Army couple swap barracks for their dream home

A family of three have finally swapped their lifestyle living in Army barracks and rented accommodation for a brand new home thanks to the pioneering Help to Buy Scotland scheme.

First time buyers, Nicola MacLennan, aged 26, and her Army ammunition technician husband, Allan, aged 35, have always wanted their own home but, with Scotland’s house prices having steadily risen by 52 per cent over the past decade, they thought the day would never come.

However, when they heard of the new Help to Buy Scotland scheme, they immediately visited their nearest Persimmon Homes development in Dunfermline and were surprised with what they found.

“After speaking to Denise, the sales adviser at Abbey Grove, we discovered that we could actually afford to buy a home of our own.” said Nicola, “In fact, the monthly mortgage on our new three-bedroom semi-detached Persimmon home is actually £30 less than what we were paying when we were renting a three-bedroom terraced house at £475 per month.

“We were astonished to find that buying a house at Abbey Grove could work out to be cheaper than renting.”

Overjoyed Nicola said getting on the property ladder wouldn’t have been possible without the scheme.

“We thought owning our own home was a distant dream as we didn’t have enough savings to make up a 15 to 20 per cent deposit. But with the introduction of the Help to Buy scheme our dream became a reality.

“Although the house was on the market for £139,000, we were able to secure it for a deposit of £7,000 and a mortgage of £104,000. The Government pays the balance of £28,000 as a loan which is interest-free for the life of the mortgage. It’s amazing how much money we saved in the process.”

The couple, who lived in army barracks in Warwickshire in England for four years, moved to Dunfermline in May 2011 to be closer to Nicola’s parents.

“It’s great to finally put down roots near my parents and have our own family home. We love the security of owning our own home and not having to worry about being moved around like we did in the barracks.

“A lot of people had warned us that buying a house was one of the most difficult things you can do, but the whole Persimmon Homes team made it absolutely stress free.

“Denise was really helpful and talked us though all the ins and outs of the scheme so that we knew exactly what was going on and what we would be paying. It has made the process so far really simple and stress-free.”

Scotland’s Help to Buy scheme was launched on September 30, 2013, and allows buyers to purchase a new home worth up to £400,000 with a 75 per cent mortgage and five per cent deposit. An interest-free equity loan from the Scottish Government covers the balance.

Ingrid Gahagan, Persimmon West Scotland’s sales and marketing, said interest in Help to Buy had been exceptional since its launch.

“There is no doubt that the scheme is proving highly attractive and is helping make new homes more affordable than ever.

“Buying a home should create special memories, especially when it is your first home and our sales teams work very hard to make sure everything runs smoothly and is stress-free for our purchasers.”

Abbey Grove is a development of three and four-bedroom homes in the heart of Dunfermline, with prices starting from £126,995*.

Located within walking distance of local amenities and schools and with excellent access to motorway networks via the M90 and the M9, Abbey Grove is ideal for both commuters and families alike.

For more information about Persimmon Homes and Help to Buy Scotland click here.