Lockdown saving helps first time buyers find their dream home after ten years
Having rented a flat together in Maidstone for 10 years, Roger and Charlene Wilkins decided it was time to find a dream home of their own and step onto the property ladder. Having saved nearly £20,000 as a result of the national lockdown, the couple were able to secure a stylish four-bedroom townhouse at Countryside’s sought-after Rosewood development in Langley, Maidstone, with help from the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.
The pair, both 34, loved living in Kent and always hoped they would be able to buy their own home in the county. The couple had long imagined they would start their own family, but desperately wanted more open plan living space and a garden first.
According to Nationwide, the average buyer in the southeast saves nine years for a deposit, it wasn’t until the pandemic struck that the couple were able to save enough money to begin searching for their forever home.
Roger said: “We thought, well, let’s see if we can afford to buy a home with our savings, so we grabbed the laptop and we came across Countryside at Rosewood.”
With both of them working for an electrical company, where they first met, it was fate that Countryside at Rosewood just happened to be a two minute walk from their workplace. Struck by the development’s unique and beautifully designed architecture and green surroundings, the couple instantly enquired about availability and pricing, and booked a viewing.
With the average deposit paid by a first-time buyer in the UK, at £57,278 in 2020 according to Zoopla, Roger and Charlene, who were impressed with the scheme, initially looked at smaller, more affordable properties at the development. Roger commented: “We initially went for a different house type – more of a typical two-storey property which we thought would suit our lifestyle but also our budget better.”
However, by using the Government backed Help to Buy equity loan initiative, the couple were amazed to find they could instead afford to purchase their four-bedroom townhouse with a beautiful garden - the spacious family home they had always dreamed off. The pair took a leap of faith and reserved their new home off plan without a second thought.
Roger adds: “After spending so long renting and saving, we were so happy that everything seemed to fall into place. We couldn’t have done it without Help to Buy, and although we purchased our home off plan, everything was ready in time for us to meet the first stamp duty saving.
“Countryside was brilliant throughout the whole buying process, and although we hadn’t yet seen our finished home, we felt confident putting the holding deposit down. We received imagery of our new home as it came through, which was really exciting and we felt reassured and involved throughout the process.”
Countryside at Rosewood comprises of two-bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom houses and townhouses. Set in a prime location in the sought-after Kent town of Maidstone, residents at Countryside at Rosewood benefit from a range of good schools, local sports clubs and shopping and leisure activities on the doorstep of the development.
The couple have now moved into their brand-new home and have loved having so much entertaining space and their own garden.
Roger said: “It feels like a real community here. We can’t wait to have our friends and family over and show them our new home and the garden!”
Countryside at Rosewood benefits from an array of transport connections. Convenient road links offer quick access to the South Coast and London, as well as frequent rail connections from Maidstone railway station into London Victoria within an hour.