% [Halifax], drop by 2% [Rightmove] or even increase by 5-8% [David Hannah, Cornerstone Tax]. Meanwhile, mortgage interest rates could settle at around 4% [Sam Amidi,] or nearer to 5% [Sarah Coles, Hargreaves Lansdown] – and that’s assuming that nothing along the lines of another Brexit, pandemic or mini-Budget comes along to cause further chaos.

So how does all this affect those who are getting ready to buy, and what should you be doing now?


The fact that house prices are unlikely to increase sharply (if at all) in 2023 may give you breathing space to build a larger deposit, as for the first time in many years your savings

are likely to be growing at a faster rate than properties. Make sure you choose the bestpaying account and save, save, save – the current financial climate could offer good opportunities for those who are ready. A larger deposit will also mean a wider selection of mortgages and lower monthly costs in the future, so it really is worth trying to put a bit more away if you can.


If you are ready to buy, securing a mortgage agreement in principle you will show sellers that you are ready to move – it doesn’t commit you to taking out that particular mortgage (nor does it guarantee that you would definitely be offered a mortgage) but it marks you out as a serious buyer.


The possibility of prices falling will mean that surveyors are more likely to give a valuation that is less than asking price (which could mean you

We predict an overall drop of 2% in average asking prices next year as economic headwinds continue to soften activity. However, affordability constraints will bite in some segments and sectors of the market much more than others. This will lead to a hyper-local market, where one side of a city, town or even street could fare better than another, depending on the types of property available and the desirability and affordability of the exact location. In this market, working with a good, local estate agent who knows every corner of the area will be vital. After many months of having to act extremely quickly, there will be less urgency in the market as buyers wait for the right home to become available for their needs, and some sellers will hold out hoping for a price that matches their expectations. This will lead to homes taking longer to sell, and we could see a return to the more normal time to nd a buyer of around 60 days. We’re heading towards a more even balance between supply and demand next year, but we don’t expect a surge in forced sales which would cause a glut of properties for sale and contribute to more signi cant price falls.

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suddenly need more cash to buy the house of your dreams as the mortgage offer will be reduced following a lower valuation). In addition, lenders will be more cautious about high loan-to-value lending as the risk of a borrower falling into negative equity increases with the size of the loan.

Consider if it’s sensible not to stretch yourself to the maximum, instead allowing a little “wriggle room” by building up a larger deposit or choosing a slightly more modest home, to allow for potential hitches. If you are looking at secondhand homes, it is starting to become more of a buyer’s market, so don’t be scared to put in an initial offer at slightly below asking price.


One of the results of the catastrophic miniBudget was that the rates on fixed rate mortgages increased rapidly, as lenders reacted to the uncertainty. This caused a resurgence in interest in variable rate loans such as trackers, discounted rates and Standard Variable Rate loans.

According to Savills, before the latest crisis, 95.5% of first time buyers and 84.9% of homemovers chose a fixed rate, as these were generally cheaper and offered predictable costs. However, according to analyst Moneyfacts, by the end of October following the mini-Budget, the average rate on a tracker deal was 3.69%, compared with the average rate of 6.5% on a twoyear fixed mortgage, meaning a borrower taking out a £200,000 mortgage at the time would have saved £469 a month in interest by opting for the tracker. As some trackers and variable rates have no early repayment charges, some buyers might choose them as a stop-gap, allowing the fixed rate mortgage market time to settle – although,

of course, there are both costs and stresses involved in remortgaging.

If the Bank base rate rises, trackers may once again seem less appealing than fixes, but in the meantime, it is worth considering the option if your income could cope with a sudden rise in repayments. If long term financial certainty is what you are after, then looking at fixed rates of three or five years, rather than two, should help you to ride out the current storm with less stress.


Lenders have been bringing in new products (especially trackers), with rates coming down slightly as the market has settled. In times of uncertainty, the best deals may be short lived, so a financial adviser or broker can help you find the best option. The information below, showing some of the best buys at the time of writing, was sourced from where you can compare the latest deals for yourself. Figures are based on the average house price of £296,000 [ONS].

With a 10% deposit:  Two-year fixed rate – HSBC 5.34%  Three-year fixed rate – Skipton Building Society 5.31%  Five-year fixed rate – Yorkshire Building Society, 4.74%  Three-year discounted tracker – The Loughborough 3.29%

With a 5% deposit  Two-year fixed rate – Halifax 5.6%  Three-year fixed rate – Skipton Building Society 5.81% 

Five-year fixed rate with no fees and £1,000 cashback – Yorkshire Building Society 5.08% 

Lifetime discount variable family mortgage – Vernon Building Society 3.9%.


While it will come as a relief to many that interest rates will rise less sharply than predicted only a few weeks ago, homeowners are still facing major increases in their mortgage payments. The fact is the base rate was 0.25% at the start of the year and it’s now 3.5%, a staggering increase and set to rise even more to around 4.5% next year according to the markets. And while house prices seem to have peaked and are likely to drop further in the new year, higher interest rates on mortgages will mean buying a home is still unaffordable for many. Shopping around for a good mortgage deal will be essential, as will keeping spending in check, avoiding all large expenses if possible and minimising additional borrowing while looking for a mortgage. People seeking a mortgage should bear in mind that the average interest rate on a two-year x can be higher than veyear and 10-year xes. Mortgage approvals decreased again in October compared to September, suggesting securing a mortgage is becoming more dif cult. To shore up nances for what lies ahead, we’d strongly encourage everyone to review their nances with nancial resilience in mind.

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Victor Trokoudes, CEO and cofounder, Plum

In his brief stint as Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng raised the threshold for Stamp Duty payments from £125,000 to £250,000, which he announced would be a permanent change – but his budget of heavy tax cuts led to his sacking as Chancellor.

Having taken over, in his Autumn Statement last November, Jeremy Hunt announced that these cuts would not be permanent and will only stay in place until 31 March 2025. Making the announcement, Hunt said that the Office for Budget Responsibility, OBR, expected housing activity to slow over the next two years: “After that, I will sunset the measure, creating an incentive to support the housing market and all the jobs associated with it by boosting transactions during the period the economy most needs it.”


The SDLT rises according to the property’s purchase price. Rates paid are different depending on whether you are buying in England, or in Wales or Scotland where the tax has a different name.

In England and Northern Ireland current rates are:

9 Up to £250,000 (£425,000 for first time buyers) = 0%:

9 The portion from £250,001 to £925,000 = 5%

9 The portion from £925,001 to £1,500,000 = 10%

9 The portion above £1,500,000 = 12%:

Previously, the discounted 0% rate for first time buyers only applied to homes up to £500,000 (over that, the standard rates applied). The Chancellor extended this to properties costing up to £625,000. For

What do recent Stamp Duty changes mean?

Stamp Duty or, to give it its full name, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), is a tax paid to the Government when you buy a property which costs above a certain price. Recently, the Government cut Stamp Duty tax in England and Northern Ireland for some buyers. Ginetta Vedrikas looks at the situation

example, in October 2022 the average price of a London property was £552,755, so for a first time buyer, the amount of Stamp Duty would now be £6,387.75. The way it is calculated is that between £0-425,000 0% is payable. Between £425,000-£625,000 (£127,755 in this case) 5% is payable, equating to a tax bill of £6,387.75.

In Scotland, the tax is called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax; current rates are:

9 Up to £145,000 (£175,000 for first-time buyers) = 0%

9 £145,001 to £250,000 = 2%

9 £250,001 to £325,000 = 5%

9 £325,001 to £750,000 = 10%

9 Above £750,000 = 12%

In Wales it is called the Land Transaction Tax; current rates are:

9 Up to £180,000 = 0%

9 £180,001 to £250,000 = 3.5%

9 £250,001 to £400,000 = 5%

9 £400,001 to £750,000 = 7.5%

9 £750,001 to £1.5m = 10%

9 Above £1.5m = 12%


In England, a buyer has 14 days to pay Stamp Duty from the date of completion. In Scotland and Wales, you have 30 days from the point of buying. If it takes longer, you could face a fine, or be charged interest on any duty that you owe. Buyers usually pay

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SDLT through their solicitors, but you can also pay directly online, or by cheque or cash in some banks.

You can include SDLT in your mortgage loan, increasing the amount you borrow, but this means that you would end up paying a lot more in interest payments.


Some property experts fear that changing SDLT, especially putting a deadline on it, while helpful in the short term, can cause a bottleneck of buyers that ends up boosting house prices. When chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the cuts to SDLT would revert back in 2025, Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops estate agency said, “Reversing the cut to Stamp Duty on properties under £250,000 and £425,000 for first time buyers is unwelcome news for the housing market. The decision to put a time limit on the tax break is likely to create a bottleneck of transactions in the first quarter of 2025 as buyers rush to lock in the more favourable Stamp Duty rate.

“While this rush to get a sale across the line will not be to the same extent seen during the last Stamp Duty holiday, this time limit will undoubtedly factor into many first time buyer’s decisions as these savings could be put towards utility bills, solicitors’ fees or upgrades on the home they purchase.”

During the pandemic, the Government announced a Stamp Duty holiday to help buyers whose finances were affected by Covid-19. The holiday meant that no tax was payable on the first £250,000 of a property, but many estate agents reported that the holiday caused a buying frenzy in the run up to the deadline which pushed up prices. The Office for National Statistics, ONS, reported that UK average house prices increased by 15.5% over the year to July 2022, up from 7.8% in June 2022.


Some property groups are calling for SDLT to be scrapped completely – including for downsizers – so that more family homes come on to the market. Property website HomeOwners Alliance says that it will continue its campaign to scrap Stamp Duty for those buying a home to live in, which it believes will encourage downsizers to consider moving and will also help level the playing field, because those buying a home to live in will pay no Stamp Duty compared to those buying investment properties.  Historically it says that first time buyers and buy-to-let investors have been competing for the same type of properties as they can deliver good rental yields.


One way of avoiding paying any SDLT is to take advantage of deals from developers offering to pay the tax on your behalf. Help to Buy ended last October, but many developers are currently offering to pay SDLT, plus other incentives.

Millwood Designer Homes recently launched a collection of four semidetached four bedroom homes at its Lillybank development in Battle, East Sussex. The housebuilder promises to contribute £5,000 towards buyers’ Stamp Duty fees, explains Sales and Marketing director Philip Brown. “At Millwood, we’re aware of the added financial strain of the cost of living at the moment, so are pleased to be contributing £5,000 towards buyers’ Stamp Duty costs.”

The Hill Group says that its Equity Loan scheme for its development Rubicon at Knights Park in Cambridge is a great opportunity to buy, with only a 5% deposit and no SDLT payable.

Located in Eddington, the development is already 75% sold with just five studios left for sale. Prices start from £339,950 and Rebecca Littler, Group Sales and Marketing Director, says that the studios offer a great opportunity for first time buyers to take advantage of the Government’s recent change to the SDLT allowance. “This is an unmissable opportunity for first time buyers to ensure they secure the savings available to them while they can.”

St Modwen Homes found that in the run up to the deadline for the end of the Help to Buy scheme last October, searches for “when does Help to Buy end?” rose by a “staggering 850%”, but the national housebuilder recently announced a range of schemes and incentives to help first time buyers on to the property ladder.

Pointing to the new “deposit unlock” scheme – created by the Home Builders Federation – the housebuilder explains that first time buyers can now purchase a new build home with just a 5% deposit.

To further support first time buyers, St. Modwen Homes offers its “first time buyer boost”, a range of benefits to make buying easier and more affordable. This scheme allows you to reserve your property for £99 – so there are no large upfront costs.

The housebuilder will also cover solicitors’ fees and let you choose flooring free of charge. St. Modwen’s “deposit boost” incentive is a £5,000 gift towards your deposit so you may not need to save as much as you originally planned. The money can be put towards other costs such as legal fees, decorating or upgrades.


The priority must be avoiding creating market bubbles and providing a stable environment. We should be looking to encourage fluidity throughout the market and a wider Stamp Duty reform is needed for this.

