First-time buyers Rachel Nokes and David Tozer had their eye on Bovis Homes' Cloakham Lawns development in Axminster as soon as work began there - and with the help of two Government purchase assistance schemes they are now living their dream in the Devon town.
"We'd been following the development since the building work first started, but we weren't in a position to buy anything initially," says Rachel, who works as a primary school teacher in Weymouth.
"One day, we drove past to see what it was looking like and noticed that there were two-bedroom houses going up, which hadn't been there before. We came and spoke to Sarah in the sales office, and after that it all happened very quickly. We came down on a Saturday and then on the Sunday we came back and put a reservation down because we knew that this was where we wanted to be."
They fell in love with the two-bedroom Amberley house design.
"We've got a really good end plot," says Rachel. "We came round to see it on a site visit and we got all suited and booted up with hi-vis jackets and hard hats. We saw it when it had literally just had the roof put on."
Their first sight of their new home was in February and in May, two months ahead of schedule, they moved in. Almost immediately, it felt like home.
"We really liked the layout," says David. "The bedrooms are nice and big and the open-plan design makes the house seem really bright and airy. It's great because if one of us is cooking in the kitchen and one of us is in the living room, we can still talk to each other. It's quite a sociable set-up having the open-plan."
Both Rachel and David, who works as a teaching assistant in a secondary school in Chard, had a Help to Buy ISA and they also used the Government's Help to Buy Equity scheme in their house purchase.
The Help to Buy ISA is aimed specifically at first-time buyers, and is a savings account where the Government will boost your savings by 25%. The buyer can start with a maximum lump sum of £1,200 and thereafter save up to £200 a month. The minimum Government bonus is £400, and the largest bonus you can receive is £3,000 - to receive that, you need to have saved £12,000. The buyer's solicitor applies for the bonus when you are close to purchasing your new home.
Meanwhile with Help to Buy Equity the home buyer requires just a five per cent deposit, and the Government provides an equity loan - interest-free for the first five years - of 20% of the property's value. That means the buyer can access a 75% mortgage, opening the door to more competitive lending rates and a dream move into a brand new Bovis Home.
"We used everything possible," says David. "We both had Help to Buy ISAs and we used the Help to Buy Equity scheme. Everyone says that buying a new house is quite stressful but it actually was quite stress-free. We used Bovis' recommended people so the solicitors, the sales office and the financial advisor all spoke to each other and got things done without needing to bother us. They kept us in the loop but they just got on with it."
They love their new home and speak highly about the design of the houses on the Cloakham Lawns site.
"The houses just look really nice," says Rachel. "They are not clones of each other; they are all different. We've got ours in a stone rather than a brick so it looks really, really nice and when we look at the houses around us, it's not the same house design. It's the variety here and the way that they look: the mixture of the stone, the cladding and the red brick that we really like. It's the perfect first home for us."
Cloakham Lawns offers 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes which benefit from the Bovis Homes all-inclusive specification. The fully fitted kitchens come with integrated appliances, the modern bathrooms have white wall hung sanitary ware with a shower and screen over the bath and there are en suites and built in wardrobes to most master bedrooms.
For more information visit the sales office where our show homes are open daily from 10am - 5pm, call 01297 300572, or go to www.bovishomes.co.uk