National Home Buying Week

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HELPING YOU TO

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WELCOME TO NATIONAL HOME BUYING WEEK Our ambition at First Time Buyer is to try to help as many people as we can on to the housing ladder with the chance to buy their dream home. We know that the home buying process can be very complicated to navigate, especially if you haven’t done it before. That is why we decided to launch the National Home Buying Week – we felt it was very important to help, inform and educate first timers and explain everything in easy-tounderstand language, which is jargon free, putting all the information you need in one place to help you on the journey to homeownership. Our website, nationalhomebuyingweek.co.uk, is full of useful information, downloadable

W E LC OM E

guides, FAQs and videos of highlighted developments from our partners to inspire you with the homes that are available around the country.

We really want everyone to experience that special moment when you are finally able to unlock the door of your first home; and this week is dedicated to help you do just that. With the help of our little mascot, Stickman, who appears in some wonderful short animated videos on our website, highlighting all the key topics in very simple terms, we are sure you will find everything you need to know there. Throughout the week there will be key webinars with live Q&As covering essential topics like shared ownership, Help to Buy, conveyancing, mortgages and credit scores as well as ideas for interiors. There are also seminars from leading experts, which will explain in more detail how the Government schemes work, what the legal side of buying a home involves, everything you need to know about mortgages, why your credit score is so important and how you can improve it. We are also very excited that we have two wonderful ambassadors joining us. TV presenter Jonnie Irwin will be giving a masterclass on how to view a property. He visits a lovely development from Catalyst and gives hints and tips, what questions to ask and things to look out for. With all his experience on Escape to the Country on BBC1 and Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun, we know it will be a great watch. We also have Jade Vanriel who is passionate about property and is a very talented YouTuber. She has over 23,000 followers on Instagram and her YouTube property videos reach over 54,000 subscribers. Her fascinating insight into buying your first home after her visit to a SO Resi development has been turned into a fabulous video which will be shown on her Move with Jade series on YouTube and will also feature on our

own website. You can also listen in to our podcast with myself and TV presenter Hayley Sparkes where we chat about all things “property” and discuss the Government schemes, which have helped so many first time buyers get on the ladder. We would especially like to thank our Headline sponsor Catalyst and our Supporting sponsor SO Resi and give a very big thank you too, to all our partners who have joined with us to make this week extra special. I do hope that you enjoy what’s on offer during the week and that you spend time on our website discovering all the facts and knowledge you will need when you start the exciting road to buying your first home. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, answering your questions and hearing your feedback. Please do go to nationalhomebuyingweek.co.uk and discover for yourself! Happy House Hunting

Lynda Clark, Editor, First Time Buyer

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A FF O R DA B L E HOMES

FINDING A HOME YOU LOVE WITH CATALYST

The Lanes

Through a year where we’re spending more time at home than ever before, it’s never felt more important to live somewhere you love. For leading housing association Catalyst, that means helping first time buyers find their dream home in the right place and at the right budget Offering properties across London and the South East, Catalyst is helping hundreds of first time buyers find a place to call home, whether that’s a one bedroom apartment moments from a London Underground station, or a three bedroom house set among acres of rolling countryside. Most importantly, Catalyst is committed to ensuring first steppers can afford these high-quality homes, with a wide range of properties available through shared ownership, as well as Help to Buy on select London developments. Both these schemes can help buyers get on to the property ladder years before they might be able to buy on the open market, through lowering the level of deposit and mortgage needed to purchase a home. Director of Sales and Marketing for Catalyst, Markus Kendall-Young, comments, “At Catalyst we pride

ourselves on offering a wide selection of developments across the South East and the capital, helping first time buyers achieve their dream of homeownership. Providing homes through shared ownership and Help to Buy opens up the property ladder in a range of desirable locations – from up-and-coming London hotspots to picturesque villages in the Home Counties – ensuring that every first time buyer is able to find a home they love.”

STEPPING ON THE LADDER WITH SHARED OWNERSHIP Shared ownership is a Governmentbacked part-buy, part-rent scheme that allows buyers to purchase a percentage share of their home and pay rent on the remaining portion. This initial share can be between 25% and 75%, giving buyers the flexibility to purchase what they can afford at the time.

Buyers will usually need only a 5-10% deposit and a mortgage to cover the share they are buying, dramatically lowering the amount of savings needed to get on to the property ladder compared to the open market. For example, at Catalyst’s central Bedfordshire development, The Lanes at Thorn Fields, buyers can purchase a three bedroom family home on the edges of Houghton Regis with a £7,400 deposit (5% of a 40% share at £147,000, for a home with a full market value of £367,500). For shared ownership there are eligibility criteria in place to ensure that these homes are available to those who need them most. For instance, a buyer’s household income cannot exceed £80,000 outside of London, or £90,000 if you are in the capital. There may be additional eligibility criteria for specific developments too, for example some homes may only be available to those who live or work in the local area.

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AFFO RDABL E H OM ES Equidistant between affluent Earlsfield and Wimbledon, The Switch is a luxurious collection of studio, one, two, and three bedroom apartments, as well as two and three bedroom duplexes. Part of a major new development being delivered in partnership by Catalyst and Galliard Homes, these shared ownership homes surround a new stadium for AFC Wimbledon and offer an exciting opportunity to step on to the property ladder in south west London’s newest cultural and sporting hotspot. Meanwhile, north of the River Thames in Muswell Hill, Catalyst’s The Folium provides urban village living in one of London’s greenest neighbourhoods. One, two, and three bedroom apartments are available through shared ownership, putting the popular location within reach for London’s first time buyers and families. The Folium has been designed to celebrate the area’s natural green setting with mature trees, green spaces, and rich planting – while inside, homes are built to a high standard complete with fully integrated appliances and a private terrace or balcony. In the market town of Dunstable, Bedfordshire, The Printworks is a collection of high-quality two and three SO Resi Farnham shared ownership houses bedroom conveniently located for the amenities of the town centre and the lush green of the Dunstable Downs. Each home includes high-specification finishes including integrated kitchen appliances, top-of-therange bathrooms, and turfing to both the front and rear gardens. Providing a natural extension to the area’s rich greenery, nature is interwoven throughout the development with a richly planted community garden and dedicated green spaces to promote wildlife and biodiversity.

A HELPING HAND WITH HELP TO BUY Another popular purchasing option for first time buyers is Help to Buy. Using Help to Buy, buyers can purchase a new home with a deposit of just 5% of the purchase price. Buyers can then receive a Government loan of up to 20% of the property’s value, or 40% in London, and secure a mortgage for the remaining amount. The loan is interest-free for the first five years, helping to keep costs down for new homeowners. To be eligible for Help to Buy, you must be a first time buyer and be

The Folium

The Folium

The Switch

The Switch

purchasing a new build property that falls within new regional price caps. Under the new Help to Buy guidelines, coming into force from 1 April 2021, each region in England has a price cap which aligns with local property values. For instance, in the South East the limit is £437,600, while in London, properties valued up to £600,000 may be eligible. For purchasers looking for Help to Buy in London, Aspire at St Bernard’s Gate is a collection of one and two bedroom apartments in Hanwell, bordering Ealing. Adjacent to the Grade II listed St Bernard’s Chapel, one of the historic buildings which give character to the development, Catalyst has recently

launched a stand-alone building of six apartments, which each feature a private balcony or terrace, openplan kitchen/living/dining space, and views of other neighbouring historic buildings. With outgoings totalling from just £851 per month for a one bedroom apartment and £980 for a two bedroom apartment, Catalyst’s new properties make homeownership significantly more affordable than renting in the area – an impressive saving of up to 35% every single month. To find out more about Catalyst and explore its range of developments across London and the Home Counties, visit: catalyst.homes

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SHARED OW NE RS H I P

SO RESI, SO AFFORDABLE

The property market has been booming despite the uncertainty of the past year, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down just yet. Much of this boom has been driven by first time buyers in recent months, many of whom have managed to save for their deposit quicker than expected after a year of lockdowns and restrictions We recently conducted research in conjunction with Cambridge University which revealed that demand for shared ownership has quadrupled since 2015/16 – and now sits at record levels. What’s more, our research has shown that the most popular areas for shared ownership are London and the South East, with nearly 50% of completions in the past five years being in these areas. Shared ownership increases the accessibility of homeownership for a wider group of people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to make that step, such as single adults without children, who make up 50% of shared ownership transactions according to our new research. Not only does the scheme allow those on a single income a fair chance at homeownership, the deposit requirement is far lower than the national average. According to Halifax, in 2020 the average first time buyer paid £57,278 for a house deposit – in comparison, our research has shown that the average deposit paid for a shared ownership property in 2018/19 was £24,600. Given these figures, it’s unsurprising that buyers are turning to shared ownership as a viable way to get on to the property ladder. At SO Resi, our developments in London and the South East have never seen such demand and we are working on a number of completely new schemes, alongside launching SO Resi Greenford in Ealing this spring followed by SO Resi Farnham in Surrey later in the summer. SO Resi Greenford is set in a prime location, offering some of the most varied green spaces in London while remaining well connected to key locations such as Westfield London (Shepherd’s Bush), Ealing Broadway and Wembley Stadium via nearby Greenford underground station. The development is close to ancient woodland, meadows and the Grand Union Canal, from which residents can explore London’s waterways via canal boats or scenic footpaths. The contemporary one, two and