Nick Leeming, Chairman, JacksonStops estate agency


This cut to Stamp Duty will create more affordability in an environment where interest rates and inflation are both rising quickly. First time buyers, in particular, are facing the end of the Help to Buy scheme without any replacement proposal, so the Stamp Duty cut will really assist them in making the move on to the property ladder. It doesn’t, however, address the fundamental issue of shortage of supply, which is inevitably increasing property prices, thereby making it harder for first time buyers to make the move into property.

Hinesh Chawda, MD of boutique property developer, Life Less Ordinary


Every little bit should help first time buyers. Not having to pay a tax upfront when cash is tight will lend a helping hand for first time buyers to buy their first home. But the Stamp Duty exemption is not a game changer for first time buyers; it’s the seven years they need to save up for the deposit. And it’s not the higher mortgage rates either, as mortgage payments will still likely be less than their rental payments which have been increasing.

Paula Higgins, HomeOwners Alliance

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Agony agent

Readers put their property questions to our guest panel of experts: solicitors, mortgage advisers, property gurus and Help to Buy providers

Start the search

QI have been saving to buy my first house and am ready to start my search, but I don’t know where to start. Where should I begin?

AWhen looking to buy your first home, there are a lot of different things that you should consider so that you can find the right property for you. It can be useful to create a list of your essentials and things that you would like, but would also be prepared to compromise on, so that you can begin to narrow down your search.

We need your questions...

If you have any queries, or difficulties in understanding the property buying process, our panel of experts is waiting to help. Send our team your questions on buying property, Help to Buy, legal issues, or your financial problems and we’ll find the best person from the panel to give the advice you need.

Email your questions to: lynda@

Location is crucial when looking to buy a property. You may have an idea of the area you would like to live, but it can be useful to consider what details are important to you. Do you want easy access to green spaces? Are there any particular local amenities that you want to have close by, such as shops, a gym or schools? It is also important to think about how you are likely to travel around and whether you want safe cycle routes into the city centre or want to enjoy a short stroll to a railway station.

When looking for a new home, you also need to think about the property itself. There are lots of different homes on the market so determining your “must-have” criteria before beginning to search can be useful to avoid being overwhelmed. From studios and apartments to spacious family homes, it is important to consider what type of property you are looking for, how many bedrooms you require and whether there are any design or layout

considerations you want such as open-plan living. Communal spaces at developments or apartments can also be extremely valuable, with many properties offering added extras exclusively for residents, such as roof-top gardens, concierge services, private gym access or even cinema rooms.

Affordability is a big factor when looking to get on to the property ladder. In addition to your deposit, you may also need to cover other costs including Stamp Duty, removal services and legal fees. Beyond the initial costs, think about what can you afford to pay monthly in terms of service charges, mortgage payments and commuter costs. As a first time buyer, there may also be schemes that you can use that are designed to help you get on to the property ladder. Shared ownership, for example, is a partbuy-part scheme that may allow you to take your first steps on to the property ladder with a smaller deposit.

Once you have a good idea of what you want from your new home, online portals can be a great place to start your search. At SiteSales, we have a dedicated Property Search on our website with a wide range of properties across London and the South East. With everything from family homes such as Bury Street West in Enfield to stunning shared ownership apartments and duplexes at Makers Yard. To start your home search through SiteSales, visit

I wish you the best of luck with your search.

EXPERTS 90 First Time Buyer February/March 2023
TEST THE PANEL THIS MONTH’S PANEL OF EXPERTS Kalumba Musambachime, Head of Sales & Build to Rent, Network Homes Ellie Gannicott Wallis, Sales Manager, SiteSales Emma Jones, Bellway Homes

New build homes

QMy partner and I are beginning our property search. We have been looking at existing homes but haven’t found any that would work for us. We have seen adverts for a few new build homes. What are the advantages of buying a new build home?

ANew build homes are a wonderful option for everyone looking for a home but are a particularly popular choice among first time buyers due to the financial, practical and customisable benefits they offer.

One of the main advantages to buying a new build is the purchasing process. Different to buying a secondhand property, when buying a new build there is no onward chain; you are the first to own, live in and enjoy the property. Also, the price will not increase and there is no fighting to get to the top as once you reserve, the home is yours.

With the rise in homeowners wishing to be more energyefficient, new build homes are the perfect solution. On average you can save £2,600* per year when you move into one of our energy efficient Bellway houses. For example, at Yellow Fields in Oxfordshire, homes have highly efficient boilers and most have an electric car charging point. Not only does this help your energy bills and the environment but it also saves you costs which would have been spent on making an older property more sustainable.

Also, a new build will come complete with everything you need. Our specification at Poppy Fields at Yew Tree Gardens includes an integrated oven, LED downlights, Roca sanitaryware in bathrooms and USB points throughout. With a new build, you don’t need

Buying off-plan

QI have been looking for a new home online and have come across a property that I am really interested in. The development is still under construction, so homes are being sold off-plan. Should I be concerned about buying off-plan?

ALooking for your first home is an exciting time but can also be a bit daunting. Acquiring a home off-plan means that you are investing a considerable amount of money into a property that you haven’t been able to view, which can seem counterintuitive for a lot of people looking to secure the best value for money.

Investing in off-plan doesn’t mean that you won’t know what to expect from your new home. From computer-generated images to detailed plans, there is plenty of information available so that you can understand the specification, layouts, and room sizes of the homes on offer.

Depending on the development and the progress on site, there may also be a show home available to view that will reflect the

to worry about painting over old wallpaper, completing major renovations or installing light fixtures; simply turn up on move-in day and enjoy your new home!

Finally, new build homes are clean, fresh and provide a blank canvas ready for you to customise and add your personal touch. Adding your own style and flair to a property is one of the most exciting parts of being a homeowner and with a new build it is easy, adaptable and fun!

*Figures based on HBF 2022 “Watt a Save” report.

quality of design and finish that you can expect across all homes once complete. Providing further support for those buying a Network Homes property, our friendly sales team is always on hand to answer any questions that you may have about the homes available.

Off-plan purchases can also have many benefits for buyers looking to purchase a new home. You can have the first choice of the available plots, meaning you are more likely to find a home that meets with your needs. For example, our new development Icon in Edgware is likely to be incredibly popular due to being close to Burnt Oak station and moments away from local shops and access to parks and open spaces in the borough of Barnet.

