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Faced with the rising cost of renting, one ambitious couple decided the time was right to step onto the property ladder with a little help from the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme.
Customer Service worker Joshua Shaw (20) and Deputy Manager Wiktoria Zaucha (19) knew that renting wasn’t for them, so decided to pool their savings towards a home of their own.
Whilst they both had savings, they decided to cut back on everyday luxuries, such as meals out with friends, in a bid to save as much as possible for their house deposit. After just six months, they were able to put down a 5% deposit on a New Stamford home with Countryside.
Joshua comments: “We’ve both been saving for a while, just not necessarily to buy a house. However, when you look at the cost of renting, it just makes sense to invest in our own place, rather than someone else’s. Some people may think that buying at our age is unrealistic, but my honest opinion is that buying at 19 and 20 is completely achievable, if that’s genuinely what you want.
“If you go into employment after school, like we did, and are willing to sacrifice things like nights out, holidays and takeaways for a little while, then it’s definitely possible – that’s exactly how we did it!”
The couple used the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme to purchase their new build home, which requires just a 5% deposit and provides a 20% loan that’s interest-free for the first five years.
Joshua continues: “I don’t think we would’ve been able to buy so soon if it wasn’t for Help to Buy. We didn’t know a lot about the scheme before we started looking, but the process has been quite straightforward. We were confident that a new build house was what we wanted, mainly because they are lower maintenance than older homes. Neither of us have a lot of experience with DIY, so a new build just felt like the right fit for first time buyers like us.
“We did look at a few other developments but we never felt like we were taken seriously because of our ages. With Countryside it was different, they were always available to help or answer questions.”
Spanning three floors, the New Stamford home boasts a fully open-plan ground floor, two bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor and the master bedroom, complete with en-suite and dressing area, located on the second floor. Joshua adds: “There’s so many things that we love about the house but, if we had to pick a favourite feature, it would have to be the master suite. It’s a great size as it fills the entire top floor and it even has skylights!”