SO Resi Farnham

SO Resi Farnham

SO Resi Farnham

three bedroom apartments will benefit from integrated appliances, parking to selected homes and an en suite to most apartments, alongside secure cycle storage and access to retail units. Meanwhile, SO Resi Farnham has been designed with sustainability in mind, with a natural living wall and roof incorporated into the scheme, which will help to provide clean air alongside an ecosystem for local wildlife. The one and two bedroom apartments have been designed to maximise natural light, with large windows and balconies to extend living space. Farnham station is a short walk away, connecting residents to London Waterloo in less than an hour and Guildford in 23 minutes. At SO Resi we are passionate not only about delivering high-quality shared ownership homes for buyers, but also educating buyers on what exactly shared

ownership is. Despite it being around for decades, shared ownership is still relatively unknown or misunderstood, and we work hard to represent the voice of the shared owner. We take the view that we want to change perceptions in the market, and educate buyers about the benefits of shared ownership using clear, simple language. We are excited to be involved in the first ever National Home Buying Week, which will allow us to work with other industry experts and support first time buyers as they take that first step on to the property ladder. Throughout the week, we will be taking part in a range of events designed to arm buyers with the knowledge they need to make their next move, and we look forward to helping customers begin their SO Resi journey. Find out more about SO Resi at soresi.co.uk

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IN T E R I O R S

GET THE LOOK!

Moving into your new home is an exciting time and you’ll want to have it looking perfect as soon as possible. But sometimes it’s worth taking your time and considering how you live in and use your home on a day-to-day basis before you make any big, expensive decisions. Ashley Baker, Interior Designer for INVESTA, shares her top interiors tips to remember when you first move in Use a rug in the living room to connect all your furniture. This will make the furniture look more intentionally placed and put together. Rugs also add warmth and texture.

Stick to neutral colours for your big pieces of furniture and use colour or pattern on the walls or in accessories as these items are easily changeable.

Decorate or choose the furniture first for the room you’re likely to spend most of your time in or that guests will see.

If you opt for curtains over blinds, no matter the size of the window, choose full-length curtains. This will draw the eye up and will give the illusion of more space as the material connects to the floor. If you want shorter curtains, then choose Roman blinds instead.

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I NT E RI ORS In each room decide what you want the focal point to be. Whether it’s a feature wall, a piece of furniture, artwork or statement lighting, it’ll help you work out how much to spend on what. Upcycle existing furniture you own or pick up unwanted pieces on online auction rooms or at antique fairs. Think about reupholstering or adding a lick of paint to an old piece. Not only is it cheaper but it’s a great way to shop more sustainably as well. Don’t be scared of mixing old with new to give your home a lived-in feel and help build character. Experiment with negative space. You don’t need to fill your entire home immediately. Make sure you give yourself a good desk/study area if you need it. Many of us will be continuing to work from home a lot more, so you need plenty of space to stay motivated and focused, and to keep any work-related things.

Focus on the large items first; sofa, dining table, bed, window dressings. These pieces will be what you keep the longest, so tend to be more expensive. And don’t forget to measure your rooms to check what space you have. Don’t impulse shop – just because an item is in the sale doesn’t mean it’s right for your room – often it’ll be too big or too small and you’ll wish you made a more calculated choice. If you’re looking to furnish your first home, furniture packs are a great option. They’re tailored for you and your home and can offer you a selection of great furniture pieces from sofas to bedside lamps to get you settled as quickly as possible. It also means all your furniture will arrive at the same time, so no long waits for deliveries, and it’ll all be styled by an interior designer too! Prices start from £3,799. For more information visit: investa-london.co.uk

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S H A R E D OW NERS HI P

SHARED OWNERSHIP: THE BENEFITS

Our mission at Plumlife is to help first time buyers on to the property ladder – nothing brings us greater joy than when we’re able to help people achieve their dream of homeownership The combination of high house prices, limited availability and levels of deposit needed is making homeownership almost impossible for many first time buyers. However, Government-backed schemes such as shared ownership are helping many first time buyers get on to the property ladder. At Plumlife, we seek to offer shared ownership in lots of different locations to reach different groups of first time buyers. Our experience in the North West region is indicating that the average first time buyer earns £20-25,000 per year, and this is why shared ownership is so important. With shared ownership, homeownership becomes achievable and often more affordable than privately renting a home, which can cost more than a mortgage on a monthly basis. It is a fantastic route to homeownership and a much smaller deposit is needed, based on the percentage share you buy and not the full market price. With other products, average deposits are around £30,000,

while with shared ownership, they can be as low as £3,500. Buyers don’t need to be reliant on relatives or long term saving plans to access shared ownership. There are so many benefits to the scheme, but here are the top three reasons why we’re such big fans of shared ownership:

ELIGIBILITY You can buy a home through shared ownership if your household income is less than £80,000 per year. Applicants should be first time buyers, although other circumstances may be considered, such as if you are hoping to step back on to the property ladder after a relationship breakdown. For some developments, applicants may also need to prove a local connection to the area.

AFFORDABILITY

Saving up for a deposit is often one of the biggest barriers for a first time buyer. One

Piercy Street show home

of the best things about shared ownership is the significant reduction in the amount you need to save, since you only need a deposit on the share that you buy. Typically, buyers purchase between 25% and 75% of the home, which means that both the deposit and the initial mortgage will be smaller. A modest rent is payable on the share which is not purchased. For example, if you’re looking to purchase a property priced at £180,000 at 35%, the value of your share will be £63,000. If a 5% deposit was required, you would need to put down a deposit of £3,150. The rent payable on the remaining 65% would be £268.13pcm. Other monthly costs to consider include: buildings insurance, management fee and estate charge (if applicable) – these costs can vary by provider and location.

STAIRCASING Working towards 100% ownership is usually a possibility, and for many, is the end goal. You will usually be able to buy additional shares in your home through shared ownership. This is known as “staircasing” and, in many cases, will enable you to own your home outright one day. Buying additional shares is optional depending on your situation. This can be done at any time after you purchase your home. You’ll need to work alongside your housing association and solicitor just as you would have to purchase your first shares. As you staircase, the amount of rent you pay will decline accordingly. To find out more, you can visit our website, plumlife.co.uk, which features lots of useful information and handy guides about shared ownership. You can also search through our quality new developments in your local area. When you are ready to start your new home journey, our friendly sales team will be on hand to guide you through every step along the way. plumlife.co.uk

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SH A R E D OW NERS HI P

BE WEST FOR WELL PLACED LIVING

If you thought that buying your first affordable home in west London was out of reach, then think again! Shepherds Bush Housing Association is always ahead of the game and wanted to enhance the home buying experience and cut through the sometimes complicated jargon – hence the launch of Be West The route to buying your first home can be daunting, but this exciting new brand, Be West, has the customer at heart and is there to hand-hold you through the home buying journey. Be West wants to create long-lasting relationships with its buyers that go beyond the day you pick up the keys. Its aim is to provide impartial advice and options in a very honest and straightforward way and to support first time buyers every step of the way. Asha Agarwal, Interim Head of Sales, said, “We bring positivity to the process of buying a house. We hope to see people grow and flourish in their new community.” Homes from Be West will be available through shared ownership and private sale across all four west London boroughs

WATERSIDE HEIGHTS The stunning show home at Waterside Heights provides a glimpse into the stylish new canalside homes in wellconnected West Drayton. Situated on the western outskirts of London’s centre, the leafy locale of West Drayton offers a mix of urban and country lifestyles in perfect balance. At Waterside Heights, the local

green spaces, convenient shopping, great transport links – as well as views over the canal – combine to make these new apartments an ideal place to call home. The 65 one and two bedroom apartments at Waterside Heights sit alongside the Grand Union Canal, where residents can access miles of walking and cycling routes. On-site facilities will include a canalside cafe, providing the perfect opportunity to sit back and take in the sights, or even work remotely. Inside, the properties are bright and spacious, with plenty of natural light – demonstrated in the incredible show home, which is available to view online or by appointment. The contemporary kitchens come complete with integrated appliances, hallways feature extra storage space, while two bedroom homes have an en suite from the master bedroom. The open-plan living areas open to a private balcony – many with canal views. There is zero ground rent to pay, and access to secure underground car parking is included with selected apartments. Head 10 minutes on foot to reach Yiewsley for a well-equipped high street and a range of local amenities.

