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The Help to Buy Scheme

Taking the first step on the London property ladder

Buying your first home in London is often believed to be beyond the reach of many young professionals – and it certainly isn’t easy. But softening house prices, record low mortgage interest rates, discounts from developers and the London Help to Buy scheme – mean that this could be the best opportunity many professionals will have to make their first move onto the property ladder.

We are working with an increasing numbers of first-time buyers keen to take advantage of the current situation, assisting them throughout the homebuying process, from helping them find the right type of property within their budget to navigating the Help to Buy scheme and the mortgage application process.

What is The Help to Buy Scheme?

The Government’s Help to Buy Scheme is aimed at first-time buyers and existing homeowners who wish to buy a new-build property, providing part of the equity needed in the form of a loan which means the buyer needs to borrow less from a mortgage company and needs a smaller deposit.

The Government will lend you up to 20% of the cost of a new- build home – or up to 40% for homes in Greater London because London properties are more expensive than in the rest of the country. You must put down a 5% deposit on a new-build property valued at up to £600,000.

You must not own any other property when you buy the new property. And you must not sub-let the property or enter a part-exchange deal with your old home.

For more information, go to

What should first-time buyers be aware of?And how can Benham & Reeves help?

Getting the best deals

Trawling through websites to uncover the most cost-effective options for buying your home can be daunting. For example, how do you know if you are being offered a competitive interest rate? What fees should you be paying?

You also need to accurately work out your budget – based on your salary, your deposit and any additional loan from the Help to Buy scheme.

If you’re spending up to £600,000 on a property, you want to make the right decisions – so expert advice is essential. We can work with you to make sure your paperwork is in order and you are getting the best deals.

Finding the right property

Next, the property itself. Where would you like to live – in which area and which Zone? How far from public transport do you need to be? What type of amenities would you like nearby?

Which new build developments are located in this area? Ideally, what type of facilities should they have – private parking, a gym, a concierge? What is the annual service charge? What is important to you?

We can provide expert knowledge when it comes to the property search, advising on suitable areas and developments within your budget – and your ideal commuting distance.

We work extensively with many Tier 1 developers so we can also negotiate on your behalf and help you take advantage of the many discounts currently on offer.

And we have a ‘little black book’ of trusted mortgage companies and solicitors who you may wish to work with to take care of the financial and legal side of matters.

Furnishing your new home

Finally, if you want your new hometo look its best, our professional furnishing company can supply stylish but economically priced furnishing packs to suit any budget and size of property. It’s a simple and surprisingly cost-effective way to furnish a new property from scratch.

Taking the first step

If you are considering buying your first home and would like someone you can trust to help you throughout every step of the process, then please get in touch with our sales team on 020 3280 6400 or email us. They can guide you throughout all the aspects of this important stage of your life and take the stress and worry out of this major financial investment.

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The London property market update – April 2020

The Covid 19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is presenting us with serious challenges but we are working hard to maintain as normal a service as possible to both tenants and landlords during these uncertain times, while operating within the government’s guidelines. Collingham-Rd-terraces-W8 Lettings, property management and sales staff all now home-based and fully operational Some sales and lettings companies have closed for now but we are very much operational and here to support our clients although of course, we have had to temporarily shut our branches. All our staff are now home based and our usual phone lines will automatically connect you with one of the team and of course, email addresses are regularly monitored. As an independent family business, we are small enough to make changes to our operations quickly and efficiently, reacting promptly to any new measures introduced by the government so please rest assured that we are doing all we can to manage this difficult situation until normality eventually returns. Rental demand in London – the current situation While applicant enquiries have fallen by around 70% across our 16 lettings branches in central London, west London, north London, the City and east London, we are still receiving enquiries from tenants – and still receiving offers on rental properties – although lower than previously. While many tenants are currently reaching the end of their tenancy agreement are choosing to renew, some are caught in a chain and have no choice but to find a new rental property – often because they had already given notice to their landlord before the current crisis and so are committed to moving out and finding new rental accommodation in London. We are offering these tenants our full support to find a new home as soon as possible. It is helpful that most of our rental properties are furnished which means tenants won’t need a removal van but should be able to pack their belongings into a taxi (or two) for their move. And there is still some optimism from applicants who continue to view our rental properties online using our video tours – we have video tours for over 95% of our rental properties. We are also carrying out viewings via Facetime, WhatsApp and WeChat. Of course, these viewings are mainly for future moves, when the current crisis is over, but it does indicate that demand for rental accommodation in London will bounce back, we just cannot yet say when. How Benham & Reeves is helping tenants and landlords Tenants are finding themselves in a variety of situations, with often difficult decisions to make. For example, we are working with tenants who are currently out of the country and unable to return to London while some are asking to end their tenancy early as they wish to return to their home town to be with their families. Some tenants are concerned they cannot pay their rent although the government’s recent announcement regarding financial support both for employed and self-employed should help to allay these concerns. Each tenant’s situation is different and we are working with each individually to support them through this difficult time. In such a fast-moving situation, those of you who need to stay updated with the latest Coronavirus news from the UK government, should visit Guidance for landlords Currently, we are reminding tenants that new laws do not mean that tenants do not have to pay their rent. The government has taken steps to protect tenants who cannot pay their rent and is introducing a law to prevent eviction proceedings against tenants for at least three months to ensure anyone who has lost their job is not made homeless. While many of our tenants are corporate professionals and hopefully do not fall into this category, there may be issues with non-payment of rent but our credit control teams are fully operational and regularly liaising with tenants and landlords. If a tenant cannot pay the rent at the moment, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan to make up any arrears. Equally, landlords with a mortgage can contact their lender to request a three month mortgage payment holiday. For more information about the temporary ban on evictions, click here Further help is available We will be regularly updating our clients – landlords and tenants – with the latest information. If you are letting a property through a different agent who is currently unavailable and need assistance, please get in touch here and we will do our best to help.

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