“Assisting first time buyers onto the property ladder across the North is a real passion of ours and so I’m delighted to be supporting Homes North magazine”

 Helen Spencer, Director of Development at Great Places Housing Group, responsible for delivering new homes and sales through sector leading Plumlife.

 The volume of new homes being delivered across the North of England is rising and we know that homes for first time buyers are at the heart of many new developments. For this reason, it’s great to have a magazine which is dedicated to first time buyers in the North.

 It is incredibly fulfilling to visit new show homes and meet with potential buyers as they think about their home buying options. For me, when the flags are flying and the show homes are open, it’s a particularly proud moment because I’ve worked with the team from the very beginning – when the site is identified. The whole process of choosing locations, product offer, house types, specification, is exciting and bespoke to each site.

 We seek to provide choice for our buyers – how they can buy, what they can buy, where they can buy and how they can personalise their home. These choices are all really important; and explaining them clearly is essential as house buying can feel really complicated otherwise. We try to be the jargon busters and you’ll find lots of useful hints and tips in this edition which will help you too.

 First time buyers will find different buying options when they visit show homes right across the North; market sale, Help to Buy and shared ownership are all routes to home ownership which are available across a wide range of sites in the North.

 In many places, the more affordable routes to home ownership are Help to Buy and shared ownership; these are both well established options and with low deposits of just 5% and lower monthly payments, it remains affordable to live.

 Shared ownership is proving very popular at the moment and we are experiencing high demand across our sites. In fact, in many locations, we can’t build the homes fast enough! You will see in the magazine just how many choices you have to buy shared ownership – houses and apartments, urban and rural settings, and a wide range of values. The key decision is what do you want to buy?

 For first time buyers approaching us, the team focus on a clear explanation of shared ownership and how it can work for them. Shared ownership is another way to buy your home. You buy a percentage and pay rent on the rest. The Housing Association you are buying from owns the other part of it – but you’re living there, you decorate it, and you decide when to sell. Buying a percentage means a smaller deposit and smaller mortgage. It’s a quicker first step on the ladder for lots of people. On most sites, you can also carry on buying shares, to own it 100%.

 My top three tips for first time buyers are:

  • To save when you can and remember that as well as a deposit, you will need to pay for legal fees, moving costs and furnishings for your new home.
  • Check your credit report, there are several websites you can use to check your credit score online for free.
  • Find out much you can borrow by speaking with a specialist mortgage advisor.

 There are lots of excellent options illustrated in this edition and you can also now access a dedicated website about shared ownership at www.sharedownership.net; this connects to a portal which includes all homes available to buy.

 Enjoy your reading and I look forward to reading about your home buying experiences in future editions.



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