How to make home ownership a reality in 2020

The chiming of the New Year inevitably means New Year resolutions, with pledges to go on a diet or eat more healthily, exercise more, lose weight, quit smoking, drink less… But what about your financial health?

Whilst most resolutions will be out of the window come February, there is one thing you should aim to keep up and that’s good financial habits like saving, especially if you want to achieve that home ownership dream.

Sara Parker, Regional Sales Director at Bloor Homes South West, said: “The New Year is a time for us to take stock of where we are and set goals for where we want to be.

“Many of us set ourselves unrealistic resolutions that have fallen by the wayside come February, leaving us with a sense of failure and disappointment.

“The key to success is planning. Break down your goals into achievable, short-term targets, track your progress and reward yourself when it’s going well.

“If you’re looking to make the big move and take your first step onto the property ladder, or move to a new home this year, we have the following advice to make sure your plans don’t get de-railed by February.”

1. Start by tracking your monthly spending so you can get a feel for the average amounts you spend on food, bills and other expenses each month

2. Draw up a budget so you can clearly see where your outgoings are and what you might realistically be able to save

3. Set a savings goal, start saving diligently, even if it’s only a little every month. It’s better to start low and then add any spare money you have at the end of the month

4. Automate your savings, then you don’t have to think about it. Set up an automatic transfer or download an app to help you; some apps even round up your purchases to the nearest pound, saving the extra pennies into an account

5. Use more cash. Visit the cashpoint and take out your weekly allowance and then use this to pay for everyday items; using ‘real money’ registers far more than using a card

6. When it comes to household bills, make sure you shop around for the best deals – it’s an easy way to save hundreds of pounds each year

7. Take advantage of the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme before it comes to an end. For existing homeowners, that’s April 2021, while first-time buyers have until 2023. 2021 also sees the introduction of price caps, so here in the South West it will only be available on new build properties up to the value of £349,000.

Help to Buy is a government-backed scheme that enables buyers to purchase a property with a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage.  The remaining 20% of the purchase price is provided as an equity loan, which is interest free for the first five years.  From year six, interest of 1.75% is payable and will rise annually by RPI inflation plus 1%

Since its introduction in April 2013 and the end of last year, 211,000 homes were bought using Help to Buy. 81% of purchasers were first-time buyers. Its popularity is on the increase, with 52,404 homes bought in the year to 31 March 2019 using the scheme, that’s a 9% increase on the same period the previous year.

Sara continues: “With Help to Buy for existing homeowners coming to an end and price caps being introduced on the new build properties for which the scheme can used, we are urging anyone considering taking advantage of the scheme to make the move to their next new home to act soon. Help to Buy is available at all our developments across the South West.

“To help prospective buyers in the South West, from 6 January to 29 February 2020, we’re offering to boost your deposit on your new home with a contribution up to £10,000 on selected plots at our new homes developments.

“Whatever your New Year resolutions, with careful planning and a little dedication, 2020 could be the year you make your dreams a reality.”

To take advantage of Bloor Homes’ Deposit boost schemes, please click here...