Meanwhile, Crossrail will soon transform commuting times into central London from nearby West Drayton train station. When complete, Crossrail trains will take train journey times into London Paddington down to just 20 minutes. Heading west, Reading is a 30-minute trip, while Oxford can be reached in around an hour by rail. There are good schools, a GP, leisure centres and parks all within easy reach. A range of restaurants and pubs are nearby – head to The George and Dragon for a laidback pub lunch, Positano for traditional Italian food, or order in from a number of big-name eateries. You don’t need to travel far along the towpath to find impressive green areas perfect for strolls and dog walks – this development is pet friendly. The canal passes through and alongside acres of parkland: Colne Valley Regional park covers 27,500 acres and is made up of several parks and woods. If you’re driving, try Black Country park, home to pine forest, a lake, a cafe and a GoApe assault course. Heading west out of London, there are a number of Berkshire villages and towns that are worth a visit: try Windsor, Eton and other Thameside locales for pretty and historic sights. Road links are excellent, too, with speedy connections to Surrey and Berkshire, or the West Country via the M4. Meanwhile, Heathrow airport is a short drive away, making international travel a cinch. This location is a truly well-connected part of town. Prices at Waterside Heights start from £87,000 based on a 30% share of the full market value of £290,000. Call BeWest on 020 8996 8925 or visit bewest.co.uk

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CR E D I T S C O RES

HOW TO GET MORTGAGE FIT IN ONE YEAR

For most of us, applying for a mortgage will be one of the most important applications we make. So, it’s important to get your credit score in top shape. John Webb, credit expert at Experian has a “training plan” to get your credit report mortgage fit START A ONE-YEAR TRAINING PLAN Begin with a thorough review of your income and spending well in advance. This is crucial. Along with your credit report, lenders are likely to take a keen look at your bank statements when you apply for a mortgage. So, keep your spending under control. Check your credit report and score. A credit report is a record of credit you’ve used in the last six years – along with other relevant records such as the electoral roll, court judgments, insolvencies and credit applications. You can check your credit score for free at Experian.co.uk. If you haven’t borrowed much in the past, this is the time to start building some credit history. Try getting a “credit builder card”, to use for small essential spending each month and then pay it in full. If you can get any utilities (eg gas and electric) in your name that will help too. Finally, any home broadband or mobile phone contracts will also help. You need about one year to build a solid credit history. Be consistent with payments. Lenders want to see a strong track record of paying back credit on time, so make sure you don’t miss any payments for the next year. To make sure you never miss a payment day, try setting up direct debits.

SIX MONTHS OF HIGH INTENSITY CREDIT TRAINING With half a year to go until you apply, try to avoid applying for new credit accounts, including energy and broadband. Mortgage lenders tend not to look too favourably on recent applications for credit, so try not to do this in the run-up to your application. Ideally, you don’t want any within six months of making your application. If you can, try to reduce any existing borrowing. Persistent, or worse still,

increasing levels of debt can cause alarm bells to ring. Maxed-out credit cards are bad news for credit scores. If lenders see your borrowing has risen recently this could cause concern. Keep an eye on your score using a free credit score service, such as Experian. You’ll be able to monitor your progress and measure your gains. If you’re financially linked to anyone you shouldn’t be (an ex-partner for example), then get this removed with each credit reference agency. This is called a “financial disassociation”.

GETTING READY TO APPLY AND FEELING MONEY POSITIVE Each mortgage lender has different lending criteria, so it’s important to start researching who you’re likely to be accepted with. Shop around for the best mortgage deal without damaging your credit score by using comparison services such as Experian. They only register a “soft search” which isn’t seen by other lenders

(until you apply). So you can use it as often as you like. You can do “quotations” with individual lenders. These are also soft searches, so don’t affect your credit score. They’ll help give you an idea of whether a lender will consider you, and perhaps the rate you might be offered. Using a mortgage broker can be helpful. They know what lenders are looking for and will compare different mortgages on the market for you. Some brokers compare mortgages from the “whole market” while others only compare from certain lenders. Brokers will tell you this (and details of any charges) when you contact them. Brokers can also be useful if you are self-employed or have had financial problems in the past. Finally, it’s good practice to get your admin together before you apply. Each lender is different, but make sure you’ve got some ID, possibly the last three months’ wage slips and a couple of bills or statements from the last three months. experian.co.uk

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M O RTGAG ES

MORTGAGE TIPS

Jon Lord, MD at award-winning shared ownership mortgage broker Metro Finance, gives his top tips to get the best possible mortgage deal when buying your first home MORTGAGE FEAR? They are daunting, nobody knows how lenders work behind the scenes, everybody gets declined and the lender wants 18 years worth of paperwork! That’s sometimes the view of many first time buyers. It is a scary time, but there’s no need to think like this. Mortgage lenders do want to lend, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t survive – simple as that. So how do you put yourself in the best position for a mortgage lender? Not just to get a mortgage, but to get the best possible deal.

HERE ARE SOME USEFUL TIPS: Who lives at your house? When a lender does a credit search, it wants to see you on the electoral roll, not Tommy Smith who lived there three years ago. It’s easy, check for yourself and get yourself registered, this will gain you some valuable credit score points. Who’s taking all the risk? The lender wants you to take some risk too, in the form of your deposit. In theory, the more money you can put in, the lower the risk for lenders – which makes you look more attractive to them. Of course, we all know it’s super hard to save, but... how much do you spend on coffee? Maybe £3.50 per day, which equates to £1,277 per year! Yes, it’s nice to have a fancy coffee but what’s better, a shiny new home or a beverage? The more deposit you save, the better the rate will be How do you look on paper? This is really important; use a service like checkmyfile.com – it provides three different credit reports in one, just how lenders would see you on paper. You might think yourself a low risk, but if the credit file says otherwise, that’s all that matters. See how much you owe; having credit is good for your score, but too much and you’ll look overcommitted. Check for errors; if anything doesn’t look right, contact the lender or the credit reference agency. Look for missed payments; bring them up to date and try to keep everything

paid on time. Mortgage lenders can still lend with minor blips, but the fewer there are the better. No score or low score? So, you’ve checked your credit file and your credit score is in the poor category. You might not need to worry, some lenders, especially the building societies, operate a more manual approach, ignoring the credit score and focusing more on you as an individual. Bank statements are boring? Not to mortgage lenders; they like to see how you run your account, this gives them an idea of how you’ll run your mortgage. Try to stay within any overdraft facility and try not to miss any regular outbound payments. Usually a lender will ask to see the last three months of statements. Know your income? Nowadays it’s rare to find someone with pure basic salary; make it your job to understand your payslips, the bonus, the overtime – are they regular or guaranteed? This makes a big difference to borrowing capacity. You’ll need the last three months’ payslips and be ready to explain how your income is derived. Same for the selfemployed; it’s likely you’ll need two years of tax calculations and tax overviews.

Be upfront. If you’re aware of a problem like a late payment, bounced direct debit etc, tell your mortgage adviser upfront. Tell them all your problems first; treat them like an outlet… By doing this the adviser won’t waste loads of your time or make you feel disappointed later. Generally, you’ll find that mortgage advisers are really good problem solvers – give them the problem to fix. At Metro, we speak to over 2,000 shared ownership buyers each month, so we get a good idea of what lenders like and don’t like. You don’t have to be perfect, but you can help yourself and improve your credit score.

IN A NUTSHELL: Prove where you live – get on the electoral roll and get your name on some bills Low utilisation of credit – eg if your card has a £1,000 limit, using just £500 of that would be 50% utilisation Pay on time – don’t be late with your regular outgoings, even arranged late payments have a poor effect Fix stuff – any mistakes on your credit file, identify and fix Don’t overdo it – credit is good for your score, but not too much Be prepared – keep your payslips, P60s, bank statements, utility bills etc Don’t get too many searches – applying for any type of financial product or mortgage results in a credit search, and too many can lower your score. And finally, the best advice – speak to a mortgage adviser. Why? There are usually around 300 different shared ownership mortgage products, designed to help many walks of life. One or more could be right for you. Even more important in these difficult pandemic times, the adviser will understand the “new intricacies” of lenders. Imagine a coffee shop with 300 different types of coffee – you might just need a bit of guidance? Unless you’re like me and just drink instant coffee – but I probably don’t realise what I’m missing! metrofinance.co.uk

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S H A R E D OW NERS HI P

INSIDE OUT

With everyone having spent such a considerable amount of time at home over the past year, this is sure to have led people to reassess what is most important to them in terms of what they are looking for in a home Blackwater Place

