Help to Buy: What You Need To Know

House prices rising, symbolized by arrows with a house shape going up.


Sadly, it’s a well-known fact that in the current economic climate buying a house, especially if you’re a first time buyer, is a notoriously tricky business. However, if you’re struggling to save up for that mammoth deposit on top of the cost of living, there are avenues you can pursue in order to get your foot on the ladder. The Help to Buy home ownership scheme gives you financial help if you live in England and can’t afford to buy a home.

The Help to Buy equity loan

This loan is available to first time buyers, and home movers on new build homes up to the worth of £600,000. Be aware that you won’t be able to sub-let your home if you use this scheme. With a help to Buy equity loan you will have to contribute at least 5% of the property price as a deposit, the government will then give you a loan of up to 20% of the property’s price, you will then need a mortgage to cover the remaining 75% of the property’s worth.

The benefit to getting an equity loan from the government is that with a larger amount of money to put down, you’ll hopefully get a better mortgage rate from your particular lender.

So, what happens when you have to pay the equity loan back?

Thankfully, the equity loan is interest free for the first five years. However, from the sixth year, and every consequent year there after you have to pay an admin fee. This fee will begin at 1.75% of your loan, and increase every year by any increase in the Retail Prices Index plus and extra 1%.

A word of warning, these repayments are in addition to your mortgage repayments, and won’t be decreasing in size. So, over time the cost of the admin fee could become pretty expensive.

The equity loan will need to be repaid in full after 25 years, when your mortgage term finishes or when you sell your home – whichever happens first. You will repay the market value of the loan at the time, rather than a fixed cash amount. For example:

You take a 20% equity loan to buy a property worth £200,000, which will be £40,000. Then, when you sell the property, it’s worth £250,000. You will consequently have to repay £50,000 – this is 20% of the new value of your home, not the amount you borrowed. If the property had dropped in value, you’d pay less than you borrowed.

You can also choose to repay part of the loan early in chunks of either 10% or 20% of the total value.


A Guide to Moving House

moving-houseStatistics – and real life – go to prove that moving house is one of the most stressful events in a persons life (third only to bereavement and divorce.) However with good planning and organization this does not need to be the case. Obviously a larger budget can offset stress vs cost more easily, by simply paying others to do all the leg-work, however, even this approach requires careful planning. Here at Woolwich Central we’ve put together 5 things to think about which will make ‘the big move’ that little bit less stressful, no matter what budget you’re working with.

  1. Make a list of people and companies you need to notify. This includes (but is not limited to) banks, electricity companies, internet providers, doctors, employers and the council. The Royal Mail re-direction service is a helpful way to ensure your bills don’t go astray. For friends and family members a simple e-mail will suffice- one less expenditure on stamps, and saves the arm ache of writing out all their addresses!
  2. Removals. Talk to family, friends and colleagues to see who they recommend, then get quotes from at least 3 different firms. Hiring professional packers is almost definitely worth the outlay, and if you’re going DIY then assure you have an excellent colour-coding  system for room allocations. Also think about insurance for your possessions whilst they’re in transit. Also (and it seems basic) but will your old furniture fit in your new house?
  3. Take this as an opportunity to de-clutter and clean! Get rid of anything that you never use: old relics from forgotten hobbies and dusty magazine collections. If you’ve forgotten you had them, chances are you no longer need them- there are even specialists who can help you ‘let-go’ and de-clutter.
  4. Ask for a guide for your new house. If you have a folder containing important info, from the numbers of local tradesmen to how to put the heating on, recycling schemes and burglar alarms, then your transition into your new home will be a lot easier.
  5. Finally, on the day get rid of all distractions. Send the children and pets away so you can focus on logistics. Collect up all spare keys and change the locks on your new home. Once the boxes are unloaded set yourself an un-packing deadline – stick to it!

This is just a very brief summary, but moving house is certainly a situation where the age old mantra ‘fail to plan and plan to fail’ holds true.  If you’re looking for help when moving, tweet us @WoolwichCntrl or check out this article.

Buying your first place in London

Securing your place on the ‘property ladder’ is a daunting task, especially when the bottom rung itself seems completely out of reach. Moreover, with London providing endless variables from an entire sprawling metropolis, its hard to narrow down choices based on income, location, transport etc. etc. etc. Well luckily we have made things a little easier for you with Woolwich Central.

With 189 apartments to choose from, landscaped gardens, rooftop sky terraces, interior designed communal areas, lifts to all floors, a Tesco supermarket, a café, and room to store your bike; the Woolwich Central development ticks all the boxes a first time buyer could possibly think of. Located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich overlooking the Thames, the transport links into the Heart of London are quick and painless.

It seems that, apart from parenthood, buying your first home is a sign that you are ‘properly grown-up.’ Buying your first place should be exciting not stressful, and with our First Buy scheme you can own 100% of the property for 80% of the price. Woolwich Central is perfectly located in the south east of London, and we’ve designed our new development to encompass all that is great about inner-city living, whilst taking extra special care to ensure privacy, great quality, and taste.

For more information, visit our website at