LUKE Edgar managed to slash the price of his first home by almost half – and he didn’t even need to move out of the home he was in.
Buying your first home is an expensive business, and many people often feel that getting a foot on the property ladder simply isn’t possible.
But there are government schemes to help savers desperate for a place of their own.
Luke Edgar, 43, and his wife Rachel used the Right to Buy scheme to buy their four-bedroom council house in Doncaster.
It’s a government initiative that lets council house tenants buy the property they rent.
These homes are offered at a reduced price to help renters get on the ladder.
Luke and Rachel ended up paying £47,610 for their council house – even though its market value stands at £90,000.
Using the scheme let them bag their home much quicker than they thought – as they didn’t need to put down a deposit.
The maximum discount you can get off depends on how long you’ve been in your council house.
You get a 35% discount on your council home if you’ve been a public sector tenant for between three to five years.
After five years, the discount increases by 1% for each extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant.
However, the maximum it can increase to is 70%, or £87,200 across England and £116,200 in London boroughs.
As long as you have been a public sector tenant, you will be able to get the discount.
It’s important to note that if you sell your home within 10 years of buying it through Right to Buy, you must first give your old landlord or another social landlord in the area eight weeks to agree to buy it.
Secondly, you’ll have to pay back some or all of the discount if you sell within five years, according to the Homeowners Alliance.
The couple used mortgage broker Together to get advice on the process.
Luke, who is a fabricator welder, and Rachel, a stay-at-home-mum, moved into their home in 2015, but it was finally theirs in July.
The couple lives with their three children Corey, 21; Kian, 18; Kelsey, 12 and their dog Ollie.
We sat down with Luke to chat through how he went from renter to homeowner for The Sun’s My First Home series.
Tell me about your house
It’s a four-bedroom house in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
The front door opens into a short hallway and the stairs are on the right.
We have a large living room and a separate kitchen and dining room.
There is also a bathroom downstairs.
We also have a front and back garden, which is perfect for our Shih Tzu Ollie, as well as a driveway.
How did you decide on location?
I didn’t grow up in the area, and my and my wife were originally living outside of the area in a nearby village.
But in 2015 we decided that we needed more room for our kids.
At first, we were a little apprehensive about the area, but we’ve found it to be quite friendly and quiet.
How much did you pay for it?
The house was valued at £90,000 but I got a 46% discount and bought it for £47,610.
You get a 35% discount off your house if you’ve lived there for three to five years.
After five years, you get an extra 1% discount for every extra year you’ve been a tenant.
My wife had been living in a council home for 18 years, meaning we got 46% off the value of the house – a reduction of £41,000.
We moved into the home we are in now in 2015 but we were still able to make the most of the discount because Rachel had been a long-standing council tenant.
I took out a mortgage of £47,610 for the house, and I didn’t have to pay a deposit – that’s because many lenders don’t require one for a Right to Buy purchase.
The mortgage term is 15 years at a two-year fixed rate of 4.8%.
The monthly mortgage repayments work out at £400 a month – just £20 more than we were paying in rent.
How did you save for it?
Because we didn’t need to save up for a deposit, we didn’t need to put too much aside to cover the costs of buying the house.
I have been pretty lucky with work recently so we were comfortably able to cover all the solicitor’s and brokers’ fees.
Because we had already lived in the house for 15 years, we also didn’t need to worry about furnishing the house.
What advice would you give to other first-time buyers?
Just be patient and keep going – it can be a long process, but it’s worth it.
It took us a year in total to begin the Right to Buy process and find a mortgage lender.
We found a mortgage broker called Together, who helped my wife and I understand the Right to Buy process.
I would really recommend getting advice because the process can be complicated.
But if you are patient, you will reap the rewards.
Another family used the snowball method to clear £26,000 worth of debt and buy their first home.
One savvy saver managed to put half of his wages away while still renting to buy his first home.
#bought #council #fourbed #house #firsttime #buyer #discount #price