With one, two and three bedroom shared ownership apartments, buying a share of a home off-plan at Icon means that buyers can avoid missing out on their dream plot.

As with any new build property, buying off-plan (particularly as a first time buyer) means that you can avoid being stuck in a chain. Buying chain-free often means that the process is faster and more straightforward, taking a lot of the stress out of the homebuying experience.

We do hope that you will consider purchasing off-plan and would like to wish you the best of luck with your buying process.

EXPERTS First Time Buyer February/March 2023 91
Emma Jones

Buyers’ guide




What are your funding options if you want to get on the housing ladder?



The Government backs several schemes to help people get on the property ladder. The best known is shared ownership which is open to people with a household income of up to £80,000 (£90,000 in London). More details are below.


Many people buy property on the open market. Homes are offered for sale by estate/sales agents or from private developers or housebuilders. On new build developments there is usually a show home you can look around and a sales adviser, based on site, to answer your questions.

To buy on the open market, you will need a mortgage deposit of at least 5% to 10% of the full property value.


Demand for new homes often outstrips supply; this means that new homes are often reserved before their construction is complete, sometimes several months before they are built and finished. This is called “buying off-plan”. Most providers market and sell their homes in this way. Do some careful research to make sure the home you reserve is the right one for you, especially as you may not have an opportunity to physically view inside it before your commitment to buy it becomes a legal obligation.


Some builders offer incentives on new build homes such as cashback, legal fees or help with moving costs. You could also try to negotiate for upgrades to specification items like floorings or kitchen appliances.



Help to Buy: Equity Loan/Deposit Unlock

Equity loans through Help to Buy are no longer available; they ended in October 2022. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) together with some housebuilders and mortgage lenders are offering a new scheme called Deposit Unlock as an alternative. This helps first time buyers to buy a new home with a 5% mortgage deposit. More information is available at

Shared ownership/part-buy, part-rent

The Government-supported shared ownership scheme is available for people with household incomes up to £80,000 (or £90,000 if buying in London.) Shared ownership homes are always leasehold. With this scheme, you buy a share in a property and pay rent on the rest. Rent is calculated at 2.75% (sometimes less), with annual increases of RPI + 0.5%. The amount of share that you buy is calculated based on your affordability. On many shared ownership homes the minimum is 25% (but could be higher). On some homes, you can buy a lower share starting from 10%, but these are not widely available at present. The mortgage deposit you’ll need to buy with shared ownership is calculated on the share value; this works out at a lot less than if you were buying outright. Shared ownership homes can be new build or resales, apartments or houses across many parts of England.

If you buy a home with shared ownership, you will be given the right to buy more shares in the future. This is called staircasing. In most cases, you can buy shares up to 100% of the property and own it outright. When you buy more shares, these are valued at the market value at the time. Because house prices tend to rise over periods of time, it is a good idea to think about staircasing at an early date.

First Homes

This scheme offers first time buyers discounts of 30-50% on certain new build homes. Local authorities may limit these to key workers or those who live or work in the area. When the home is sold it must be to another eligible first time buyer at the same percentage discount.

Rent to Buy

This scheme allows you to rent a new build property for up to five years and pay a redued rent while you save for a deposit. It is not widely available, however.

Right to Buy

The Right to Buy scheme helps eligible council and housing association tenants in England buy their home with a discount of up to £87,200 (£116,200 inside London). You probably have the Right to Buy if you’re a secure council tenant and have spent at least three years as a public sector tenant. Some properties are exempt.

Older People’s Shared Ownership (OPSO)

This is designed for people aged 55 and over. Scheme specific details vary, so check with the housing association provider.

Home Ownership for People with Long Term Disabilities (HOLD)

HOLD is a specialist option to help people with long term disabilities live independently in a shared ownership property where, in some cases, repairs and maintenance services are offered by the provider.

Other options

There are a few less well-known Government-backed schemes; more details can be found at

The Lifetime ISA (LISA) is a long-term savings product intended to support younger people aged between 18-39, resident in the UK, saving for their first home, or for later life. Up to £4,000 can be saved each year, attracting a government bonus of 25% on each new payment. Funds can be withdrawn without charge 12 months after opening the LISA, if used as a deposit for the account holder’s first home, subject to certain conditions. The property value must be under £450,000.

To buy on the open market or from a house builder you’ll need to get a mortgage from a bank or other mortgage lender. To do so you’ll need to save a deposit and meet the provider’s lending criteria.

First Time Buyer February/March 2023 93

The ftb process



You will need at least three months of bank statements, payslips or tax returns, photo ID such as a passport or driving licence and details of any loans. Lenders will look at your outgoings to assess how much you can afford to pay on your mortgage each month. The bigger deposit you have and the better your credit score, the better mortgage rate you’ll be offered.


Work out how much you can afford to repay each month, taking into account your normal living expenses and the bills, insurance and council tax on your new home. Don’t forget there is likely to be a service/ estate management charge on a new home, plus ground rent for a leasehold property, so find out how much they will be.


Get a credit report from Experian or Equifax, and make sure there are no default accounts, CCJs (county court judgements) or missed payments. If you are making lots of enquiries to find the best deal, make sure the lenders log your enquiry as a soft search rather than a hard search as too many applications leave “footprints” on your credit score and can affect your rating. To improve your score, make sure you’re on the electoral roll, and pay your bills and any loan repayments on time.

Buying your first property can be a daunting experience. It’s a big decision, so it’s important to get it right. We take you through all the steps involved

Unless you have enough money to buy a property outright you’ll need a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a property and is repayable over a number of years (usually 25-35 years). The loan is “secured” on the property, which means the mortgage lender could repossess your home if you fail to make repayments on time. For this reason, it’s vital only to buy a property you can realistically afford.


Before you start, find out how much money you can borrow. A mortgage adviser will need details of your income, outgoings, savings and credit history – they will then be able to give you an “agreement in principle”, which will state, in theory, how much they will be able to lend you. An agreement in principle, however, doesn’t tie you, or the lender, to anything. Instead, it will just give you a rough idea of how much money you’ll be able to borrow.

You’ll also need a deposit, normally around 10% of the property price. The bigger the deposit, the better the mortgage rate you’ll be offered. Each mortgage product will have a maximum loan-to-value or LTV.


