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Not just for first-time buyers: Help to Buy enables Harlow family to move up the property ladder at Atelier

Not just for first-time buyers: Help to Buy enables Harlow family to move up the property ladder at Atelier

The Government’s Help to Buy scheme is often characterised as only for first-time buyers, with the latest government figures showing that 81% of the purchases made through the initiative were by first-time homeowners. Existing homeowners Shelley and Michael Murphy bucked this trend to purchase a new home for their family at Countryside’s Atelier development in Harlow.

Shelley (50) and Michael (45), along with their three children, were able to purchase their new home with Countryside thanks to the government-backed Help to Buy initiative, which provided an interest-free loan of 20% of the £415,000 purchase price. This enabled them to move from their previous three-bedroom home to a spacious four-bedroom townhouse at Atelier.

Shelley, an office administrator, commented: “We were actually the one of the first people to buy on the second phase of Atelier. I had my heart set on one of the four-bedroom townhouses, but when we found out that we were away for the official launch we were determined not to miss out. We spoke to Countryside and actually managed to reserve our home before they went on sale!”

“We sold our previous home and rented for six months just so we could put everything in place and avoid the hassle of selling chains. We were in a bit of a predicament about whether we could afford to buy here, however we sat down with Countryside and the mortgage advisor, who explained everything about Help to Buy and the buying process and it couldn’t have been smoother. Help to Buy has made a massive difference. We wouldn’t have been able to buy our new home without it.”

Atelier is a collection of high specification two, three and four-bedroom houses in Harlow, Essex. As well as contemporary and stylish living, Atelier offers residents charming village life in Harlow, surrounded by beautiful Essex and Hertfordshire countryside, yet London Liverpool Street is only 31 minutes away by train.

This location was an important draw for the Murphy family. Shelley said: “I was born and bred in Harlow and the kids have grown up here, so it was great to be able to stay close to friends and family. We looked at other developments in Harlow, but Atelier is in a much greener area and feels less built up. Our new home is right on top of common ground, with a big green space in front of the house and our own back garden too.

“We reserved back in May 2018 and our previous house was only just up the road from Atelier, so we’ve been able to watch the house go up, from foundations to the finished article, which has made moving in all the more exciting.”

The homes at Atelier are available with gardens and two allocated parking spaces, integrated appliances and flooring included throughout. Shelley commented: “It’s been amazing having a new-build home. We looked at other developments but none of them had as good a specification as Countryside and moving in has confirmed this. Our teenage boys have now got their own bedroom, which as you can expect has been a godsend, and Michael and I are loving having our own en-suite, which the kids have been banned from!”

Shelley says the experience of buying with Countryside was extremely positive: “We’ve been very well looked after and kept informed throughout the process, and the after sales process has been fantastic too. We received an amazing welcome box when we moved in, and the sales consultants are often knocking at our door and seeing how they can help.”

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