After renting for four years, Samir Matloob, 30 and his wife Wafaa, 29 believed they were locked out of home-ownership until the introduction of Help to Buy changed their fortunes.
Following their wedding in 2011, Samir, a doctor and Wafaa, who works in property, had hoped to purchase a home in Chiswick but the deal didn't go through at the final hurdle and they were forced to rent in Acton. However, in June this year, the couple purchased a three bedroom apartment at St Edward's lakeside development in the London Borough of Harrow, Stanmore Place. With a little help from family and using the government's equity loan scheme they were able to purchase the new-build home of their dreams.
"The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind considering where we were four years ago. Soon after we got married we were in the process of purchasing a house but the deal fell through and in this time house prices went up. We couldn't afford properties in west London where we were living, so we decided to rent and save whatever we could.
"A few of our friends purchased apartments last year and that gave us the kick we needed to start looking again. New builds suited our lifestyle and through our search we came across Stanmore Place. Putting down the deposit was always going to be the biggest hurdle so when we discovered Help to Buy was available at the development our eyes lit up," says Samir.
The equity loan scheme allows buyers who want to purchase a new home to borrow 20 per cent of the property's value from the government. Borrowers need a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage.
At the time of buying, the three bedroom apartment at Stanmore Place was on the market for £530,000 and thanks to Help to Buy, the married couple only needed to put down five per cent.
"I didn't want to live in a tower, so I was really drawn to Stanmore Place. The buildings across the development only go up to four or five stories and the apartments overlook the gardens or the lake. It feels like our own little safe haven and everyone has been so welcoming," says Wafaa.
"We both work in central London and a home which offered fantastic transport links was very important to us. Canons Park station is just over the road and the Jubilee Line is quick and reliable. Road links are also very good and we've found that friends and family have visited us much more than when we lived in west London. We've really looked to the future with this home and with three bedrooms, this is where we want to raise our own family," she added.
Residents at Stanmore Place can take advantage of the 24 hour gym, dedicated concierge service, car share club and Business and Innovation Centre. The wider Stanmore and Bushey area surrounding Stanmore Place creates a village ambience on the outskirts of Central London. Antique shops, cafés, boutiques and restaurants nestled along The Broadway and Stanmore Hill create a quaint cosmopolitan atmosphere, while the nearby Sainsbury's superstore and Brent Cross Shopping Centre cater to residents' practical retail needs.
Help to Buy will return to Stanmore Place in the New Year.