Couple swap Florida for Yorkshire to buy dream home mid-lockdown

The world of house buyers has continued to evolve in recent months with large numbers of eager buyings still managing to reserve their dream homes with us remotely. However, one couple live more remotely than most. Currently living in Florida, first-time buyers Jennifer and Ashley have reserved their first home in North Yorkshire thanks to Help To Buy and Countryside’s virtual reservation process.

Florida residents Jennifer (28) and Ashley (27) have overcome the restrictions of global lockdown to reserve a home on the other side of the Atlantic, with a little help from modern technology and the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Taking a substantial step towards intentional relocation despite being isolated at home, the couple have reserved a new three-bedroom, detached home at Countryside’s Manor Woods development in Kirkbymoorside.

The relocation sees Kirkbymoorside-native Ashley return to his roots after a four-year stint in Tampa, Florida – taking with him Venezuela-born and Miami-raised wife Jennifer and their son Luca (4).

With a second baby due in August, the family were keen to put down their roots and buy their first home in the UK but thought the covid-19 restrictions in place in both the US and English soil would mean it wasn’t going to be feasible. 

Jennifer commented: “Being all the way over here in the US, not to mention being in lockdown, we thought buying a home overseas would be impossible. We were so wrong! The virtual process has been faultless and the experience from start to finish absolutely impeccable. We’ve now reserved the family home we’ve always wanted in the UK.”

The virtual home buying process utilises email as a primary mode of communication, with video tours being shared by a sales consultant to enable homebuyers to see properties and the wider development up close. Questions and queries are handled in person via technologies such as Skype and documentation shared securely via Docusign.

Jennifer added: “Countryside has been excellent from day one, explaining everything over the phone and keeping us up to date with regular emails. Our sales consultant, Sam, was really approachable and easy to talk to, which was especially important for us as, not only can we not be there in person, but we’re thousands of miles away in another country. Buying a home in the UK has been far more straightforward than it would have been in the US!”

Jennifer continued: “We knew we wanted something modern in a nice family area and some of the English properties we’d seen online were very different to the style and standard we’re used to here. We hadn’t even made any enquiries until we saw the homes at Manor Woods and then we were absolutely blown away. Our Foss home has a contemporary open-plan layout and we love the kitchen with the skylight windows; it’s ideal for a young family like ours and as a new build, we can just turn the key and move in without making any renovations.”

The couple had been saving for a year when they heard about the Help to Buy scheme in the UK. Using the scheme, the government will lend buyers up to 20% of the cost of the new build home so buyers only need a 5% cash deposit. A 75% mortgage makes up the rest, while the 20% equity loan is interest free for the first five years*.