London finance expert takes up residence in Houghton Regis new home


  • Finance expert Lee Perkin has left London life behind to return to his provincial roots in Bedfordshire.

29-year-old Lee has been able to afford to buy his own home in Houghton Regis thanks to the Government’s Help to Buy scheme – and saving hard during the coronavirus lockdown.

Lee, who was renting a flat-share in Walthamstow in East London, saved enough money to fund a deposit on a three-bedroom home at the Bellway at Linmere development, off Sundon Road, using Help to Buy.

The initiative allows first-time buyers to purchase a new-build home with a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage, with the remaining 20 per cent provided in the form of an equity loan, interest-free for five years.

Lee’s savings were boosted by up to £400 a month due to the national restrictions which saw him work from home and have to stay indoors for most of the day.
“When the lockdown came and I had to work from home I was saving about £200 a month on commuting costs and with the reduced social spending and retail shutdown I managed to save about £400 a month,” said Lee.

“Those savings combined with the much-reduced deposit I was allowed to put forward through the Help to Buy initiative allowed me to get this amazing house back in the area where I grew up and where all my family and friends live.

“I had a great time doing the London life for six years but I had always intended to return to my roots and luckily I was able to. The Help to Buy scheme and the fact that I saved lots of money by having to stay at home allowed me to get a deposit together.

“Those two factors speeded up the process whereby I bought my own home. Without those two boosts I could have been waiting for years to get a deposit together.”

Lee said he was already aware of the Help to Buy scheme but that Bellway helped guide him through it.

“The staff at Bellway were great and helped smooth the process and allow me to buy my dream home,” he said. “Without the initiative, I would never have been able to buy this house and there was no way I could afford anything like it in London.”
Lee paid £310,000 for a semi-detached three-bedroom Tailor home, moving into his new home in September.

“I had been paying £650 a month including bills to share a two-bedroom flat in London and now I have to pay £820 a month mortgage but it’s definitely worth the increase,” he said. “Renting had its purposes, I loved both living in London and with a friend, but now I am investing in my own home and future, and can call myself a homeowner, which feels great.

“That sounds very grown-up, but I guess I had to become an adult one day! Knowing that this house is actually mine feels slightly surreal and gives me a buzz every day. When I go to work, or away, I almost instantly can’t wait to be back here.

“I grew up in Dunstable and the best thing about living here is that I am so close to family and friends. When I lived in London they had to come to see me or I had to go to see them but now they are minutes away.”

Lee, who lives alone and works mainly from home, has to commute to the office in Slough once a week.

“It took me about an hour and a half from Walthamstow, and it’s now about an hour so there’s also a time saving there. I have converted one of the spare bedrooms into my office, it’s great to have that designated space because when work is done I can shut the door and that’s that.

“As I reserved the house off-plan, I was able to choose many things such as the flooring, kitchen cupboards, worktops and tiling in the bathroom so it feels like I have already put a bit of my own stamp on the place, but I will be decorating in the future to really make this house my home.”

Lee said he would not hesitate to recommend Bellway to family and friends.
“They have been magnificent, 10/10 customer service,” he said. “I saw the Bellway development online and got in touch and they have been amazing right from the outset.

“Deborah in the sales team at the development has been wonderful. She has repeatedly gone over and above to help me during and after my move. We are still in touch now and it’s very reassuring to know I can just reach out if I have a problem.

“I’ve also been really impressed with the site team, they’re really friendly and can’t do enough for you. From lending me skips on moving in day, to checking in numerous times to see if all is going well.

“They say that the home is where the heart is and that rings true for me now. I have never been happier.”

There’s currently a selection of two-bedroom apartments and three and four-bedroom houses available at Bellway at Linmere, with prices starting at £227,500.
For more information about new homes at Bellway at Linmere call the sales team on 01582 953878 or visit https://www.bellway.co.uk/new-homes/northern-home-counties/bellway-at-linmere.

Top PICTURE:  Lee Perkin at his three-bedroom property at Bellway’s Linmere development in Houghton Regis

  • The new Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme was launched on 1 April 2021. It is for first-time buyers and includes regional property price limits to ensure the scheme reaches people who need it most.
  • The new scheme will run until March 2023. As with the previous scheme, the government will lend homebuyers up to 20% of the cost of a newly built home, and up to 40% in London.
  • The previous Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme ran until March 2021.
  • Learn more at https://www.ownyourhome.gov.uk/scheme/help-to-buy-2021-2023/