After trading in our rent book for a mortgage we’re £250 a month better off
Published by Clare Baskott for Orbit HomeBuy Agents in Housing and also in Communities
Mark Lewis, Donna Newitt, Luke Smith and Natalie Overton
With a baby on the way and the cost of rent escalating on their two bed Evesham house; Mark Lewis, and partner Donna Newitt, both 26, decided the time was right to get a firm footing on the property ladder and begin family life in a place of their own.
Mark, who works in procurement, said:
"We’d been renting for the last three and half years and when we sat down and worked it out, we discovered we’d spent £30,000 in rent alone. On top of that, every year we’d get a rent increase and although we were only in a two bedroom house it looked like we’d have to downsize when the baby was born".
So Mark and Donna began looking into buying their first home. They found an older property on the open market but after an initial chat with an independent financial adviser, it looked like home ownership was out of their reach.
"When we looked at the monthly repayments, they were way out of our price range and it made us feel really panicky about the future. Then it occurred to us that our friends, Luke and Natalie, who are in a similar position to us, were buying a new house".
So, Mark got in touch with Luke, who told him all about FirstBuy the government’s equity loan scheme. The scheme, which is funded jointly by the developer and the government, was enabling Luke Smith and Natalie Overton to buy their first home, at the Taylor Wimpey Poppyfields development in Evesham.
"Luke told us that they’d only had to find a 5% deposit for their home and 75% of the cost of the mortgage. The remaining 20% is covered by equity loans, and there’s no interest to pay on these for the first five years".
This was music to the ears of Mark and Donna who quickly made a visit to the Taylor Wimpey site themselves. Here they met Amanda Larner who explained more about the scheme and worked out that buying a house this way would be affordable for Mark and Donna. So all they needed o do was choose their dream home.
Mark says buying through FirstBuy was really easy.
"We went through an eligibility and affordability check with Orbit HomeBuy Agents and within days found out we were eligible. Everyone was really helpful and supportive, we were helped every step of the way. It really felt like all we’d had to do was say yes to Orbit and Taylor Wimpey and they did everything else for us, it was so straight forward.
Within weeks they discovered the house they’d chosen was actually next door to their friends, Luke and Natalie. Three months later, the friends became neighbours and as Mark explains the date of completion will be one they’ll never forget.
"We’ll always remember the date we bought our first home, it’s also the day we also became mum and dad – our daughter, Savannah, was born at 8am on the day of completion. It’s been great to have our own place to bring Savannah back to and we couldn’t have asked for better neighbours - we pop round to each others every day and really help each other out".
"The most amazing thing is how much cheaper buying this way is than renting. We can hardly believe it, but we’re £250 a month better off and have the security and luxury of our own home."
For media enquiries please contact Clare Baskott on 07825 230700
Notes to Editors
Part of the Orbit Group, Orbit HomeBuy Agents is the largest government appointed HomeBuy Agent covering:
Norfolk and Suffolk
Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire
Coventry and Warwickshire
Hereford and Worcestershire
Staffordshire and Shropshire
Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country.
Orbit HomeBuy Agents act as a one stop shop for those hoping to take their first step on the property ladder.