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Redemption provides stepping stone for Lee and Laura

Laura Winn and Lee Jones bought their newly built three-bedroom starter home in the pleasant Merseyside market town of Newton-Le-Willows back in September 2012 using the FirstBuy scheme, a fore-runner to the government’s current Help to Buy scheme, which provided them with an equity loan of 20% of the value of their home. Lee explains:

“We’d heard about FirstBuy from news coverage at the time. We thought it was a fantastic idea to help get us onto the property ladder.”

The couple were pleased to be able to buy their first home, but were already planning for the future, keeping a watchful eye on the local housing market, both in terms of prices and in terms of other new developments being built in their area in order to find a home with room to grow their family, the home that they could settle in for the long-term.

In late 2014, Laura and Lee decided that the time was right to sell their first home and take that second step up the property ladder. Lee continues:

“We’d had our home valued and realised that, with the increase in value on it over the last couple of years, that it could be a stepping-stone for us; we realised that we could buy a bigger home locally.”

To complete the sale of their home in time to be able to buy the home that the couple had identified as “the one”, Laura and Lee would need to repay the FirstBuy equity loan through the national Post Sales Agency service run by Metropolitan’s HousingOptions Plus team. 

The process requires an independent valuation by a RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) accredited valuer to be approved by HousingOptions Plus and the housing developer, (Jones Homes in Laura and Lee’s case), who had built the home before letters are issued to the home owner’s solicitor to confirm the terms of the redemption and allow the completion of the sale.

The HousingOptions Plus team at Metropolitan received Laura and Lee’s valuation on January 5, issuing the redemption approval letter to the couple’s solicitor just ten working days letter on January 16. Asked how his transaction was handled, Lee describes the service he received:

“The process is potentially long-winded but the HousingOptions Plus staff were really helpful. Abbie was amazing, and went the extra mile to speed things up – halving the time it would normally take.”

As a result, Laura and Lee were able to sell their home and pay off their FirstBuy equity loan without risking losing the family home that they had set their sights on:

“We’ve gone from a small three bedroom house, to a house with three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, a big garden and a garage, and we’re delighted” said Lee.

To find out more about the Post Sales Agency services for home owners who bought their home with financial assistance from a government-funded equity loan or shared equity product visit www.myfirsthome.org.uk.

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