Home is where the heart is

It’s the dream of all young couples isn’t it? Up there with getting married and having children, buying your own home is at the top of a lot of my friends’ and family’s wish lists. I’ve been adding ‘dream home’ pins to my Pinterest board all year, so even though I might not be living in the home of my dreams, I’ll be ready for it when I get there! But perhaps the dream of a home of our own is not so much of a priority since the whole recession/credit crunch thing: as a young married couple, my husband and I are still many many years away from buying a home of our own. We’ve been happily renting for the whole of our life together and although we’ve ‘settled’ in a couple of houses and thought that we’d be able to continue living there for the forseeable future, rises in rental prices have forced us to move out of our lovely rented farmhouse and into the world’s tiniest flat. We’ve since moved on another 2 occasions and although I feel like we are finally settled in a home we can afford, it’s still not quite the same as having a home you own. It makes you wary of decorating for a while (but I’ve started now and there’s no stopping me!) and it makes you think twice before planting something in the garden – why do you think my workshop is on wheels?!

Vintage Retro Sprite Caravan workshop office studio painted blue

I was therefore very interested to hear about the government’s “Help to Buy” scheme and I’ve reading a lot about it this week, with news updates pinging up on my laptop every day. Although it’s encouraging that young couples may soon have the opportunity to buy a home of their own, the 95% mortgages that the government are promising had pretty much disappeared since the start of the financial crisis, so even though its exciting to see them coming back, how come they are any better for us now? Apparently, it’s down to the lower interest rates that banks are offering – of course you will be more likely to get a better deal if you save up longer for a bigger deposit – nd buyers can get the home of their dreams “right now”. Great news for all of us who’ve been stuck in rental accommodation with no other options at all, huh?!

When the government started offering a 20% equity loan in April, I was unsure what this meant for homebuyers. I am not saying I wouldn’t use loans when I need to, but I’m a very wary spender and wouldn’t necessarily like to start off paying for a mortgage with a loan to repay too! Plus, I’m not sure that I could afford to buy any home in the area we currently live; house prices are still so prohibitive and I’m not into the idea of moving away from family and friends in order to buy one of these help-to-buy homes. I am therefore sticking with the idea that paying low rent and saving for a deposit (or as hubby and I like to say, saving for the whole house!) would be better for us than using the Help to Buy scheme at the moment. There’s more information on this on the BBC News website, so check it out for yourself and let me know what you think about it. In the meantime I will continue happily pinning-away on my ‘dream house’ Pinterest board and waiting for the right moment to buy – or build!

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Cassie Fairy
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