Q&A with Lynda Clark – Editor of First Time Buyer Magazine

Lynda Clark is the editor of First Time Buyer Magazine, a publication designed especially to guide and educate potential homebuyers about the home buying process.  The company behind the magazine is hosting its very first First Time Buyer Home Show in Manchester next Saturday and so we are speaking to Lynda about the market in general and why first time buyers in the North West should come along.

Q&A with Lynda Clark – editor of First Time Buyer Magazine
 

Tell us, is it a good time for first time buyers to buy their first home?


Yes, absolutely it is - current market conditions are very favourable towards first time buyers at the moment. Interest rates have recently decreased, mortgage availability is up and house prices are looking like they have cooled temporarily in the midst of European uncertainty and some experts claim this will last for around 12 months. All these factors ultimately provide an incredible opportunity for those who can get onto the property ladder and start investing in their own future.
 

You talk about it being a good time to buy for those who can, what about for those who can’t?


Well when I talk about those who can, I mean for those in the traditional sense who have a deposit saved and are ready to make a move onto the housing ladder. For those who ‘can’t’ – there are actually many ways that they too could also find a way to buy their first home. There are several affordable means which help aspirational first time buyers buy their first home.

This includes Help to Buy, a 5% deposit equity loan scheme which now helps one in six homebuyers in Manchester get onto the property ladder. Other popular schemes include Shared Ownership where buyers can purchase percentages of their home in stages and end up owning 100% of the property. It’s all about looking at what funds you have available to you and then using this information to find the best way to buy.
 

So are these schemes actually helpful? What’s the catch?


There are genuinely no catches to these schemes. They have simply been created to help people with lower amounts saved upfront to find a way to get onto the property ladder. Certainly with Help to Buy, equity loans of up to 20% of the property value need to be repaid but they are interest free for five years so it’s a good rate of lending.

Also with Shared Ownership, rent needs to be paid on the unowned part of the property but it’s usually lower than the market rate and surely it’s better to own a little of something than of nothing.  Obviously most people would rather own their own home in its entirety but even a first time buyer who takes out a mortgage in the traditional sense will ultimately be in debt to the bank for many years.
 

If you’re so positive about the first time buyer market, why is the news so filled with such doom and gloom?


Well you don’t often see happy positive stories making the front pages of the newspapers do you. No in all seriousness, the property market is filled with statistics and figures from a number of institutions who report different headlines based on average salaries and ages.

Whilst reported numbers of first time buyers might be down for people who wish to buy with a 40% deposit saved based on average earnings in a highly sought after area, this doesn’t factor in the number of people who are buying with a 5% deposit with Help to Buy or Shared Ownership. Ignore the news and speak to a professional, they will be able to give you the real picture of whether you can afford to buy or not based on your own circumstances. You might just be surprised to find out what options are available to you.
 

So what advice would you offer someone who wants to buy their own home right now?


Book an appointment and speak to a professional mortgage advisor. Work out how much you can put towards a deposit and find out just how much you would need to pay every month based on the various mortgages and schemes available. 

By talking to someone not only will you know if you are ready to buy, you can find out what more you need to make it happen. Certainly the more you have saved (or can beg or borrow) the less you will have to pay back later and the sooner you will really be able to reap the rewards of homeownership.
 

The First Time Buyer show at Trafford next Saturday. Tell us about it?


First Time Buyer Event

Well it’s a fantastic and free-to-attend show designed with first time buyers in mind. It’s actually the highlight of my professional year as I watch thousands of motivated homebuyers discover that actually they can afford to buy their first home, whether it’s a city centre flat or a family home in the suburbs.

We have experts available from Help to Buy, Shared Ownership as well as a wide range of independent advisors who are there to provide free financial advice and go through your own individual circumstances.  There will also be a range of properties available to buy through one of the schemes or on the open market – not forgetting the legal experts, housebuilders and industry leaders.

Throughout the day there will also be a series of helpful seminars, all free to attend and all designed to help arm first time buyers with all the knowledge they need to make the best possible decision about homebuying.  At the very least, anyone who comes will leave knowing what their next step is in terms of making the dream of homeownership a reality.
 

How can we find out more?


The First Time Buyer Home Show will be held at Lancashire County Cricket Club at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday 17th September at 9am until 3pm.

Anyone who wants to come to the show can register at www.ftbhomeshow.com and we also have a Facebook page (First Time Buyer Magazine) and Twitter Feed.

We already have hundreds of first time buyers registered to attend and we really hope to see you there too.

Publish date: 11/09/2017