Saturday, June 22, 2024

Expert Advice for First Time Home Buyers in 2024 – Developers Doctor

This months developers doctor brought to you by Marc Woolfe is the Sales & Marketing Director at Barratt David Wilson’s North Thames division. He joined in 2012 on the Barratt Aspire Graduate scheme as a Sales & Marketing Graduate. From specialising in the sales sector and beginning his career as a Sales Adviser, Marc joined the North Thames division in 2019 as a Senior Sales Manager before entering his current role in the summer of 2022. Marc is keen to encourage and help aspiring owners onto the property ladder as much as possible in 2024.


Q: My partner and I are both in our mid-20s and live and work in London, having been raised there and lived there all our lives. We are looking to escape the city to enjoy a quieter way of life and to get onto the property ladder but don’t want to move too far from our family, friends, and jobs, which require us to commute into the office for most of the week. Do you have any advice about the process for first time buyers, and are there any areas you’d recommend that are commutable to London?


A: Well, you’ve made the first important step in deciding you are ready to buy your first home and move out of London, congratulations! Starting out can seem very daunting but there are plenty of options, locations, and schemes available to first time buyers. The market for 2024 is looking seemingly better too, with interest rates not as high as they were in the peak of 2022.

The good news is that there are plenty of areas surrounding London that have excellent transport links in and out of the city and house prices that are a fraction of the cost of what you see in London.

We see first time buyers of all ages and demographics interested in our developments here at Barratt David Wilson North Thames, and, in fact, around half of our buyers are getting on the property ladder for the first time, so you are not alone in the process.

A number of towns in counties such as Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire have become increasingly popular post-pandemic as they offer a perfect blend of countryside living while still being within commutable distance of the city. My advice would be to look at the train lines that have regular services in and out of London and evaluate the affordability of those areas.

As an example, Leagrave station is a stone’s throw away from our Linmere development and is served by Thameslink. Services take just 36 minutes into the city – which is quicker than some underground services take to reach Zones 3 or 4 in London!

We see plenty of buyers from the north of London, from areas such as Bushey, Mill Hill, and Finchley, so you would certainly not be alone in looking towards neighbouring counties to London.

There are also plenty of schemes available to help first time buyers at Barratt David Wilson North Thames. All of our homes come with best-in-class energy efficiency as standard, and our Deposit Unlock scheme allows buyers to purchase with just a 5% deposit. We also provide a Key Worker Deposit Contribution scheme which is available to people in a range of job roles and offers a £1,000 contribution for every £20,000 of the purchase price.

Most recently, we have launched the “Own New – Rate Reducer” mortgage product, where Barratt Homes could contribute 3% or 5% and will see buyers benefit from reduced monthly mortgage repayments for the first two to five years.

Finally, my most important piece of advice is to research, research, research. To get the ball rolling, speak to a mortgage adviser, as you might be surprised by what you can actually afford, and they will help you to set financial goals and guide you through the process. Best of luck!

First Time Buyer is an exciting bi-monthly glossy which takes a stylish and comprehensive look at all the options available, setting them out in an entertaining and informative way, and helping potential customers navigate their way through what is often a daunting and complex process. We dispel the myths, reinforce the facts and arm the reader with the tools necessary to make their homeownership dreams a reality.

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