Young Shrewsbury couple get help to step on the property ladder in their hometown

Ella White and Tom Read have been able to move out of their parents’ homes and buy their own place in Shrewsbury, thanks to the Help to Buy scheme.

Ella, 23, who works in a local school, and Tom, 24, a self-employed heating and plumbing engineer, found their dream three-bedroom home at Bellway’s The Spinney development off Oteley Road.

Both Shrewsbury born and bred, they knew they wanted to stay local and also wanted a new-build home so they could take advantage of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme – which helped them buy a property that would otherwise have been out of their price range.

Ella said: “We knew that buying would be more cost effective than renting and after learning about Help to Buy, we started to look around the local housing developments.

“We would never have been able to afford the house we’ve got, especially with all the added extras, without the Help to Buy scheme. We were able to get a lot more for our money and it was pretty easy to use.”

Under the scheme, which is now only available to first-time buyers, the couple were able to purchase their house with just a five per cent deposit and 75 per cent mortgage – the remaining 20 per cent being provided as an equity loan which is interest free for the first five years. In Shrewsbury, the scheme is now available with new-build homes up to the new regional price cap of £255,600.

Ella said: “We visited the development, reserved, and chose everything for the house on the same day. Due to us reserving so quickly, as the roof had only just been put on, we were able to choose [A person and person posing for a picture outside of a building Description automatically generated with medium confidence] exactly how we wanted our home to look, from carpets to cabinets. We were able to make it completely our own, which was an added bonus.

“Bellway stood out to us straight away. They were on top in terms of quality of their builds and customer service. They offered so much more for your money. We were able to add extras that were not offered at other developments we visited.

“We chose The Cherry house type, a three-bedroom semi-detached property, as it suited all of our needs. We wanted to have the space to entertain and have guests over when we are allowed to do that again and we found that Bellway used the space really well.”

The Cherry house type features an open-plan kitchen/dining room with French doors to the garden and a living room, while upstairs, the master bedroom has an en suite shower room, and the other two bedrooms share a modern family bathroom.

Ella said: “We moved into our new home in February this year and we could not be happier. Susan and Fiona in the sales office were brilliant and the assistant site manager, Andy, has been amazing. Like any new house, we expected a few snags here and there. The very few we’ve had, Andy has been on hand straight away and sorted any problem – he’s been really helpful.

“The development itself is well laid out and the location is ideal. We wanted to stay local as we love Shrewsbury already.

“Our families are only down the road and we are in the middle of everything – town on one side and country walks on the other – which has been ideal in lockdown. Both of us have an easy commute to work and there are good road connections. We would 100 per cent recommend Bellway.”