You can apply for a mortgage via a mortgage broker (or financial adviser) or direct from a lender. A broker can look at the deals available and advise you which one would be best for your circumstances. Some mortgage products are only sold through brokers, not directly to customers.

A broker will help you with the paperwork and deal with the lender on your behalf up until completion. You may have to pay them a fee or they may earn commission from the lender – find out how they are paid before committing to anything.

Mortgage advisers in banks or building societies can only sell you products offered by that company, so it’s unlikely they will be able to offer you the very best deal for your circumstances. It’s important to shop around. You can compare mortgages online at sites such as or



SHOP AROUND, then apply directly to your chosen lender.


Some mortgages are fixed rate. This means you’ll pay the same rate of interest for a defined period of time, and your payments won’t change. If interest rates go up, you’ll be protected from the increase, but you won’t benefit from any fall in interest rates. Normally, at the end of the fixed period your mortgage rate will revert to the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) for the rest of the term. You can either pay this rate (which is often quite expensive) or remortgage to another lender. Remortgaging to another lender can sometimes mean you have to pay a fee or early redemption charge (ERC).


Variable-rate mortgages are either linked to the lender’s SVR or the Bank of England base rate, and the rate you pay can change. Lenders can change their SVR whenever they want, but they normally only change it when the Bank of England base rate changes. Tracker mortgages are also variable, but they have repayment rates that are directly linked to the base rate so will go up and down with it. With variable-rate mortgages you need to be sure you could afford higher repayments if rates rise.


Most mortgages available to first time buyers are on a repayment basis. With this type of mortgage, every monthly payment will pay off some interest and some capital (mainly interest in the early years). At the end of the term, you’ll own your home outright.

If you have a larger (25% or more) deposit you may be offered an interest-only mortgage, where you only pay interest on the loan. The monthly repayments are lower but at the end of the term you’ll still owe the original mortgage sum. You’ll need to prove you have a plan in place (such as an investment) to pay off the capital.

Work out how much money you have for fees, deposit and the monthly mortgage you can afford.

Make sure your credit rating is sound and there are no mistakes on your le, and pay off any debts you can.

Speak to a mortgage broker, but also look at lenders’ direct products and search the internet.




Be practical. Think about the commuting time and whether you can afford to buy in the area.

Check out crime statistics, transport links, regeneration and, if relevant, schools.

BUYERS’ GUIDE 94 First Time Buyer February/March


Thorough research

Buying a property is a big investment. You need to make sure you buy a home that you can afford and one you will be happy living in.


The first step is to shortlist the locations you feel you’d like to live in, then check if you can afford the house prices in those areas. It’s also worthwhile visiting places you like: it may be that there’s an up-and-coming hot spot just down the road you didn’t know about that’s much more affordable. Ideally, you will have rented in the area before buying, but if this isn’t the case, at least spend some time there, check out the commuting time to work, and look at local pubs, shops and leisure facilities. Visit the area at night, too.


Once you have found the right location, go online and check out what’s on offer. Most homes are listed on property portals such as, onthemarket., or, plus estate agents’ websites. Properties featured have pictures, descriptions and a floor plan, and


Register with local estate agents, and use the internet to search for properties. Set up alerts.


Look at several properties, and visit ones you like more than once and with someone else. Take a checklist.

sometimes a video. Also, sign up with as many local estate agents as you can. They should send you new properties that match your description, but it’s worth phoning them regularly. If you’re looking for a shared ownership property, search online at and


Once you see a property you like, arrange a viewing. Most people see at least 10 properties before putting in an offer. It’s worth bringing a friend or relative and also arranging a second viewing to check out any bits you may have missed. Don’t get taken in by the furnishings and decor too much. Remember that a property that is slightly run down can still be a great investment and may only need a touch of paint and a change of furniture.


It’s a buyers’ market, so make use of agents’ legwork in finding properties that fit your requirements. Be aware that estate agents are paid commission by the seller on the sale, so try to inspect the property yourself rather than just the parts the agent shows you. Don’t get sucked in by the hard sell.

Check online for prices of sold properties in the area, and make sure properties you like fit your budget. You can search for recent sold prices of property in any area at, and also on property portals like

Aerial shots of an area can be viewed at; switch to “satellite view”.

Before you put in an offer, visit the street at different times of the day and night. You could also ask neighbours and local shop owners about the area.


When looking at buying apartments, check exactly what is included in the service charge and how much it is. Also, ask about the terms of the lease and its length. If the lease has less than 80 years left, use this as a negotiating tool and make an offer below the asking price.


If the market is slow, when making an offer, don’t be afraid to offer less than the asking price.

If the property needs work done, you can use this as a negotiating tool.



Make sure you have a survey – it could save you money in the long run by spotting any problems.


Compare quotes from solicitors, and ask your friends who they recommend. A good solicitor can make a big difference to whether a purchase completes or falls through. Online companies can be cheaper but are less personal.


Look at the results of searches your solicitor has done. They will tell you, for example, if a main road is about to be built at the end of your garden.

BUYERS’ GUIDE First Time Buyer February/March 2023 95



Push the seller to take the property off the market. This will limit the chances of being gazumped (another buyer making a larger offer). The seller can insist on continuing to show the property, especially if you haven’t offered the asking price.

Use a recommended solicitor who you know to be reliable and who can move fast.

Never get pressured into an exchange and completion date without knowing all your finances and documents are in place. If you can’t complete, you may have to pay the seller’s costs.

English property law is different to Scottish law: in England, if you put in an offer and then have a change of heart, you can legally back out of the deal or negotiate up until the exchange date. But, in Scotland, an agreed price is binding.


You must have buildings insurance in place for when you exchange contracts (not complete). This will be a condition of your mortgage offer.


Buying process

Once your offer is accepted, tell your mortgage lender. They will do a valuation to ensure the property is worth the money being advanced. At the same time, instruct a surveyor to carry out a survey. If this shows problems, find out how much they would cost to rectify and use this information to renegotiate the sale price. Or, tell the seller certain repairs need to be carried out before contracts are exchanged.