Features that many of us take for granted, such as outside space, have been essential to maintaining health and wellbeing and, for some, may make the prospect of moving even more enticing. As an Essex-based housing provider, CHP offers a fantastic range of shared ownership homes for sale in great locations to live across Essex and the bordering areas. Whether you are looking at more rural locations with private gardens, or city living with the benefit of fantastic public outdoor open spaces, CHP has shared ownership solutions to suit your individual needs. Designed with aspirational young professionals and families in mind, Blackwater Place in Braintree offers a wonderful selection of stunning newly built two and three bedroom homes. These new homes offer a fantastic specification and a choice of layouts, so you’ll find something to meet your needs. Each new home provides plenty of light-filled living space, the latest fixtures and fittings, a private garden and dedicated parking. The location is ideal and is close to all the local amenities. It is within 10 minutes’ walk from Braintree station and just a short stroll from Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens. On the outskirts of Braintree you will find Braintree Village outlet shopping

centre, which boasts over 85 shops and a wide range of dining options. There is also a leisure village which offers a swimming pool, a tenpin bowling alley and a 12-screen cinema. Prices start from £98,000 for a 35% share of a two bedroom house (full market value £280,000) and £112,000 for a 35% share of a three bedroom house (full market value £320,000). As an alternative, why not consider modern riverside living in the heart of Chelmsford at Chelmer Waterside? For those who want to achieve the perfect balance between city living and the relaxation of the countryside, look no further! This landmark new riverside quarter offers an exclusive collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments

available through shared ownership. Built on a peninsula, on the banks of the River Chelmer, the site has been thoughtfully designed by knitting together a rich landscape and its riverside setting. Features include a new public square and lots of green spaces to create a flourishing new riverside community. The buildings have been carefully oriented to maximise views of the water, for both residents and visitors. Chelmer Waterside’s location makes it an ideal spot for a new community to grow and prosper. With nearby shops, leisure facilities and great transport links to London, Chelmer Waterside is the perfect place to call home for young professionals and commuters alike. For those who want to feel connected to nature, you will find that Chelmer Waterside is the ideal place to put down roots. The riverside location, along with the close proximity to Central Park, Hylands Park and the Navigation Canal, set the scene for wonderful long walks, picnics and relaxing summer days out in the countryside. The homes at Chelmer Waterside perfectly balance contemporary modern living with a riverside location, complementing the local area while adding public spaces to the south-east of the city centre. Prices start from £78,750 for a 35% share of a one bedroom apartment (full market value £225,000), £98,000 for a 35% share of a two bedroom apartment (full market value £280,000) and £122,500 for a 35% share of a three bedroom apartment (full market value £350,000). For full details of the shared ownership developments that CHP has to offer, including Blackwater Place and Chelmer Waterside, please visit chp.org.uk email: sales@chp.org.uk 0300 555 0500 Chelmer Waterside

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S H A R E D OW NERS HI P

SUPPORTING FIRST TIME BUYERS

SiteSales has helped thousands of first time buyers like you get on to the property ladder. We specialise in selling new homes of all ownership options, including outright sale, shared ownership, shared equity and Help to Buy as we work with developers, housing associations, local authorities and registered charities to provide the affordable homes that first time buyers are looking for. We currently have over 500 properties to sell, offering an amazing choice to potential homebuyers DECADES OF EXPERIENCE Founded 30 years ago by our Managing Director Murray Smith, SiteSales Property Group has expanded considerably over the years, but without losing the personal touch that has guided thousands of purchasers to homeownership.

WE HAVE THE INNOVATION TO HELP PEOPLE ON TO THE HOMEOWNERSHIP LADDER We set out to support first time buyers every step of the way, with great customer service from the beginning of your purchase all the way through to after you move in with our aftercare service. From the outset, we provide a knowledgeable point of contact, offering continuity and a friendly face throughout the buying process. We are currently working on a fantastic new online portal where first time buyers will be able to log in and see the whole process throughout their buying journey of purchasing a new home, explaining the processes and requirements at the various stages. For many first timers, securing the right mortgage can be a huge stumbling block. You need not worry, our dedicated brokers offer prospective purchasers a one-stop shop that not only takes away the stress surrounding purchasing a new property, but also ensures that first time buyers make wise choices when considering buying their first home. We work collectively at every stage of the sale and always have buyers at the forefront of our thinking. Our team will guide you to the right scheme of your choice and ensure that the whole package of location, property size and outgoings are all carefully considered so that when moved in, our buyers are comfortable with all the aspects of their home purchase which can, after all, be quite a daunting process. We don’t sell units or properties or targets, we sell homes – and we treat every potential buyer as someone who warrants respect, genuine advice and the very best experience in buying a home. site-sales.co.uk

NEW SOUTHGATE Montmorency Park

FROM

£86,00 0*

Montmorency Park is a stunning new collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments in the heart of north London. The development is superbly located for all the everyday amenities that make for easy living, from good schools and shopping areas to parks and health centres, while some of the UK’s greatest cultural attractions are just a short train or tube ride away. Properties include a fully fitted kitchen with integrated appliances, contemporary bathrooms and a balcony or terrace; car parking is available with some homes. The M25 is just 25 minutes away by car while New Southgate and Arnos Grove stations, both a short five-minute walk away, give easy access across London. The proposed Crossrail 2 will further enhance travel connections in the near future. sharedownership.montmorencypark.co.uk

*Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £344,000

CANARY WHARF Hampton Tower

FROM

£102,5 00*

Set in 2.6 acres of extensive, landscaped gardens, Hampton Tower offers a collection of studio, one and two bedroom apartments in a highly sought-after London location with the River Thames just moments away. Designed to exceptionally high standards, these homes benefit from large rooms, plus floor-to-ceiling windows which slide back to let the outside in giving stunning views over the gardens and cityscape. Apartments benefit from underfloor heating and comfort cooling, integrated Bosch appliances, as well as a boutique-style bathroom. It’s a simple commute to anywhere in London, whether by tube, DLR, road or the river bus. There’s world-class shopping at big-name boutiques, dozens of upmarket bars and restaurants and so much more all only a short walk away. hamptontower.site-sales.co.uk

*Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £410,000

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S H A R E D OW NERS HI P

EXPERIENCE WATERSIDE LIVING WITH RADIAN HOMES AT CENTENARY QUAY House hunters can now discover what it is like to live by the water’s edge, at Centenary Quay in Woolston, Southampton. Located less than 10 minutes’ drive from Southampton’s historic city centre, it’s the ideal location to live, work and relax. Two bedroom apartments are ready to move into now and are available to purchase through shared ownership

All homes at Centenary Quay offer residents allocated parking for added convenience, with balconies or terraces which provide private outdoor space to enjoy in the upcoming summer months. Homes are designed to a high-quality specification including fitted kitchens complete with Zanussi appliances, and bathrooms with crisp, white sanitaryware. Southampton is a hub of activity, with vibrant nightlife, West Quay Shopping Centre, St Mary’s Football Stadium and Mayflower Theatre, as well as beautiful parkland among the many historic landmarks, including the iconic city walls. Closer to home, Woolston benefits from a range of shops, including supermarkets, while for somewhere to relax at the weekend, the beautiful Westwood Nature Reserve and Royal Victoria Country Park are both close by. For commuters, Woolston benefits from excellent access to the M27 motorway, providing easy links to Portsmouth, Winchester and beyond, as well as trains

from Woolston to Southampton Central in 11 minutes for connections further afield. Shared ownership is another way to step on to the property ladder; simply buy a percentage of the property, usually between 25% and 75%, and pay a low cost rent on the remainder. Deposits are as low as 5% of the share value, meaning at Centenary Quay an apartment can be purchased with as little as £3,675. Prices start from £73,500 for a 35% share of a two bedroom apartment. Radian Homes – part of the Abri Group – has just unveiled a new show home at Centenary Quay, designed by Oasis Interiors with the first time buyer audience in mind. Rachel Best from Oasis explained that Radian Homes “wanted a stylish and elegant design that would be both aspirational but within reach; helping buyers to imagine living in their first home”. Most importantly, Rachel says, is the flexibility of the space: “Over the last few months, many of us have had to

embrace working from home, therefore it was important for us to make sure the living space was versatile enough for both working and leisure. As we increasingly see our spaces as multiuse, it was important to create a sense of calm and relaxation in rooms such as the bedrooms, using soft colour palettes and soft furnishings to envelop people in a peaceful, luxurious setting.” Virtual tours of the show home are available online, and appointments can be made for private viewings in line with Government guidelines for health and safety. Visit radianhomes.co.uk/centenaryquay for more information.

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10 Q U EST I O N S

MEET THE EXPERTS

Markus Kendall-Young, Director of Sales and Marketing at Catalyst and Kush Rawal, Director of Residential Investment at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, answer Stickman’s questions Why is Catalyst involved in National Home Buying Week? We are driven by a passion to help first time buyers take their first step on to the property ladder, with our wide range of homes available through shared ownership and Help to Buy. National Home Buying Week is a fantastic opportunity for first time buyers to find out about the different purchasing routes available to them, and we are really keen to be a part of that conversation, while showing them the kind of fantastic homes they could buy with Catalyst. What’s your favourite development you offer for first time buyers and why? A development I particularly love is ARRO in Southall. It is the perfect spot for first time buyers who want to stay in London but might feel priced out of other areas. We have studio, one and two bedroom shared ownership apartments at ARRO, with deposits from just £3,250 – a pretty amazing figure for the capital! ARRO is only 10 minutes from Southall station, and is part of a really exciting new neighbourhood called The Green Quarter, set to deliver over 3,700 new homes as well as 13 acres of new green space. Tell us about your first home The first home my husband and I bought was a two bedroom maisonette in Birmingham, and it cost us just £40,000. We sold it a few years later for £45,000 and we were on top of the world! What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had told you before you bought your first home? I would always recommend trying to buy the best property you can in the best area you can. Living in a nice neighbourhood really adds value, so if that means compromising a little on space, I think it’s worth it. What’s a current trend for first time buyers that you think is here to stay? The need for a versatile living space that can perform multiple functions at once is a trend that I think is here to stay. An openplan living space needs to function as TV den, dining space, home office and social area. Thoughtful design makes it easy for these spaces to co-exist, so you can easily spin from your desk to your dinner!

