Young couple buy their first home in Durham using Own New scheme

Young couple Jack Williams and Jacob Clark have been able to buy their first home together thanks to the Own New scheme, offered through the Darlington Building Society.

Jack, a 22-year-old law student and part-time HR executive, and Jacob, a 21-year-old HR executive, have just moved into their new three-bedroom house in Coxhoe, near Durham – and their monthly mortgage payments are less than the rent for the two-bedroom flat they previously shared.

The couple secured a 95 per cent joint mortgage via the initiative, brought to market to fill the gap left after the ending of the Government Help to Buy scheme, helping first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder with just a five per cent deposit.

“The Own New initiative has been brilliant for us,” said Jack, who is studying at Newcastle University. “The deal we have got will see us pay £1,050 a month on the mortgage for our own three-bedroom house while the flat we were sharing in Newcastle city centre was costing £1,200 a month to rent.”

Jack and Jacob started to look for a new apartment to rent together in January 2023 as the lease at their previous flat was due to end.

“When we were looking around, it suddenly dawned on us that maybe we should be looking at buying a home together rather than renting,” said Jack. “It seemed to make perfect financial sense to us and we were ready to make that commitment to each other. 

“It would have been too expensive to buy a new-build apartment in the city centre so we chose to search for a new house in Durham as it is equidistant from my parents in Darlington and Jacob’s mum and dad in Stockton-on-Tees. We spotted Barratt Homes’ Burdon Green development in the city and made an appointment to pop along.

“The sales advisor took us to see a three-bedroom Moresby house and even though it was just an empty shell we both fell in love with it at first sight. We peeked through the windows and could picture ourselves living there. We knew we had to have that house.

“Knowing that other people were interested in the property, we reserved the house the next day. We had already lined up a mortgage with a lender but it was over 40 years, which was too long for us. We had tried to get other mortgage deals but some banks wanted a five-year credit history, which was impossible for us at our age.”

The couple thought their only choices were to take the unsatisfactory mortgage deal or to carry on paying rent and wait until they had saved a larger deposit than the £11,500 they had.

“We did not want to wait as we would have lost the house so we spoke to the sales team, who advised us to call their nominated mortgage broker New Homes,” said Jack. “They told us about the Own New scheme provided through the Darlington Building Society which offered 95 per cent mortgages.”

Jack and Jacob moved into their new £225,000 home on Friday 2 June. 

“It seems amazing to us that we can actually buy our own house and it costs us less each month than the rental on the flat we were living in,” said Jack. “Now, instead of paying rent, which is dead money to us, we are investing in our own home, which is much bigger and has a garden.

“The Own New scheme has really worked for us and the people at both Barratt Homes and New Homes were great and helped us through the whole process. We would have no hesitation in recommending them all to our family and friends.”

Craig Moore, a partner at New Homes Mortgage Services, said: “Jack and Jacob were aware that they had missed the boat on the Help to Buy scheme, which allowed first-time buyers to purchase with a five per cent deposit, but were pleasantly surprised to hear about the Own New incentive. Through this they secured a 95 per cent mortgage payable over 30 years, rather than having to settle for a 40-year marathon mortgage, which could have cost them about £70,000 extra in payments over the long term.”

Steven Ball, Sales Director at Barratt David Wilson North East, said: “We are very happy to be in partnership with Own New in a positive initiative which helps plug a gap in the housing market left by the end of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.  We want potential purchasers, like Jack and Jacob, to know that through this scheme they can get onto the property ladder and buy the house of their dreams.” 

Own New works with lenders behind the scenes to reduce the risks linked with high loan-to-value mortgages. This means the lender can offer mortgages with more attractive rates to a wider range of buyers.

More than 60 homebuilders across the country have signed up to offer Own New as it expands nationwide. 

Own New is funded by housebuilders, who pay a small fee on completion of the sale. There is no cost to the homebuyer. They simply apply for a standard mortgage in the usual way through Darlington Building Society and own 100 per cent of their home.