House-moving is never fun but there is nothing quite like buying and owning your first home. Things were tough enough when we were trying to get on the housing ladder. We had a lot of hurdles to deal with at the time and property prices were rising faster than the speed of light. If we didn’t manage to get on the ladder when we did, I don’t know that we would ever have been able to.
We managed to find a broker that arranged a 100% mortgage which were not unusual for the time although all but finished after the banks tumbled a few years later. It enabled us to purchase our first property; a one-bedroomed Victorian conversion flat in Surrey that needed complete refurbishing. It was a DIY project, if you will. We were crammed into it with three children and it wasn’t ideal but property prices continued to rise at a ridiculous rate and we made a good profit only a few months in. We then moved out to Kent, maximising on the difference in house prices and keeping our mortgage much lower than it would have been had we remained in Surrey, where we were priced out anyway.
Three of our oldest are now looking at getting on the housing ladder themselves and, with prices undeniably having spiralled since we bought our first home in the early noughties, things have become much tougher for them. There is so much to take into consideration; deposits, solicitor fees, conveyancing costs… it seems never ending and easy to think that getting on the housing ladder now might be an impossible task.
The government have finally introduced a long overdue initiative to help people purchase their first homes. As with anything though, there are rules and conditions which can be confusing at the best of times. Manchester-based solicitors Ellison Thomas are professionals in providing advice for first time buyers, and have created this useful infographic that helps to explain the Help to Buy scheme for first time buyers, making everything you need to know about getting this help a little clearer: