Welcome to 2019!

A house in Bennett Homes' Woodlands development. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A house in Bennett Homes' Woodlands development. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Supplied

2019 could be the year to move, says Edward Parker, managing director of award-winning building company Bennett Homes.

A new year always brings fresh opportunities and this year is no exception. Could this be a good time to take your first step on the property ladder and become a homeowner? Perhaps you are looking for a larger property for your growing family? Or maybe making a move to enjoy your retirement?

Interest rates remain historically low – and even though they are tipped to rise a small amount – investing in a property is still affordable.

There are schemes to help too. The Government's Help to Buy Scheme is a great help to those needing assistance to raise the deposit, requiring buyers to make a personal contribution of just 5pc.

There's also our own Shared Equity Scheme which we have introduced at several of our developments. At Saxon Green in Ashill, three brand new two-bedroom apartments are available for buyers to purchase, whilst at The Signals at Watton there is a range of two and three bedroom houses.

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New for 2019 is our Church Meadow development at Sproughton, Suffolk where, in addition to a range of two, three, four and five bedroom homes for private sale, there are a small number of properties available on a shared equity basis.

The way the scheme works is that buyers will fully own their own homes by taking out a mortgage covering 75pc of the property value at Saxon Green and The Signals and 80pc at Church Meadow. They then have the opportunity to buy the remaining equity share at current market value after five years. During this time no fees or interest is payable, neither is there a repayment deadline as there is with Help to Buy after which interest is charged.

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Buying new brings a range of benefits, as at Bennett Homes we include many features in the asking price and everything comes with guarantees so there is very little maintenance. In addition, modern building regulations ensure excellent insulation and efficient heating systems so running costs are low.

We were also delighted that two cities close to our current developments – Norwich and Ipswich – were ranked in the top ten destinations in East Anglia by Rightmove's recent 'Happy At Home' survey.

Despite some reports of slower markets in part of the country, East Anglia remains a buoyant market for new build and it is in this positive spirit we should embrace 2019. Happy New Year!

This article is sponsored by Bennett Homes, available on 01284 766057 or through their website, www.bennett-homes.co.uk.

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