St Helens New Build BoomKieron
If like myself, you live in St Helens, you will no doubt have noticed several large new developments in recent years cropping up all over the borough. As well as this we are all being made aware of the Council’s new proposals to also convert a number of brownfield sites and even greenbelt land to accommodate even more new build properties to keep up with the demand of the ever-rising population over the next 30 years.
It has therefore come as no surprise to see that more and more people are now opting for a shiny new home and more often than not are considering using the help to buy equity loan scheme to help finance this, especially first-time buyers in St Helens who are trying to get their foot on the first step of the property ladder, so I thought I would have a look into the pro’s and con’s of this.
The first and often deciding factor is obviously price and as I’m sure you can guess, a brand-new home will always come at a slight premium as you are buying everything brand new with (hopefully) no work for you to do but move in and furnish the house. Even in a town that you can drive across in as little as 10 minutes there are many variations in the type of property and resulting price tag. From the higher end developments of Eccleston, Rainford and Windle, to the more affordable options closer to the town centre, you will find an array of pricing differences and types of property. So, the first thing that you would need to decide is what is more important to you, location or square footage and also what specification you expect from your new house. There are often sales offices with friendly staff waiting to hep you discuss the available options but quite often the location of the development can have a major impact on the price tag. Many people will be influenced by local schools, transport links and also crime rates so be sure to check out the statistics for whichever area you are considering.
When it comes to the financing side of a new build property, you will see many developers advertising Help to Buy, the government scheme that offers an equity loan of up to 20% of the sale price to help people who may have a good income but do not have a large enough deposit to finance the purchase otherwise. The government will basically loan you 20% of the purchase price and you do not pay anything for the first 5 years, and after which you will start to pay interest on the loan at 1.75% per annum of the amount that you borrowed. This can be kept in place for the life of the mortgage and only repaid on the sale of the home at that time. You can also repay the loan in either the whole 20% of the property value or in 2 10% repayments at any time.
Many people are not aware that the percentage you pay back could be quite different from that which you borrowed if the valuation of your property has changed since you bought it, so you could end up paying back more or even less in some circumstances, so you should be aware of this from the start. Help to Buy can be a great help in getting people into properties that they otherwise would not have been able to buy but some people will view this as having a shared ownership with the government so if you don’t like the sound of that, this scheme may not be for you.
Whatever way you decide to finance your new home, one thing is for sure, you will not be short on choice of a new home in St Helens in the coming years.