‘HELP TO BUY’ SCHEME PROVES POPULAR WITH LARKFLEET HOMEBUYERS
Figures from local housebuilder Larkfleet Homes (www.larkfleethomes.co.uk) show that the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme is having a major impact on the housing market in Cambridgeshire, Rutland and Lincolnshire.
Larkfleet offers the Help to Buy scheme at its Abbeyfields development in Bourne (Lincolnshire), its Leighfield Park development in Oakham (Rutland) and The Coppice development in Deeping St James (Lincolnshire).
Over the past six months, 45 percent of properties at Leighfield Park, 72 per cent of properties at The Coppice and 66 percent of properties at Abbeyfields have been sold using the Help to Buy scheme.
Larkfleet Homes managing director Karl Hick said: “The figures show that Help to Buy is helping many local first time buyers, and people simply looking for a home with a little more room, to secure their ideal property.”
The Help to Buy scheme allows homebuyers to potentially own 100 per cent of their new home with just a 75 per cent mortgage and 5 per cent deposit.
With the scheme, after homebuyers have provided a five per cent deposit and obtained a conventional mortgage for just 75 per cent of the purchase price, they will receive an equity loan from the government for the remaining 20 per cent (subject to approval). The equity loan is interest-free for five years and can be repaid at any time or on the sale of the home.
The Help to Buy scheme is different to other government schemes as it is not just available to first-time buyers. Current homeowners selling to buy a new home can also benefit from the scheme and there is no cap on household income in order to be eligible. Furthermore, there is no restriction on the number of bedrooms a property may have, so in theory a single person could purchase a four-bedroom property with the Help to Buy scheme.
Karl Hick added: “We are delighted to offer the government’s Help to Buy scheme on many of our properties. This furthers our commitment to help first-time buyers, or existing owners simply wanting a new property, to purchase the home of their dreams.
“With Help to Buy, homebuyers can effectively own 100 per cent of a property with just a 75 per cent mortgage and 5 per cent deposit. This is proving to be a great help to many people struggling in the current housing market – something our sales figures demonstrate.”
Larkfleet’s Abbeyfields development is located on the old Co-op site on Spalding Road in Bourne, Lincolnshire, and comprises two and three-bedroom properties with prices starting at just £124,995.
Leighfield Park is the first phase of Oakham Heights, Larkfleet’s major urban expansion of Oakham, located on land between the Oakham bypass and Barleythorpe Road. The development currently offers traditionally-styled two, three, four and five-bedroom properties starting from £154,995
Larkfleet is providing allotment gardens for residents at Leighfield Park to encourage a sustainable lifestyle and community. An electric car charging unit is also available on site for residents to use.
The Coppice development – located on the Orchard Field site in Deeping St James – offers 12 two and three-bedroom properties for sale.
Solar photovoltatic (PV) panels will be fitted as standard to every property constructed at The Coppice and Leighfield Park, and as an added extra to properties at Abbeyfields, so homebuyers can benefit from reduced energy bills and an income from selling their excess power to the grid. The PV panels will produce electricity from daylight, generating useable power even on cloudy days.
Terms and conditions apply to the Help to Buy scheme. Please visit the Larkfleet Homes website, www.larkfleethomes.co.uk, or contact a sales advisor on 01778 391550 for more information on how the Help to Buy scheme could help you.
Larkfleet Homes is a member of the Larkfleet Group (www.larkfleetgroup.co.uk).
HOME AND BUSINESS OWNERS GET WINTER FLOOD WARNING
Homeowners and businesses have received a winter flood warning from the UK’s largest combined plumbing and drainage business. They could face massive disruption and the need for expensive repairs over the coming months if they don’t take steps to prevent flooding now.
Weather forecasters are predicting (http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/444385/Long-range-UK-weather-forecast-warns-snow-storms-and-Arctic-winds-could-last-SIX-months) the worst winter for 60 years.
Drain Doctor Plumbing Ltd (www.draindoctor.co.uk) is urging homeowners and business people to make sure drains are free of blockages. This will help to minimise the risk of flooding as we head towards the two months of the year (January and February) which the Meteorological Office says usually combine the highest rainfall of the year with the lowest temperatures. A thaw after heavy snowfall, if combined with rain which helps to melt the ice, can lead to huge amounts of water being released into drains.
According to recent figures from the Association of British Insurers 47,000 UK businesses were hit by flooding in 2012 and total flooding claims with insurers for households and businesses exceeded £1.1 billion. However, a simple CCTV drain survey can help to identify any blockages or potential problems.
Drain Doctor Plumbing chairman Freddie Mitman said: “Many people think flooding is something that won’t happen to them but the risk is there. Being unprepared simply means the chance of an incident increases.
“Although insurance policies can cover damage to property, damage to businesses in terms of lost working hours and even lost clients is often not covered. Household insurance may cover all the expenses of putting right flood damage but does not compensate for the hassle and the heartache.
“This is why it is important for people to take the time now to make sure their drains are clear of any blockages and are in good working order.”
As well as a CCTV drain survey, there are a number of other measures people can take to protect their property. This includes taking advice from a specialist flood surveyor, fitting water resistant doors and window frames or speaking with specialist organisations such as the Environment Agency or the Flood Protection Association.
Launched in the United Kingdom in 1993, Drain Doctor Plumbing quickly grew to become the country's premier combined emergency plumbing and drain repair company. It now provides a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year service across the country with each franchise area run as an independent business.
• Drain Doctor Plumbing - 0800 3357 999.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOTHING NEW, MARKETING EXPERT TELLS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Mike Holland (http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeholland) – boss at Peterborough-based marketing communications company Metrix Marketing (http://www.metrixmarketing.co.uk) – has told members of the Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce (http://www.cambridgeshirechamber.co.uk/) that there is nothing fundamentally new about social media marketing.
Speaking at a Chamber breakfast meeting he said: “Social media is just a continuation of two good marketing communications strategies that you can trace back to the Romans in the Forum - and beyond.
“Firstly, talking to customers and, secondly and very importantly, listening to customers.
“Companies that talk and listen well – in the Forum or online – do better than companies that don’t talk and listen well. That hasn’t changed.
“What has changed is the scale and speed of conversations. Social media allows you to talk to thousands of people – in minutes, or even seconds.”
He dismissed the idea that social media has ‘fundamentally changed the rules of marketing’. He said: “Some of us in the marketing profession would like you to believe that things have fundamentally changed because then we can sell you lots of shiny new ‘stuff’ – while bamboozling you with jargon we’ve invented to make ourselves sound clever.
“In fact, social media is just another channel of marketing communication. It has advantages and drawbacks.
“Like any other channel, it needs to be managed properly. You need to set realistic, measurable, objectives at the outset. And then you have to measure the actual outcomes to see if the objectives are being met.”
Metrix is offering one local businessperson the chance to find out in detail how to manage a social media campaign. The company is running a competition to win a place on a one-day day course called ‘Social Media Marketing B2B’ (http://www.cim.co.uk/training/CourseDetails.aspx?course=0747). A place on the course is worth more than £500.
All people need to do to enter the competition is visit the Metrix LinkedIn page (www.tiny.cc/MetrixSocialMedia) and submit their name and contact details.
Metrix Marketing was formerly Smye Holland Associates, a marketing communications company established in 1987. In May 2012 the company changed its name to Metrix Marketing to reflect the wider range of services it offers and its commitment to delivering real, measurable, results for its clients.
Smye Holland Associates