A City financial expert was invited to tell the Prime Minister how the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme had helped her family back onto the property ladder after six years of renting.

Essex couple Heidi and Craig Allan, aged 39 and 38, had struggled to buy another house after selling their last property in 2008, largely due to the tough economic climate.

They had not been able to get a large enough deposit together to break free of the rental market – that was until they learned that the Help to Buy initiative is not solely for first-time buyers.

The Allans were able to buy a stunning three-bed detached house at Persimmon Homes’ Saxon Gate development in Chelmsford – and Heidi was subsequently selected to meet David Cameron to tell the PM how the scheme had helped the family.

Heidi said: “We owned houses for about 17 years. In January 2008 we sold our last property but we couldn’t find anywhere that we really liked.

“Then the house prices crashed so we decided to rent for a while. Then I found out was expecting my daughter Nicola so we thought it wasn’t the right time to be buying.

“Time just passed and it wasn’t until last year that we found the Saxon Gate development. We were so impressed straight away but didn’t think we had enough money in the bank. We didn’t think we’d qualify for the Help to Buy scheme, but then the sales advisor, Jo, explained that it’s not just for first-time buyers.

“She opened our eyes. We looked at other developments but they just didn’t compare on space and cost. The whole experience from Persimmon Homes was excellent from start to finish.”

Heidi and lorry driver Craig bought off plan before a brick had been laid, allowing them to personalise aspects of their Persimmon home, including the kitchen and tiles. They watched their home emerge from the ground and eventually moved in in September last year.

Heidi and other Help to Buy customers from around the country were asked to Downing Street at the start of March.

“We were invited through the Downing Street gates and then had photos outside the main door,” said Heidi. “We then went inside the White Room.

“David Cameron made a point of talking to everyone there. It was a really brilliant evening.”

For more information about new home available in Essex visit www.persimmonhomes.com.