Q&A with our Homemaker Heidi10.09.12
Heidi Elliot is a Dunelm Homes Homemaker at Nursery Gardens in Stockton. She is regularly asked the same questions from prospective buyers looking around the development, particularly by first time buyers confused about whether or not they can actually afford to take that first step onto the housing ladder. Here she answers some of the questions she is most frequently asked by visitors to the Nursery Gardens development.
I’m a first time buyer and confident that I can make the monthly mortgage repayments, but I’m struggling to save up much of a deposit – what can I do?
Not being able to save up a deposit is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for first time buyers but now thanks to a number of shared equity schemes such as the Government backed FirstBuy or the Dunelm Homes 85/15 plan, potential buyers with deposits as little as 5% of the purchase price can take their first steps on the housing ladder. With FirstBuy for example, if you’ve saved a 5% deposit, we can lend you a further 20% interest free for five years to allow access to a much wider range of mortgage options and make sure you can get the best deal for you.
It’s not just the deposit that first time buyers worry about being able to save for – buying your first home means you’ll need to furnish your property which is expensive, especially at a time when you need to keep a close eye on the purse strings. Luckily, the Dunelm Homes Designer Choice package can help ease the burden with first time buyers able to receive a range of quality appliances and furnishings including a freestanding washing machine, freestanding fridge/freezer and flat screen TV as well as curtains, carpets and vinyl floor coverings to the kitchen and bathroom.
Once I’ve found a property that I like, how can I be sure that it’s in the right area for me?
If you are looking at houses in an area that you are not too familiar with you really need to spend time exploring so you can decide whether or not it’s somewhere you would like to live. Make sure you think about what is really important to you - what would your commute to work would be like, do you have family or friends who live nearby, what facilities do you want to have on your doorstep?
Buyers at Nursery Gardens love that we are situated right in the heart of Stockton so they have a wide range of shops, leisure facilities, bars and restaurants all within easy reach. The high street has also been chosen by retail guru Mary Portas as one of the ‘Portas Pilot’ high streets to receive a chunk of Government funding – this is great news for homeowners in the area as not only will it bring in new traders but investment in an area can have a positive effect knock-on effect on house prices.
We’ve outgrown our current home but we don’t think we would be able to move to a bigger property as houses just don’t seem to be selling at the moment. Is there anything we can do?
The housing market is in a better position than it was a few years ago but houses can still remain on the market for several months and a property chain can make moving into a new home a long process. One of the positives of buying a brand new home is there is a range of buying schemes available to people who are already on the property ladder that help make moving to a larger house possible. Part exchange schemes take away a lot of the hassle of selling your current home – Dunelm Homes will buy your home at a fair price, with no estate agents fees to pay. Because you are not in a chain, you don’t have to worry about losing your dream home when a buyer pulls out meaning you could be relaxing in your brand new home in as little as six weeks.
I’m currently renting and putting off buying because I’m not sure if I can really afford it – when would be a good time to buy?
There’s really no time like the present. Whilst it can be difficult for first time buyers to get on the ladder, there are schemes in place to help you take the first steps and with house prices still very favourable to buyers, now is the perfect opportunity. In many cases, renting can work out more expensive than mortgage repayments and by owning your own property you have somewhere you can put your own stamp on whilst investing in your own future.