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Couple tell Minister their joy at buying their first home with Help to Buy

FIRST time buyers Mutsa and Mika Malengo welcomed the opportunity to show Minister for Housing Mark Prisk the home that’s being built for them in North Manchester and to tell him what a difference Help to Buy has made to them.

Mutsa, 31, is a chartered surveyor and husband Mika, 44, works as a town planner. They’ve struggled to save for a deposit while paying rent on a private sector two-bedroom apartment. But thanks to Help to Buy, they’re due to move into a home of their own at Redrow’s Woodville Gardens in Moston this August.

The Government-backed scheme makes homeownership easier to afford with the offer of an equity loan worth up to 20% of the property price.

The Malengos told Housing Minister Mark Prisk how the scheme has helped them when he visited the development whilst in Manchester.

His visit to Woodville Gardens was arranged in conjunction with Plumlife, who are official agents for Help to Buy in the Manchester area.

“Everyone who is renting thinks about buying, but it can be difficult to save for a deposit while paying rent. We’ve been saving for three years – putting money in an ISA and trying to forget that it’s there. When we heard about Help to Buy we realised we would be able to buyer sooner than we expected. We decided that if we didn’t do it now we could easily be tempted to dip into the money we’d saved,” Mutsa explains.

“Without Help to Buy we would have had to save for another five years for a deposit. Thanks to the equity loan our mortgage repayments will be less than the rent we are paying now for a two-bedroom apartment, which is smaller than the house we’re buying.”

The Minister’s visit to Woodville Gardens coincided with news that 1,000 Help to Buy sales have already completed across the country.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This Government is determined to support aspiring homebuyers take their next step on the housing ladder. That’s why we’ve introduced the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme to assist credit-worthy buyers who cannot get a mortgage because of the requirement for a large deposit.

“So I’m delighted that first 1,000 sales of new build properties are already complete, and housebuilders are reporting a surge of business after 4,400 reservations in the first two months.

“Help to Buy has captured the public’s imagination, and is getting Britain building again. So any credit-worthy buyer, whether a first-time buyer or someone looking to move up the property ladder, should contact their local Help to Buy agent and see if they could benefit from the scheme.”

Matthew Harrison, chief executive of Help to Buy agent for Greater Manchester, Plumlife, added: “We’re delighted to be working with the government to support so many homeowners to buy their first home or move up the property ladder. Help to Buy is putting fantastic homes in reach of ordinary working people and boosting the supply of new properties.”

Woodville Gardens forms part of a major regeneration project in the Moston and Harpurhey wards of North Manchester, which has seen Redrow working with Manchester City Council to provide new homes that are easy to afford.

The Malengos’ new home is a three-bedroom detached Derwent style property. Inspired by the architecture of the Arts & Crafts era, it looks traditional with a wood panelled portico entrance.  Inside, however it’s bright and modern with a large lounge, open plan kitchen and breakfast area that’s well equipped, plus a family bathroom, en-suite to master bedroom and downstairs cloaks that all enjoy quality fixtures and fittings.

“We chose Redrow as compared to the other properties we viewed they’re much more spacious and offer value for money,” Mutsa adds.

“It’s been great being able to choose the finish of things like the kitchen cabinets and the bathroom tiles rather than having to compromise and make do with what’s already there. We didn’t want to buy an older property and then have to change the kitchen and bathroom.”

A three-bedroom Derwent, similar to Mutsa and Mika’s is available to buy from £153,995 or only £123,196 when using Help to Buy.

The Help to Buy price is made up of a 5% deposit from the customer and a mortgage for 75% of the property’s full value. The remaining 20% share is covered by the equity loan, which is interest free for five years and can be repaid when the customer has more funds available or when they resell.

For more information about the Redrow homes available in North Manchester see www.redrow.co.uk or call 0161 312 2122 (Woodville Gardens).

Video footage of Mutsa and Mika Malengo meeting Housing Minister Mark Prisk is available online at http://www.redrow.co.uk/tv/320-housing-minister-visits-woodville-gardens-in-moston.