First-time buyers praise 'easy' apartment purchase in Cardiff
If you're a believer that today's property prices mean that young people can no longer afford to buy their own homes, then you'd better think again.
For Cardiff couple Kate Houston, 22 and Leah Morris, 21, are living proof that with a little help from a national house builder and a shared equity scheme, buying a plush new two bedroom apartment is in fact very easy.
Two months on since their first property purchase, they say life in their new home at Latitude - a Bovis Homes development of one and two bedroom apartments, close to Cardiff Bay - is "perfect for us in every way."
Both Kate and Leah work for the same large finance company, Kate as a senior sales advisor and Leah as a customer services advisor. Without a huge amount of savings to their name the couple used Bovis Homes' own shared equity scheme, Jumpstart, to help buy their apartment.
The current Jumpstart scheme means that buyers pay as little as 85% of the purchase price upfront and the property is 100% their own. The remaining share is provided by the company itself, with the purchasers having the option of buying this in stages within the next 10 years. For the first five years there is absolutely no rent or interest to pay on the 15% (or applicable share) and for the second five years there is just an annual interest rate fixed at 3% on the original sum provided..The buyers can sell at any time within the 10 years and can repay the 15% (or applicable share) at that stage if they prefer.
Kate, said: "It's an ideal scheme for first time buyers as it gives you the opportunity to get on the property ladder at a young age and is great if you don't have much deposit saved up. I would certainly recommend it to other young people wanting to buy their own place.
"The sales advisor recommended an independent mortgage advisor and a solicitor, both of whom we used and because of their knowledge of the Bovis Homes products and processes the finance and purchase all went very efficiently, quickly and smoothly. Neither Leah nor I had bought a property before and the staff were very helpful and it was all made very easy for us."
For Kate and Leah the location of Latitude and the reputation of the Bovis Homes brand played a major part in their purchase. Kate was brought up in a Bovis Home - her parents purchased their Bridgend property from sales team leader Carole Williams - and now nine years later, Carole has just sold the apartment to Kate and Leah.
Kate said: "I knew the quality of a Bovis Home to be excellent and, having shopped around, Leah and I discovered that as well as the Jumpstart scheme you get a lot more for your money at Latitude. With our apartment there's many extras included in the price such as the fitted kitchen, integrated appliances and tiling, which was a real bonus for us.
"We love the open plan design, the layout with the spacious living and kitchen area and the really useful separate utility room. The bedrooms are good sized, we have an en suite and everything is easy maintenance and modern which we really like."
The pair also chose Latitude for its location - close enough for socialising 'in town' (Cardiff), but not part of the inner city with noise and higher prices. It is close to The Bay and handy for their work and families in Bridgend and Aberdare. With no car, they can either walk to work, catch one of the buses that stop regularly right outside their home, or for further trips the train station is also accessible.
Kate said: "The location is great and coupled with the quality of the apartment, what's included by Bovis Homes in the price and with the shared equity scheme, all in all it's a perfect place in an up and coming area. We love it and would definitely recommend it to other first time buyers."
Latitude has two bedroom apartments from £117,995 and Jumpstart is available on specific plots. Terms and conditions apply which are available at www.bovishomes.co.uk/Jumpstart. The company also offers a separate purchase assistance scheme, the Perfect 10, a complete package that requires just a 10% deposit and comes with a 90% loan-to-value mortgage. Visit the company's website or call the sales team on 01633 214181 to find out more.