Name: Markus Kendall-Young Job Title: Director of Sales and Marketing at Catalyst Bio: Markus Kendall-Young is Director of Sales and Marketing at Catalyst, one of the UK’s leading housing associations providing fantastic home ownership opportunities to first time buyers. Having worked in the housing industry for over 15 years, leading sales and marketing teams for a range of developers, Markus’ love for property has propelled him to the top of the game. Today he leads a team responsible for a huge network of developments across London and the South East, including a considerable number of shared ownership and Help to Buy schemes Can you tell us about the Government schemes you offer for FTBs? We have a large range of homes available through both shared ownership and Help to Buy. Shared ownership allows buyers to purchase a 25-75% share of a home and pay rent on the remaining share. When the time is right, buyers can purchase additional shares in their home, in a process known as staircasing, until they own their home outright. Using Help to Buy, buyers can purchase a new home with a deposit of just 5% of the purchase price. Buyers can then receive a Government loan of up to 20% of the property’s value, or 40% in London, and secure a mortgage for the remaining amount. The loan is interest-free for the first five years, helping to keep costs down for new homeowners. Growing up, did you have a dream home from your favourite book or TV show – Hogwarts castle for example? I always dreamed of living in a home like Southfork Ranch in Dallas. It always

seemed magical to me, with enormous grounds and a swimming pool – it felt like the height of sophistication! What’s the one thing everyone needs in their home? A cosy sofa to curl up on and watch TV is an absolute must for me. What’s your favourite property programme on TV? I am a fan of travel, so my favourite property programme has to be A Place in the Sun (fronted by none other than Jonnie Irwin – the face of National Home Buying Week!). I’m hoping to buy a place abroad in the next few years, so it’s my go-to show for inspiration. Buying a home can be extremely hard, what is your top tip for buyers looking to take their first step on to the ladder? My top tip would be to really put the time into researching the options which are available to you. You might be amazed what you can afford through shared ownership or Help to Buy, and it could bring forward your dreams of owning a home significantly.

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10 QUEST I ONS Why is SO Resi involved in National Home Buying Week? Educating people about the opportunities surrounding homeownership and helping buyers get on to the property ladder is in our DNA, so it felt like a natural fit for us to be involved with National Home Buying Week, which is focused on helping aspirational first time buyers. What’s your favourite development you offer for first time buyers and why? My favourite development is SO Resi Ealing. It’s a former BHS store, which formed part of the high street for such a long time and was a central part of the local community. What has now risen from the ashes is an attractive, affordable development allowing local people access to a property market they would otherwise be priced out of. Property prices in Ealing have almost doubled over the past 13-14 years, so it is really important that we have been able to create affordable housing opportunities for local people in the heart of the community. Tell us about your first home My first home was a shared ownership home that I purchased with my wife through a local provider in Surrey; so I know first-hand just how the scheme can help first time buyers get on to the property ladder. We were living at home with my parents, and shared ownership offered us the opportunity to access a good, quality home at an affordable price in a location we couldn’t have even dreamed of buying in. What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had told you before you bought your first home? Budget, budget, budget – not only for now, but for the future. It’s so important to make sure that you have a strong buffer between what your costs are today, and what they could be in a few years’ time. You should always be financially confident and prepare for costs to increase, otherwise you could find yourself in a position where you are struggling. What’s a current trend for first time buyers that you think is here to stay – for example wanting space for a home office? We are seeing a lot more flexibility from buyers and a shift in their priorities. Previously, location was the most important factor, whereas now buyers are prepared to move further away from their place of work in favour of more space. I think this will stay for some time, even after life returns to a sense of normality. Can you tell us about the Government schemes you offer for FTBs? Primarily we offer shared ownership

Name: Kush Rawal Job Title: Director of Residential Investment at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Bio: Kush Rawal has worked in the housing sector for more than 15 years, beginning at Thames Valley Housing Association in 2005 in the role of marketing executive and working his way right up to director level, initially as Commercial Director at the company, before embarking on his current role as Director of Residential Investment at the merged Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing and Help to Buy. Both schemes require just a 5% deposit, and allow first time buyers access to the property market at a reasonable cost. In London, we also offer London Living Rent which is a form of “try before you buy”, allowing Londoners to rent while building up savings to buy a home. Growing up, did you have a dream home from your favourite book or TV show? I always dreamed of having some form of underground part to my home – probably after years of watching Batman and wanting to be like him! Although I’ve not quite got there yet... What’s the one thing everyone needs in their home? For me, it’s important that everyone has a little bit of space for themselves, a place that you can go to and invest time in something you’re passionate about – whether that’s enough space in the kitchen for you to enjoy cooking, or an area for arts and crafts or a similar hobby. It doesn’t need to take up a whole room, but I think everyone needs an area of their own that they can go to. What’s your favourite property programme on TV? Love It or List It – it’s always interesting seeing how you can transform a home. Buying a home can be extremely hard, what is your top tip for buyers looking to take

their first step on to the ladder? Buying a home is a huge responsibility and will probably be the biggest financial commitment of your life, so it’s important to let your head rule any decision. Make sure you really know the details of what you are buying into, do your homework and read all of the small print in your documents. If you’re unsure of something, or if you aren’t happy, make sure you speak up before committing to anything. It can be easy to get carried away and fall in love with a property, but you could end up suffering in the long term if you don’t make a sensible decision that’s right for you.

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L EGA L

A FIRST TIME BUYER’S GUIDE TO CONVEYANCING

Buying your first home can be a daunting experience. It is, after all, the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life! In this article, Sarah Clancy, Solicitor at Prince Evans Solicitors LLP, explains the steps of buying your home for first time buyers Of course, you won’t be going through the buying process on your own. That’s where your conveyancer steps in to guide you and help you through the process, and why it’s so important to choose a conveyancer experienced in helping first time buyers.

WHAT IS CONVEYANCING? The term conveyancing refers to all the legal and administrative work associated with transferring the ownership of land or buildings from one person to another. Essentially, it dots the I’s and crosses the T’s and makes sure everything is in place legally when a property is bought and sold. It begins once you have an offer accepted on the property you wish to purchase and doesn’t end until money has changed hands and you have been registered as the legal owner of your new home.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR CONVEYANCER Choosing the right conveyancer can be like finding a needle in a haystack. How do you decide who to pick? First of all, make sure that your conveyancer is on the panel of the bank or building society you’re using for your mortgage. Consider opting for a “no-sale, no-fee” firm – this means you won’t have to pay the legal fees if the sale falls through. It’s also worth finding a “fixed-fee” service, which means you only pay the amount that’s quoted when you sign up. This avoids nasty surprises further down the line. Whatever you do, don’t make your decision purely based on price. The firm you pick will be responsible for all of the legal work surrounding your property purchase, and if they miss anything, make a mistake or cause delays it could

end up costing you a lot more than the amount you saved by choosing the cheapest service. Choose a firm experienced in the conveyancing process for first time buyers.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Once you have chosen your conveyancer that’s when the actual conveyancing process begins. Here we outline a simple guide to the next steps:

BEFORE EXCHANGE Your conveyancer will receive the draft contracts and other information about your property from the seller’s solicitors, including details of the legal title. They will then begin working away in the background, undertaking their checks on the property to make sure all is well

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with your new home. They will check the contract pack, raise any necessary enquiries, obtain a copy of your mortgage offer and carry out the conveyancing searches on your new home. You might think your conveyancer is taking a long time undertaking their checks, however there is a lot of work that goes into your purchase. A good conveyancer will keep you updated throughout so you should not be worried or fretting that nothing is happening. Conveyancing searches will be carried out at the beginning of the conveyancing process, once contract papers have been received and before exchanging contracts. Local authority searches are vital in finding out key pieces of information that could be the deciding factor on whether or not you decide to buy the property. The searches will highlight anything in the local area that will affect you while living in the property. Environmental searches will provide details of the land within the property’s vicinity and find out if the property was built on contaminated land. It will also be able to highlight if the area is at risk of flooding. Drainage and water searches will also be carried out by your conveyancer and will uncover information on the area’s sewage system and the property’s water supply from your local water company. Your conveyancer will usually carry out a chancel repair search as well – if there is a church near your property, a chancel repair search will find out whether you are liable for the church’s repairs and maintenance or not. Your conveyancer will receive a copy of your mortgage offer, once issued by the lender. Your conveyancer will review the mortgage offer and report on the legal terms of this to you. You should check your mortgage offer carefully to ensure that the offer you received relates to the mortgage product that you applied for. You should also ensure that you are able to satisfy any conditions attached to that offer before you accept the mortgage offer. Don’t forget, your conveyancer is also acting on behalf of your lender, as your lender must be satisfied that your property is of good and marketable title and can be re-sold in the future.

EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS Once you and your conveyancer are happy with everything following the enquiries and searches stage, it is then time to move towards exchange of contracts. Your conveyancer will send you a contract to sign and then they will hold this signed contract until you give them your authority to “exchange” this contract with the seller’s solicitors. Before exchange of contracts, you are not legally bound to purchase the property. Once contracts have exchanged, however, you are then tied in to the purchase and backing out at that stage could have severe financial consequences for you, including losing 10% of the purchase price of the property. In the run-up to exchange of contracts your conveyancer will ask you to send them your deposit. The deposit required at the point of exchange is normally 10% of the purchase price, or 5% if you are purchasing the property through the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme. On the day of exchange of contracts, your conveyancer will call the buyer’s conveyancer and read out the contract over the phone to ensure they are identical. The contracts are then dated and a completion date fixed. If you are buying an already existing property, the completion date will usually be at least a week later on a date agreed by you and the seller. If you are buying a new build property, the completion date may be “on-notice”, meaning that you will receive a notice in the future from the seller’s solicitors when the property is ready for you to move into.

WHAT NEXT? Your conveyancer will now prepare their file for the completion date. This includes the final checks, such as a bankruptcy and Land Registry search on behalf of your lender, reporting to your lender and requesting funds in anticipation of the completion date.

COMPLETION DAY The day of completion is the day on which the property legally changes ownership, and the day you will receive the keys to your new home. At this stage,

your conveyancer will be holding all the documents they need signed by you, they will be holding the remainder of your deposit and will have received your mortgage funds the day before, or on the morning of completion. The purchase price will be transferred to the seller’s solicitors and they will formally confirm completion of your purchase. You can then go and collect your keys from the seller or their agents!

IS THAT IT FOR THE CONVEYANCING? Not quite! Your conveyancer will still have to finalise the transaction. If you are buying a leasehold property, they will have to send notice of your purchase to the freeholder. On the day of completion, or shortly thereafter, they will submit your Stamp Duty return to HMRC and pay any money due. Once the seller’s signed documents are received by your conveyancer, they can then submit their application to the Land Registry to have you officially noted as the legal owner of your home. It may take some time for the Land Registry to process this, but don’t worry, no matter how long it takes, as of the day of completion the property is officially yours. Once you have been registered at the Land Registry, your conveyancer will then send you what is known as the “title” to your property. This shows, in writing, that you are now the legal owner of the property. Finding the right conveyancer can make the difference between a smooth and trouble-free house move and a stressful, time-consuming one, so choosing the right one is crucial. Selecting the wrong conveyancer could prove costly and could delay or derail the buying and selling process. No two conveyancers are the same, and service delivery can vary enormously. Here at Prince Evans we have conveyancers with decades of experience in helping first time buyers purchase their first home. Prince Evans specialises 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 email nbh@prince-evans.co.uk

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F OR S AL E

FOR SALE

Find your dream first home with National Home Buying Week

FROM

FROM

£106,8 75*

£77,50 0*

WIMBLEDON The Switch

The Switch offers shared ownership apartments and duplexes located in the sought-after location of Wimbledon, south west London. Homes are built to a high specification with premium fittings and finishings throughout. This, combined with the great local amenities, really does make The Switch a great place to live. Nearby Garratt Lane offers an array of shops, bars and restaurants and for those who enjoy the outdoors, Wandle Meadow Nature Park is only an 11-minute walk away, with Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Common located nearby too. Travel connections are also quick and easy, with Tooting Broadway tube station within walking distance from The Switch, offering direct routes to London Bridge and King’s Cross. catalyst.homes/development/the-switch *Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £310,000

EALING SO Resi Ealing

SO Resi Ealing is a superb new development offering a collection of high-quality one, two and three bedroom apartments. Located in the vibrant West Ealing area and with West Ealing train station just 10 minutes’ walk away, SO Resi Ealing is the perfect place to call home. There is a wide range of amenities, restaurants and shops nearby and an abundance of scenic parks to enjoy. Open communal areas and private balconies that extend the modern living space add to the development’s appeal. Each home has been designed to maximise natural light, with some apartments offering dual aspect. Properties also come with a three-year, free car club membership. soresi.co.uk/find-a-property/ealing/ *Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £427,500

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F OR S AL E FROM

£TBC

ACTON The Vale

The Vale offers eight new one bedroom shared ownership homes available in Acton, west London. With Chiswick and Shepherd’s Bush nearby, living at The Vale means that you will be within easy reach of some of west London’s most esteemed locations. The building itself has a fascinating history and was originally a semi-detached property constructed by Brown Brothers Engineering, a manufacturer of aircraft parts, in 1934. The A40 lies just to the north via Old Oak Road and gives access to Shepherd’s Bush. Acton Central Overground station offers trains to Richmond and north London and is only a 15-minute walk from The Vale. bewest.co.uk

WIGAN Lindley Village

Lindley Village is a contemporary collection of 39 new two, three and four bedroom homes in Leigh, Wigan, and is part of a larger Countryside development, Lindley Place. The nearby town of Leigh provides all the amenities required for daily life including well-regarded primary and secondary schools, supermarkets, post offices, convenience stores and a range of leisure facilities including a multiplex cinema and sports centre. For outdoor lovers, Pennington Flash Country Park is just a few minutes’ away and is home to a wonderful variety of wildlife. All properties benefit from modern, fully integrated kitchens, contemporary bathrooms, allocated parking and turfed rear gardens. plumlife.co.uk/development/Lindley-Village

FROM

£148,7 50*

*Based on a 35% share with a full market value of £425,000

FROM

£134,2 50*

MUSWELL HILL The Folium

The Folium offers shared ownership apartments located in the beautifully green surroundings of Coppetts Wood. All homes are built to a superb specification, with underfloor heating and integrated appliances in the kitchen, which, combined with the charming location, makes The Folium a fantastic place to buy your first home. If you love to shop, Muswell Hill is packed with thriving independent boutiques and the Palace Farmers’ Market is open nearly every Sunday. If you enjoy the outdoors, there are lots of spaces to enjoy such as the beautiful Alexandra Park and Highgate Wood. Muswell Hill is well connected, with Overground services from Alexandra Palace or Hornsey taking you to Moorgate in 20 minutes, while good bus connections give access to the City and the West End. The M1 is also only a 15-minute drive away via the North Circular. catalyst.homes/development/the-folium *Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £537,000

FROM

£166,0 00*

BISHOP’S WALTHAM Tangier Walk

Tangier Walk is an exciting new development located in the popular market town of Bishop’s Waltham and is just a short walk to the town centre, famous for its country pubs, independent boutiques and cafes. Set within the Meon Valley, Bishop’s Waltham is surrounded by beautiful green spaces and was named Village of the Year in 2019. At the weekends, spend time exploring the nearby Bishop’s Waltham Pond and Beacon Hill National Nature Reserve. For dayto-day essentials, there is a range of convenience stores to choose from in the local area. For commuters, Tangier Walk benefits from excellent access to the M27 and M3 motorways, providing easy links to Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth. Properties come with fully fitted, high-standard integrated appliances in the kitchen, a modern bathroom, vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms, carpet in all other areas, a turfed rear garden and solar panels on the roof. radianhomes.co.uk/tangierwalk *Based on a 40% share with a full market value of £415,000

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F OR S AL E FROM

WATFORD The Arches

The Arches is a gated development in Watford, offering a brand new collection of suites, FROM one bedroom and two bedroom £321,0 00 apartments, available through Help to Buy. The Arches is conveniently located to take advantage of both Bushey and Watford’s thriving social scene, yet residents are just an eight-minute walk from Bushey railway station offering excellent transport connections to London with direct trains in under 19 minutes. Road connections are equally accessible, with both the M1 and M25 nearby. The Arches is surrounded by greenery, providing an attractive landscaped setting for residents. Each property boasts private outdoor space in the form of a balcony or terrace, stone worktops and appliances from Bosch in the kitchen, USB sockets, fibre optic broadband and CCTV building entry. Residents can also enjoy exclusive access to The Heritage and The Finch landscaped gardens that overlook the adjacent River Colne. thearcheswatford.co.uk

NEW SOUTHGATE Montmorency Park

FROM

£86,00 0*

Montmorency Park is a stunning new collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments in the heart of north London. The development is superbly located for all the everyday amenities that make for easy living, from good schools and shopping areas to parks and health centres, while some of the UK’s greatest cultural attractions are just a short train or tube ride away. Properties include a fully fitted kitchen with integrated appliances, contemporary bathrooms and a balcony or terrace, and car parking is available with some homes. The M25 is just 25 minutes away by car while New Southgate and Arnos Grove stations, both a short five-minute walk away, give easy access across London. The proposed Crossrail 2 will further enhance travel connections in the near future. sharedownership.montmorencypark.co.uk *Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £344,000