After the offer is accepted, you will also need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer who will oversee the contract, deal with the finances and exchange the deeds. Your solicitor will carry out searches, check the terms of any lease and restrictive covenants and tell you how much Stamp Duty you have to pay. The seller will also appoint a solicitor, and the two legal teams will be in regular contact to make sure the purchase goes as smoothly as possible.


Once the mortgage offer is in place, the contract is satisfactory and buildings insurance has been organised, both parties will agree an exchange date. You will sign the contract with your solicitor, and at the point of exchange of contracts, you pay a deposit and a completion date is set. At this point, there’s no going back – the seller could sue you if you pull out, and you could lose your deposit. The completion date is usually around a week to 10 days after exchange, but can be done on the same day. On completion, the final paperwork is done, and the property is legally yours.


From offer to completion usually takes about six weeks to three months, but don’t feel pressured or rush into anything you’re not sure of just because the seller or estate agent wants you to exchange.





Scale 1 fees relate to the registration of both new builds and resale properties for monetary consideration.

Apply using the portal or Business Gateway, for transfers or surrenders which a ect the whole of a registered title

For a purchase of £0 - £80k £20.00

For a purchase of £80,001-£100k £40.00

For a purchase of £100,001 - £200k £100.00

For a purchase of £200,001 - £500k £150.00

For a purchase of £500,001 - £1,000,000 £295.00

For a purchase of £1,000,001 and over £500.00

Apply using the portal or Business Gateway, for registration of all leases and transfers or surrenders which a ect part of a registered title

For a purchase of £0 - £80k £45.00

For a purchase of £80,001-£100k £95.00

For a purchase of £100,001 - £200k £230.00

For a purchase of £200,001 - £500k £330.00

For a purchase of £500,001 - £1,000,000 £655.00

For a purchase of £1,000,001 and over £1,105.00


Up to £250,000 Zero

The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000) 5%

The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10%

The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%

In October 2022 you buy a property for £295,000. The SDLT you owe will be calculated as follows:

0% on the first £250,000 = £0 5% on the final £45,000 = £2,250 Total SDLT = £2,250



Expect to pay a fee of at least £1,000 to secure an attractive rate. But some can be £2000+

The lender will usually o er you the option to pay the arrangement fee upfront, or you can add the fee to the mortgage. The disadvantage of adding the fee to the mortgage is you’ll pay interest on it, as well as the mortgage, for the life of the loan. But if you pay the fee upfront, there’s a chance you could lose it if anything went wrong with the purchase.


Typically, around £300-£600, but can be significantly more


£0-£500 usually paid at mortgage application


Estimate £200-£300 annually – The price depends on the cover you require and your excess. The building insurance is calculated based on the cost of rebuilding your home is known as the ‘buildings sum insured’. It’s important to know that there’s likely to b a di erence between your home’s market value and the cost of rebuilding your home.


£700-£4,000 annually

If you own a long lease on a property in England and Wales you will normally have to pay rent to the freeholder or landlord of the property; this is known as Ground Rent. The lease will normally specify how much rent you have to pay and when it has to be paid. The ground rent can be a fixed sum for the length of the lease, or the lease can provide for the ground rent to increase over the course of the lease.

Service charges vary based on the building and the services provided. A building with concierge service, numerous lifts can be very expensive. You should go through the service charge costs with your solicitor. These are audited and the price paid changes annually generally in April. New freehold homes may also have service/estate charges for maintenance of communal areas.


Shop around for a removals rm, and nd one that can move your possessions on completion day. You could also look at van hire to do it yourself.


Your solicitor or estate agent will call you to tell you the property is yours. The solicitor will have some nal paperwork to do, and you will then have to pay the solicitor’s bill and your Stamp Duty payment (if applicable). solicitor’s bill and your Stamp



BUYERS’ GUIDE 96 First Time Buyer February/March

Home buying glossary

Confused by financial acronyms and industry terminology? Buying your first house is daunting enough without having to decode property lingo. FTB’s homebuying glossary is here to make the process a whole lot easier to understand


The initial document that a lender will give you outlining the amount you are likely to be lent if you applied for a mortgage. An agreement in principle is not a guarantee of getting a mortgage.


APR stands for annual percentage rate. It is the interest rate you’d pay over a year. It takes into account not just the interest on your loan but also any other additional charges.


This is a term used to describe payments that haven’t been made on time.


The interest rate set by the Bank of England. Lenders usually use the Bank of England base rate to set their own interest rates.


A broker is someone who gives you advice on your mortgage. Some are independent, while others work for particular lenders.


A survey carried out by a qualified surveyor to spot any structural problems or faults in the home you are buying.


Something of value that is offered as a guarantee against a loan. With mortgages, your home is collateral.


The finalisation of the sale. Completion day is when the paperwork is complete, all money is transferred and you become the legal owner of your new home.


The legal process of transferring ownership of a property.


These are additional charges incurred during the homebuying process such as Stamp Duty and Land Registry charges. You must give the money to your conveyancer or solicitor who will then pay the charges on your behalf.


This is an amount of money you may have to pay a lender if you decide to move mortgage provider or if you pay off your mortgage quicker than expected.


The difference between the value of the property and the value of the mortgage you have secured.


This is when you exchange contracts with the seller. When this has happened, both sides are legally bound to complete the transaction.


A freehold is when you fully own a property and the land it stands on.


When a seller accepts an offer and then later on rejects it in favour of a higher offer from another bidder.


A person, usually a parent, who guarantees that you can pay your mortgage repayments. You often need a guarantor if you are struggling to get a mortgage based on your own income. If for some reason you cannot pay your mortgage, your guarantor has to pay it for you.


If you take out a large mortgage on a property, some lenders may charge a one-off extra fee. This funds an insurance policy that protects the lender (not you) from the additional risk.


This is a fee you have to pay in order to register your ownership of the property with the Land Registry.


A type of tenure where you buy the right to occupy a property for a fixed period of time. You usually have to pay annual ground rent each year.


This stands for loan to value – the ratio between the amount of money you have taken out as a loan and the valuation price of the property.


In order to reduce your mortgage, you can make a lump-sum reduction. This is where you pay more than you owe each month in mortgage repayments.


Paying off your mortgage in full is known as redemption.


