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For Katie Symes (28) and partner Elliot Vile (32), home ownership became more attainable with a little help from the Help to Buy and Countryside’s Bank of Mum and Dad schemes. Katie, Elliot and 18 month old son, Fletcher have moved into their first three bedroom family home at Countryside’s St Luke’s Park development in Runwell, Essex.
Katie, an admin assistant for a trading bank in central London and Elliot, a self-employed tree surgeon and landscaper started searching for their first home after falling pregnant and deciding they needed more space, whilst renting a two bedroom flat in Noak Bridge, Basildon.
Katie explains: “We had been saving for our own house for year and half when I fell pregnant with Fletcher. While I was on maternity leave, I contacted our mortgage broker, whose offices are up on the hill above St Luke’s Park and he suggested looking at the new homes, as we would be eligible for Help to Buy. After looking into the properties we could buy and learning about the all the positives of using Help to Buy, it was a no-brainer.”
Katie continues: “As the development was in the early stages of construction, the sales team invited us to visit the show homes at Beaulieu in Chelmsford to look at similar homes that we could buy at St Luke’s Park. I was immediately blown away and knew which house and plot I wanted, which was confirmed after taking Elliot to look round. We paid a 5% deposit and using the 20% government loan we were able to purchase a three bedroom house called The Beech. We were extremely lucky as my dad paid the deposit, which also helped us qualify for Countryside’s Bank of Mum and Dad scheme."
Homebuyers whose family members support them by putting a deposit down on a Countryside home, are eligible for the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ scheme. In appreciation of this huge act of generosity, on completion Countryside will gift £2,000 back to the parent or family member who provided the deposit as a thank you.
Perfect for those looking to jump on the housing ladder, Countryside is developing an exceptional collection of 575 homes at St Luke’s Park in Runwell, Essex. The development offers two, three, four and five bedroom houses, including a selection of homes which are available for purchase via a Low Cost Home Ownership scheme. This scheme enables eligible buyers to acquire up to 60% equity of the property and pay no rent on the remaining equity for the first 10 years.
Katie continues: “For Fletcher’s first birthday party in September, before we moved all our furniture in, we hired a massive soft-play area for the living room and invited all our friends and family. There were probably around 80 people in our house at one point and it was lovely to accommodate them all.”
St Luke’s Park is surrounded by mature trees and woodland and also features tranquil woodland walkways, a carefully refurbished Grade II listed chapel, a proposed new primary school and a range of community facilities. Ideally located approximately six miles from Basildon, ten miles from Chelmsford and twelve miles from Southend-On-Sea, residents will benefit from good shopping and leisure facilities. Perfect for commuters, direct trains serve London Liverpool Street in approximately 40 minutes from nearby Wickford and Rayleigh train stations. By car, excellent road connections to the development include the A130 and A127, offering links to the A12, A13 and M25.
Katie concludes: “It is an ideal place for Fletcher to grow up, with plenty of green open space, a warm and friendly community atmosphere and lots of families already living here. Our house is really flexible and spacious in design, with a good sized garden. We can definitely grow our family and have another child whilst living in this house. Now we are here, I can’t see us wanting to move, I would definitely recommend St Luke’s Park and Countryside to my family and friends.”