GREAT SUTTON Sycamore Gardens

FROM

£86,00 0*

Sycamore Gardens is a contemporary new development of 27 homes in the sought-after village of Great Sutton, close to Ellesmere Port. Comprising a stylish collection of three and four bedroom homes, Sycamore Gardens is sure to appeal to anyone who is looking for their dream new build home in Cheshire. Two and threestorey properties are finished to a high specification throughout and include fully fitted contemporary kitchens, modern family bathrooms, off-road parking and French doors which open out on to fully turfed gardens. With excellent transport links via road and rail, a great choice of schools and fantastic local amenities, including easy access to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, Sycamore Gardens is the perfect place to call home. onward-living.co.uk/development/sycamore-gardens *Based on a 40% share with a full market value of £215,000

£347,9 95

CONGLETON Giantswood Grove

Located close to the banks of the River Dane, Giantswood Grove provides an opportunity to purchase a stunning new home on the edge of Congleton, offering all of the benefits of a thriving town with the Cheshire countryside on its doorstep. Designed to blend in with the local surroundings, Giantswood Grove features an outstanding collection of two, three, four and five bedroom homes, perfect for first time buyers. The development is situated just off the A34, providing convenient road links to Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester, while mainline railway stations in Crewe and Macclesfield are just a short drive away. Properties include a fully integrated kitchen, modern bathroom and a turfed rear garden. laurushomes.co.uk/new-homes/cheshire/giantswood-grove

FROM

CROYDON Cairo Apartments

£75,00 0*

Cairo Apartments is a brand new collection of studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments located at the centre of Croydon’s Old Town. These fantastic homes offer contemporary specification to suit a modern London lifestyle, with some boasting balconies, others enjoying panoramic views across the town, and all within walking distance of schools, shops, entertainment, and transport. Cairo Apartments is just a short walk away from a vast selection of local schools, with the nearby Harris Invictus Academy less than 10 minutes away on foot and rated as Outstanding by Ofsted. London city centre and everything it has to offer is just an 18-minute train ride away, while Gatwick airport is 16 minutes in the other direction. optivosales.co.uk/cairo-apartments *Based on a 30% share of a studio with a full market value of £250,000

SILVERSTONE Towcester Road

FROM

£89,25 0*

Towcester Road is a new development of two and three bedroom homes located in Silverstone, South Northants. In total, there will be seven two bedroom houses and three, three bedroom houses. Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix Circuit, is ideally placed for convenient access to both the M1 and M40 motorways, and the A5 with easy access to Milton Keynes. The village has a range of shops, social and leisure clubs with further amenities just four miles away in the town of Towcester. Properties include a range of fitted kitchen floor and wall units plus integrated oven, hob and extractor hood and flooring throughout. grandunionliving.co.uk/properties/towcester-rd-silverstone*Based on a 35% share with a full market value of £255,000

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F OR S AL E FROM

£95,00 0

HOUNSLOW Eden House

Eden House is an exciting new development offering a selection of two bedroom shared ownership homes in the heart of Hounslow, only a minute’s walk from Hounslow Central underground station. The homes offer a fully fitted contemporary kitchen with white goods included, high-quality flooring throughout and a modern bathroom. Eden House is ideally located for anyone looking to commute into the West End, as you can reach Piccadilly Circus in just 37 minutes. Less than a 15-minute walk away is Hounslow railway station and from here you can travel to London Waterloo in 40 minutes or westwards to Reading, Woking and Windsor. sharetobuy.com/developments/2069

FROM

£82,25 CHELMSFORD 0* Chelmer Waterside

Chelmer Waterside is a landmark development in the heart of Chelmsford, Essex. This new riverside quarter offers an exclusive collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments available through shared ownership. The development’s buildings have been carefully oriented to maximise views of the water with homes balancing contemporary modern living with a riverside location. Properties include a fully fitted integrated kitchen, modern bathroom and the latest fixtures and fittings, with allocated parking available for some homes. Chelmsford is one of the main cultural hubs in Essex, offering an abundance of nightlife, shopping opportunities and restaurants. Chelmsford station is a short 15-minute walk away, with trains to London Liverpool Street taking just 33 minutes and to Colchester taking 22 minutes. The M11 and M25 are close by while Stansted airport is only 18 miles away. chp.org.uk/find-a-home *Based on a 35% share with a full market value of £235,000

BRIXTON SO BRX

FROM

£110,0 0

0* BRX, located in Brixton in the heart of south east London, is a collection of exclusive one bedroom apartments. This lively corner of London has everything for everyone, with an abundance of shops, restaurants, cafes, green spaces and nightlife. Apartments are contemporary, with high-spec interiors, a private balcony, communal gardens and cycle storage, while allocated underground parking is an optional extra. Connections are excellent, with Brixton tube station less than a three-minute walk away, reaching Victoria in nine minutes and Oxford Circus in 13 minutes. Clapham is a short walk away, offering more options for dining, shopping and leisure. networkhomessales.co.uk/find-your-new-home/so-brx *Based on a 25% share with a full market value of 440,000

BEDFORD Gatehouse Mews

*Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £380,000

FARNHAM FROM SO Resi Farnham £TBC SO Resi Farnham is an

exciting new collection of one and two bedroom apartments in the heart of a pretty Surrey market town, made accessible through shared ownership. Homes are stylishly designed with comfort in mind, giving bright and inviting living spaces that are perfect for both relaxing and entertaining. They boast high-specification kitchens with integrated appliances and elegant dining areas making dinnertime a treat, while luxurious master suites and cosy bedrooms are the ideal place to relax and unwind. The development is situated near the centre of town, giving easy access to all that Farnham has to offer, while Guildford is just 10 miles away offering an impressive selection of pubs, bars, restaurants and shops. Farnham railway station is a short, 10-minute walk away, providing easy access to London Waterloo and Guildford. soresi.co.uk/find-a-property/so-resi-farnham

EASTLEIGH Pembers Hill Park

FROM

£90,00 0*

Pembers Hill Park, in Fair Oak in rural Hampshire, comprises one, two and three bedroom apartments and houses. Day-to-day essentials are available in Fair Oak, including a selection of shops and restaurants. Less than 15 minutes’ drive away is Eastleigh’s bustling town centre, named as one of the Top 10 Places to Raise a Child in the UK. For somewhere to relax, beautiful Knowle Park is a five-minute drive away. Fair Oak benefits from excellent access to the M27 and M3 motorways, providing easy links to Southampton, Winchester and London. Properties come with a modern bathroom, kitchen with fully integrated appliances, turfed rear garden with patio and solar panels. radianhomes.co.uk/Pembers *Based on a 40% share with a full market value of £225,000

FROM

£70,00 0*

Gatehouse Mews consists of 16 exclusive and stylish two bedroom apartments available for shared ownership, minutes from the town centre and embankment with plenty of places to eat, drink and play. The development is incredibly well connected however you travel, with links to the A421 and M1 as well as regular bus services and Bedford station which is on the mainline to London St Pancras. Properties benefit from flooring throughout, fitted kitchen units complete with integrated appliances, an allocated parking space and a £500 incentive available towards legal fees when instructing one of Grand Union’s panel of shared ownership solicitors to act for you. grandunionliving.co.uk/properties/gatehouse-mews-bedford

*Based on a 35% share with a full market value of £200,000

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F OR S AL E WEST DRAYTON Waterside Heights

FROM

£87,00 0*

Waterside Heights in West Drayton is a stunning collection of one and two bedroom shared ownership apartments, located opposite West Drayton station with fantastic views of the Grand Union Canal. West Drayton is an enviable area to live, being part of the new Crossrail route, having plenty of green spaces nearby and a variety of shops and entertainment close at hand in neighbouring Uxbridge. Residents have easy access to major roads thanks to the proximity of the M3, M25 and M40. Heathrow airport is also on West Drayton’s doorstep. Underground parking is available with selected apartments. bewest.co.uk

*Based on a 30% share with a full market value of £290,000

HOUGHTON REGIS The Lanes at Thorn Fields

FROM

£106,0 00*

HORNSEY Clarendon

The Lanes at Thorn Fields is a collection of new two, three and four bedroom homes in Bidwell, on the edge of Houghton Regis. Designed to the highest standards, the large windows flood the rooms with natural light and offer wonderful views of the rolling green Bedfordshire countryside. The Lanes is a pleasant walk away from the centre of Houghton Regis, giving you access to a variety of amenities including a local supermarket, cafes, bars and restaurants. Nearby Houghton Hall Park is the perfect place to run, walk, cycle, picnic and simply enjoy being outdoors. Luton is minutes away by either car or bus and nearby Leagrave, Leighton Buzzard and Luton railway stations give access to King’s Cross St Pancras in as little as 30 minutes. catalyst.homes/development/the-lanes-at-thorn-fields *Based on a 30% share with a full market value of £290,000