The amount you have to pay back each month to your mortgage provider


Stamp Duty is a shortened name for Stamp Duty Land Tax, also called SDLT. This is a Government tax you may have to pay when you purchase a new property. Your solicitor or conveyancer will organise the payment for you.


The legal documents that outline your rights and liabilities in relation to your new property. The title deeds also act as proof of ownership.

BUYERS’ GUIDE First Time Buyer February/March 2023 97

Conveyancing terms all first time buyers need to know

Purchasing a property can be a daunting prospect, which is why it is important to instruct a conveyancer who will guide you through the process using plain English and not legal jargon. In this article, Coralie Phelan from Prince Evans Solicitors explains the key terms used at each stage of the transaction



A conveyancer (or solicitor/lawyer) is the legal professional who will act for a buyer or a seller in the conveyancing process.


This means the legal process of transferring property or land from one party to another.

Purchaser and Sellers

The parties to the conveyancing transaction, the seller/vendor being the party selling the property and the buyer the purchaser.


If you are buying a property and your seller is likewise buying a property (whose seller could also be buying a

property) then this is known as the Chain of Purchasers and Sellers – the chain of conveyancing transactions which are linked together and must exchange and complete at the same time.

Source of Funds

Your conveyancer will need to check your source of funds to comply with the Government’s Anti-Money Laundering Regulations. This means they will need to see how you are financing your property purchase. This can include copies of wage slips and bank accounts to evidence how you have saved your contribution to the purchase price.

Contract Papers

Contract papers or the Legal Pack are provided by the seller’s conveyancer at the outset to the buyer’s conveyancer. The pack

contains the contract, legal title together with the property information and fittings and contents form. It is upon receipt of these contract papers that the conveyancing process really begins.

Transaction Forms

This phrase refers to:

• Fittings and Contents form – indicates which items are included and excluded from sale

• The Property Information form – filled out by the seller confirming information regarding the property including alterations, guarantees and service connections.

Freehold or Leasehold

Freehold is a tenure of property and if you buy a freehold property this means you will own the property and the land it sits on.

LEGAL 98 First Time Buyer February/March 2023

Leasehold is a tenure of property and if you buy a leasehold property you will rent/lease the land or property from a landlord for a defined period of time.


Usually your conveyancer will order the following:

Local Authority Search

This is a search carried out with information obtained from the local council and reveals specific information which you will need to know when buying a property. This includes things such as whether the roads are maintained at the public expense, the planning history of the property and whether there are any orders/regulations that the property owner must observe.

Drainage and Water Search

Confirms water and drainage connections.

Environmental Search

Confirms whether the property would be designated as contaminated land.

Additional Enquiries

Once your conveyancer has received contract papers they will review the legal title and the information provided and will raise any legal questions that they need the seller to reply to, which are commonly referred to as the Additional Enquiries.


Report on Title

When your conveyancer has all the replies to enquiries and search results they will then prepare the Report on Title.

This is a full report on the contract terms, the transaction forms, Title and the replies to enquiries and often the search results (if not reported on separately). It is usually provided with the contract for signing by the buyer.


This is the legal document which sets out the terms of your purchase and which you and your seller will sign to commit you to purchase the property.


This is the sum paid by a buyer to the seller (via their conveyancer) on Exchange of Contracts. This is typically 10% of the purchase price (or 5% in some cases). The

deposit is forfeited to the seller if the buyer fails to complete.

Gifted Deposit

Your conveyancer will ask you to pay your deposit at this stage. A gifted deposit is where (typically) a family member is contributing to the purchase by gifting a sum of money. In this case your conveyancer will have to carry out further checks and obtain consent from any mortgage lender.


A lease is the contract (document) which sets out the terms on which one party rents property from another. If you buy a leasehold property such as a flat you will have a lease of the property. If the property is leasehold you will receive a report on the lease terms as part of the report on title.

Ground Rent

Ground rent is payable under the terms of a lease in leasehold property. This is an annual amount paid to rent the property from the landlord.

Management Company

A management company may be in existence to deal with the management of an estate or development where the property is located. This is more common with leasehold property but may also apply to freehold too. You will generally pay service charges to the management company and may be asked to become a shareholder or member.


The landlord is the party who owns land or property and is paid by others for the use of this. If you are a leaseholder you will pay your landlord a ground rent for the use of the land.

Legal Title

Legal Title is the evidence of legal ownership of assets or land. Your conveyancer will check the Legal Title to

ensure this is suitable for your needs and is good and marketable. Your conveyancer will report the terms in the Report on Title and send you a copy to read through.

Mortgage Deed

This is the document you sign to legally commit to your mortgage and to comply with the terms of the mortgage (such as to make the repayments). This deed is registered at the Land Registry.


Exchange of Contracts

When contracts are exchanged you are legally committed to purchase the property and this is also when a completion date is fixed. This is the point of no return in the purchase and failing to complete after exchange of contracts will have serious financial consequences.



This is the date you legally complete, become the owner of the property you are buying and the day you can collect the keys to the property.

Transfer Deed or TR1/TP1

This is the legal document which transfers property from one person to another and is filed at the Land Registry to evidence the change of ownership. This needs to be signed before completion.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”)

This is a Government tax on the purchase of property. Fortunately, there is relief for first time buyers subject to certain criteria.

There are many conveyancing and legal terms you will hear during your property purchase. This is a summary of the main terms, which should assist in simplifying the terminology and provide you with a better understanding of the whole conveyancing process.

Prince Evans specialise in all aspects of conveyancing.

Please contact Prince Evans for all your conveyancing needs and for a friendly no obligation quote on 020 8567 3477 or

LEGAL First Time Buyer February/March 2023 99



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100 First Time Buyer February/March 2023



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Coralie Phelan With

Coralie Phelan is Partner and Head of New Build Homes at Prince Evans Solicitors LLP. Coralie joined Prince Evans in March 2022 having had a career spanning two decades specialising in all forms of affordable homeownership conveyancing. She is a Solicitor, having read Law at King's College London and been admitted to the role in 2006. Coralie has worked hard forging long-term relationships with key housing associations and is proud of her team who deliver a first class service

What room at home is your favourite?

I love our open-plan kitchen and dining area. The open-plan style lends itself to family meals and entertaining. It is a real focal point and where we all spend most of our time.

