First time buyer Asad Rashid, 30, knew that getting on the property ladder was essential to provide the financial security his family needed as his mother, Rubina, and sister, Sana, moved to London from Karachi, Pakistan to start a new clothing business. Fortunately for them Stanmore Place, the award winning north London development by leading house builder St Edward, along with the government's Help-to-Buy scheme, provided the ideal solution.
Finance professional Asad purchased a 3 bedroom, £520,000 home at Stanmore Place's Clement Court and moved in 2015. His mother and sister were moving to the UK to start a high-end Asian fashion business and Asad knew their start-up venture would benefit from the stability that property ownership brings. "I was planning to buy a property for myself anyway, but when I knew my mother and sister were moving to the UK it made sense to help them save money on rent and support their new life. However, this meant I needed a 3 bedroom property instead of a 2 bed which is where Help-to-Buy came in." Asad said.
"Without it I simply wouldn't have been able to afford a 3 bedroom home of the same quality - it allowed me to borrow an extra £104,000 or 20% of the property's total purchase price from the government. This played a huge part in making the property affordable and ensuring we could live in this great development. Many factors attracted us to Stanmore Place but its location was key. I work in the City so being moments' walk from the Jubilee Line was really important, while the surrounding demographic is perfect for my Mother and Sister's company, Diva Haute Couture."
"I discovered Stanmore Place when I visited friends at the development and was impressed with its easy to maintain contemporary specification, and how clean and tidy the communal areas were. It also has a friendly, neighbourly community that is rare to find in London - we have made friends with many of our neighbours and regularly socialise with them whether for dog walks or dinner. This is complemented with the peaceful and serene free flowing gardens that my mother takes full advantage of. In addition, the development's amenities including the concierge service and gym make such a difference to all of us because we work long hours - for example, being able to have your dry cleaning and delivered parcels taken care of onsite saves valuable time."
So has property ownership and the Help-to-Buy scheme helped Asad and his family like he anticipated it would, and what advice would he give? "It has helped me individually as well as my family," he says. "Previously I was spending £1,200 per month on rent, but now my monthly mortgage payments are £900, so it has been great for my personal finances. Also, keeping living costs down for my mother and sister has really helped them use money saved on rent to invest in their business."
Asad had saved a deposit of £156,000 and was lent another £104,000, or 20% of the purchase price under the Help-to-Buy scheme Asad added. "I would highly recommend Help-to-Buy as it completely changes the type of property you can afford - this is especially the case under the new London Help-to-Buy rules where the government lends up to 40%. However, it is helpful to have somebody to guide you through the process because there are rules and regulations. For example, the property has to be complete within six months of making the purchase. St Edward's sales team were really helpful in guiding us through this and notifying us when relevant properties were available.
"In terms of advice for others looking to buy their own property I would say that a saving strategy is really important. I saved a chunk of my salary every month for seven years and had to be disciplined - I am a keen traveller but realised that I had to cut back on holidays if I was going to end up with the amount of money I needed," Asad continued.
Stanmore Place is just 25 minutes from London's West End and moments' walk from Canons Park Underground Station on the Jubilee Line. Access to the M1 and M25 allows for easy transit to Heathrow and Luton airports. Apartments are available in the current phase, Royal Crescent on Help-to-Buy starting from £505,000.