FROM

£405,0 00

Clarendon, in the heart of north London, is a new 12-acre city village in Zone 3 providing over 1,700 one, two and three bedroom homes. The development has a unique location between four Zone 3 stations, providing residents with outstanding connectivity in and around London. The Park Club at Clarendon is home to a range of exclusive residents’ facilities, including a concierge, gymnasium and residents’ lounge, with a swimming pool, spa and sauna available in the latter phases. The development will provide pockets of public space and private courtyards for both residents and the local community to enjoy and is surrounded by cultural and social attractions, including the Victorian suburb of Hornsey, the iconic Alexandra Palace and its park, the leafy village of Crouch End and charming Muswell Hill. The interiors of the properties are built with luxury touches and include kitchens with fully integrated appliances and modern, contemporary bathrooms. clarendonn8.co.uk

FROM

£99,75 0*

RUNCORN Bridge View

FROM

£TBC

Bridge View is a fantastic new development of two, three and four bedroom homes situated in the heart of Runcorn. These modern, spacious homes are perfect for everyday living, and are fitted to a high specification throughout. Overlooking the Mersey Gateway, Bridge View is conveniently located off Halton Road in a highly sought-after area. There’s plenty to see and do around the development. A short drive away is Shopping City Runcorn, offering all your favourite high street stores, banks and supermarkets, as well as a range of independent shops and cafes. For commuters, Runcorn has great transport links connecting to nearby cities and the wider region. Runcorn railway station is just a five-minute drive away, offering direct trains to Liverpool, Chester and Crewe. onward-living.co.uk/development/bridge-view

CROYDON The Grove

The Grove is a selection of 41 two and three bedroom apartments situated in Croydon, south London. With three rooftop terraces offering stunning views across the city, contemporary specification and light, spacious living space, these homes are ideal for first time buyers. Designed with contemporary living in mind, residents can make use of any of the three landscaped gardens, each designed in a distinctive style to suit any mood or occasion. A wellness room, situated on the ninth floor, offers an area for some yoga, a meditation session or just a residents’ get-together. Nearby BOXPARK Croydon is a hive of activity, with cafes, restaurants, bars and music venues. It’s a great place to spend time day or night, and is only a short, three-minute walk away. Croydon is a major transport hub and living at The Grove means just a two-minute walk to East Croydon station with quick train links into central London and to the south coast. optivosales.co.uk/the-grove *Based on a 25% share of a two bed with a full market value of £399,000

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F OR S AL E FROM

FROM

£102,5 00*

CANARY WHARF Hampton Tower

Set in 2.6 acres of extensive landscaped gardens, Hampton Tower offers a collection of studio, one and two bedroom apartments in a highly sought-after London location with the River Thames just moments away. Designed to exceptionally high standards, these homes benefit from large rooms, plus floor-to-ceiling windows which slide back to let the outside in, giving stunning views over the gardens and cityscape. Apartments benefit from underfloor heating and comfort cooling, integrated Bosch appliances, as well as a boutiquestyle bathroom. It’s a simple commute to anywhere in London, whether by tube, DLR, road or the river bus. There’s world-class shopping at big-name boutiques, dozens of upmarket bars and restaurants and so much more, all only a short walk away. hamptontower.site-sales.co.uk *Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £410,000

£53,75 0*

WELWYN GARDEN CITY Times Square

SO Resi’s Times Square is a unique development, echoing elegant art deco sensibilities from 1930s New York. It offers a choice of stylish studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments and duplexes to own in the unique and popular Welwyn Garden City, the second garden city in England and one of the first new towns. Surrounded by beautiful, rolling Hertfordshire countryside, Welwyn Garden City brings together the very best of urban living with contemporary shopping and amenities, convenient commuter links, inviting communal spaces plus a wealth of open green space to relax and recharge. London King’s Cross is a 30-minute train ride away, while the town itself is bursting with shops, nightlife and sporting facilities, with the tranquillity of lush green countryside surrounding it. soresi.co.uk/find-a-property/times-square/ *Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £215,000

FROM

£73,50 0*

WOOLSTON, SOUTHAMPTON Centenary Quay

Centenary Quay is a stunning collection of two bedroom apartments on the water’s edge in Woolston. Homes are built to a high specification and include a kitchen with fully fitted integrated appliances, carpeted bedrooms and a video door entry system. Providing an ideal location for both work and leisure, Centenary Quay is less than 10 minutes’ drive from Southampton’s historic city centre. One of the country’s best-preserved medieval cities, Southampton also offers a host of attractions, including Westquay Shopping Centre and beautiful parkland. The city is a hub of activity, with vibrant nightlife as well as its many historic landmarks. Woolston benefits from a range of shops and pretty walks within easy reach. For somewhere to relax at the weekend, the beautiful Westwood Nature Reserve and Royal Victoria Country Park are nearby. For commuters, Woolston benefits from excellent access to the M27 motorway, providing easy links to Portsmouth, Winchester and beyond. radianhomes.co.uk/centenary *Based on a 35% share with a full market value of £210,000

FROM

£78,12 5*

ALPERTON Vista Apartments

Vista Apartments is an exciting new development from Octavia featuring a selection of one and two bedroom shared ownership homes offering all the convenience and connectivity of city living with the benefits of a suburban lifestyle. With excellent local amenities, a direct fast route into the heart of London and an exciting regeneration well under way, Alperton is fast becoming an attractive and thriving place to live. Just a seven-minute walk from Vista Apartments is Alperton underground station, which offers convenient connectivity directly into central London via the Piccadilly Line. Properties are modern and contemporary and include a fully fitted contemporary kitchen, high-quality flooring throughout, a balcony or patio and access to a lovely roof terrace. Limited parking spaces are also available to purchase. sharetobuy.com/developments/2068 *Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £312,500

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FO R S A L E FROM

FROM

£TBC

PRESTON Hollins Green

Set in a semi-rural location on the edge of Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland, Hollins Green at Forton, north of Preston, offers a selection of stylish two, three and four bedroom homes. The quaint village of Forton is the perfect rural retreat and is a place for peace, relaxation and unrivalled family time. Built in the style of the local vernacular, each of these stunning homes has been designed with a traditional yet contemporary modern lifestyle at its heart. Hollins Green has good transport links with the M6 motorway a five-minute drive away and Lancaster station also nearby providing services to London, Liverpool and Manchester airport. The nearby town of Garstang offers a wider choice of shops and supermarkets while a little further afield, Marketgate Shopping Centre is a vibrant retail hub. laurushomes.co.uk/new-homes/lancashire/hollins-green

£98,00 0*

BRAINTREE Blackwater Place

Blackwater Place is a collection of beautiful two and three bedroom houses available for shared ownership in the desirable area of Braintree, Essex. These new homes offer a fantastic specification and a choice of layouts to suit your needs. Each new home provides plenty of light-filled living space, the latest fixtures and fittings, a private garden and dedicated parking. The location is ideal, being close to local amenities, with Braintree hosting a number of high street names, boutiques and independent retailers plus a fabulous twiceweekly street market. It is just a 10-minute walk to Braintree station, giving access to Chelmsford, Stratford and central London. By road, there are easy connections to the M11 and M25 while the hotspots of Chelmsford and Colchester are both less than 20 miles away. chp.org.uk/find-a-home *Based on a 35% share with a full market value of £280,000

FROM

£122,8 50*

HOUNSLOW A+

A+ offers a selection of one and two bedroom apartments set within an elegant new mansion block development in the west London neighbourhood of Hounslow, an area currently undergoing an exciting regeneration. Designed with clean lines and open-plan living areas, and each with its own balcony, these apartments are both stylish and comfortable. Apartments are light, bright, and modern, with spacious open-plan living areas catering for a contemporary lifestyle. The homes feature a fitted kitchen with integrated appliances and a modern bathroom. A+ is close to Hounslow East underground station giving access to the West End in as little as 35 minutes, or King’s Cross in under an hour. Hounslow station gives further access to Waterloo and Clapham Junction while both the A4 and M4 run past Hounslow directly into Hammersmith and central London. networkhomessales.co.uk/find-your-new-home/ aplus-final-phase *Based on a 45% share with a full market value of £273,000

FROM

£75,25 0*

ROCHDALE Belfield Mill

Belfield Mill is a brand new neighbourhood located in Rochdale, which will consist of three and four bedroom homes. These brand new modern family homes feature contemporary kitchens with integrated fridge-freezer and oven with gas hob, spacious living area and rear doors that lead out into your own private turfed garden. The first floor has a family bathroom, with an en suite to master bedrooms and ample storage space throughout each home. The properties also have a driveway providing two parking spaces. Belfield Mill is close to a variety of supermarkets, shops and local amenities needed for dayto-day life. Rochdale is a fantastic location for commuters, boasting excellent transport links using tram, train and road via the M62, as well as being close to plenty of open green spaces. plumlife.co.uk/development/belfield-mill *Based on a 35% share with a full market value of £215,000

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