What is your favourite gadget or technology at home?

I have a milk frother next to my coffee maker, which makes the perfect foam for a cappuccino. I cannot function in the morning without the perfect coffee.

What colour do you think everyone should have in their home? I think neutral colours work best as you can then buy furniture and accessories to accent and brighten up a room. It also means you are not limited in your choice of colour for furniture.

Which three people would you invite over for a housewarming party if you could have any guests?

I could never not invite my husband and then it would have to be Stephen King as I am a huge fan and love to read scary stories. I would also invite Andrew Lloyd Webber as I love a good West End show and he could tell us stories about all the celebrities he has met in the past.

What is your favourite memory from your childhood home? When I was growing up, we used to enjoy a Sunday roast around the dinner table every week. It was lovely family time. That is a treasured memory.

What interior trend do you hate?

I prefer open-plan space, which is much more in tune with modern living. I prefer fewer, larger rooms than lots of smaller ones.

Would you rather have a garden or a balcony?

It has to be a garden as our son is an incredibly active football

mad nine-year-old. Our garden is currently plain lawn and serves as a football pitch. When he grows up I will claim it back as my own and it have it landscaped.

Do you prefer modern homes or period properties?

I prefer period properties as I like the character and features. Our house is a chalet house with original features such as an open fire. I feel period properties are more cosy and homely.

Would you rather have a library room or a media room at home?

I love to read so it would be a well-stocked library room. I love to relax with a good book at the end of a hard day.

Would you prefer to have a luxurious bathtub or a sumptuous shower at home?

I would say sumptuous shower. I do not have time for baths these days, so a sumptuous shower would suit me best.

Would you rather live in the bustling city or in the country?

I prefer countryside to bustling city. I am fortunate enough to live in a town that is far enough away from London to be green, pretty and relatively quiet. It has good rail connections enabling me to be in central London within 30 minutes. This is the perfect mix for me.

If you were buying a property oversees, in what country would you buy a home?

I’ve never really considered buying abroad but if we did it would be somewhere in Europe such as Spain, which has good weather and short flight times.

Would you rather have a bigger property or a better location?

For me location is the priority as it does have a huge impact on everything, from day-to-day living to value.

What is one thing you couldn’t live without at home?

From a professional point of view, I could not live without Wi-Fi, which obviously enables me to work from home. From a personal point of view, I’d say my coffee maker as I do like a decent cup of coffee in the morning.

What is your favourite way to unwind at home after work?

I love a good read and there is no better way for me to relax than curling up on the sofa with a good book.

What’s your favourite thing about your home

I love the fact that we are in a quiet close with lovely neighbours and my son has plenty of room to play outside in our garden. Where did you buy your first home?

Our first house was in Crayford in the Borough of Dartford, Kent. We could not afford to buy in our hometown. We had to move further out, away from London, to get better value for money and for affordability.

What advice would you give a first time buyer?

When you are looking to purchase your first home save as much as you can, research all the Government schemes to see if you qualify, and don’t limit your property and location options. And, of course, make sure you instruct a reputable solicitor or conveyancer. What are your views on shared ownership?

The importance of shared ownership is often underestimated. It has helped so many with their first crucial step on the ladder. I think it will become more popular following the end of the Help to Buy scheme as first time buyers seek alternative affordable housing options.

What are your views on the property market?

We are obviously experiencing a period of uncertainty. There will always be first time buyers wanting a step on the ladder and my team and I are always delighted to assist first time buyers on their exciting journey. I think the Government should invest more in education in schools regarding housing options and the conveyancing process so that first time buyers are armed with all the knowledge they need to make informed decisions regarding their future.

20 QUESTIONS 106 First Time Buyer February/March 2023

Articles inside

20 QUESTIONS Coralie Phelan With article cover image

20 QUESTIONS Coralie Phelan With

page 106
Conveyancing terms all first time buyers need to know article cover image

Conveyancing terms all first time buyers need to know

pages 98-101, 103-105
Home buying glossary article cover image

Home buying glossary

page 97
BUYERS’ COSTS article cover image


page 96
Buying process article cover image

Buying process

page 96
The ftb process article cover image

The ftb process

pages 94-96
options article cover image


page 93
Buying off-plan article cover image

Buying off-plan

page 91
New build homes article cover image

New build homes

page 91
Start the search article cover image

Start the search

page 90
What do recent Stamp Duty changes mean? article cover image

What do recent Stamp Duty changes mean?

pages 88-89
Ready, willing and able article cover image

Ready, willing and able

pages 86-88
Ask Emilia... article cover image

Ask Emilia...

page 84
Buying a property together? article cover image

Buying a property together?

page 82
INSPECTOR GADGET article cover image


page 81
FIRST article cover image


page 80
FAMILY HOMES article cover image


pages 76-77, 79
AFFORDABLE HOMES article cover image


pages 74-75
Shared ownership: Reading article cover image

Shared ownership: Reading

pages 72-73
WHY IT’S TIME TO BUY A NEW BUILD HOME article cover image


page 70


page 68


page 66


pages 64, 66
SETTLE IN TO COUNTRY LIVING article cover image


page 62


page 60
WEST IS BEST! article cover image


page 58
PLUMLIFE HAS YOU COVERED! article cover image


page 56


page 54


page 52


page 50


page 48


page 46


page 44


page 42


page 40
GET ON THE LADDER WITH SO RESI article cover image


page 38


page 36
HOMES ON THE MARKET... article cover image


page 35
Horsham HOTspot article cover image

Horsham HOTspot

pages 34-35


pages 31-32


page 30
CASE STUDY article cover image


pages 25-26, 28
CAPITAL CONUNDRUM article cover image


page 24
A LIFE LESS ORDINARY! article cover image


pages 20, 22-23
First choice! article cover image

First choice!

pages 17-18
What he thought… article cover image

What he thought…

pages 16-17
What he wanted… article cover image

What he wanted…

page 16
At home with: Faye Winter article cover image

At home with: Faye Winter

pages 14-15
2023 COLOUR OF THE YEAR INSPIRED article cover image


pages 12-13
Mailbox article cover image


pages 7, 9-11
What’s in… article cover image

What’s in…

pages 4-5
Welcome article cover image


pages 3-4
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