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JUST weeks after their first visit to The Ridings in Longridge first time buyers Laura Carlin and Jamie Crowe moved in and instantly felt at home.

The couple had previously been living separately – Laura with her parents, while Jamie was renting with a friend.

Just before the country went into lockdown, the pair started looking for a home of their own.

Jamie explained: “We figured that rather than throwing money away renting we would get a mortgage on a home of our own. We started saving around 12 months ago and started looking for a property around February/ March. We knew exactly what we were looking for – we wanted to live in Longridge in a three-bedroom home, with a back garden.”

Laura added: “We wanted to buy a brand new home because we wanted a clean slate without having to worry about having a new kitchen, bathroom, or central heating system fitted.”

The couple moved into their new home, a three-bedroom semi-detached property built by Prospect Homes in mid-July.

“We originally phoned Prospect and they emailed us with information about the homes available. We booked an appointment for a few days later and looked at two properties and reserved after that first viewing,” Jamie, 33, recalled.

Laura, 32, added: “The house was ready to move into so from reserving to moving in was only about five weeks.”

The couple, who both work in IT, used the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme to purchase their new home. Available exclusively to new build properties, it offers the chance to take out an equity loan for up to 20% of the price, interest free for five years. Those purchasing a home using the scheme should typically only need a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage.

“We wanted to move in as soon as possible and being able to take out a Help to Buy equity loan to reduce the initial cost made that a lot easier,” Jamie added.

“Using the scheme reduced the size of deposit we needed, which meant we didn’t have to save as long as we would have done without it.”

Jamie said: “It’s kind of weird because I thought it would take a while to settle in, but the day we moved in it felt like home straight away.”

The couple have praised the customer service they received from Prospect Homes during the buying process and after moving in and say they would “absolutely recommend” the company to other homebuyers.

“We had a little leak under the sink and I contacted Jason, the contacts manager, around 8pm who put me in touch with the plumber who offered to send someone round that night. We were happy to wait until the next day and at 9am the plumber came round and fixed it within an hour,” Jamie said.

“We couldn’t fault them at all – they were absolutely spot on. One of the reasons we wanted to buy a new build was the reassurance of the aftercare and NHBC warranty.”

Samantha Williams, head of sales at Prospect Homes, said: “When people think of the advantages of new build homes over older properties they tend to focus on the convenience of being able to move right in, as Laura and Jamie did, without having inheriting someone else’s décor, fixtures and fittings. What they perhaps don’t always appreciate is that when you buy an older property, once the purchase is complete you’re left to deal with any issues yourself. As Laura and Jamie discovered, we’re here to help our customers enjoy living in their new homes and will do what we can to put any issues right as soon as practical.”

The Ridings, on Whittingham Road, Longridge, offers a choice of two, three and four-bedroom homes. Current prices start from £116,500 for a two-bedroom available through Prospect Start at discount to market value, subject to eligibility criteria. Open market homes are available from £207,995.

The sales office and show homes at the development are open by appointment only, with social distancing measures in place. For more information call 01772 977364 or visit WWW.PROSPECTHOMES.CO.UK/THERIDINGS.

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