Adam and Abbey paid just £124,000 for an ex-MOD semi in Brampton. (Picture: Metro.co.uk/ Lucy Knott)
Like many aspiring buyers in a similar situation, airport firefighter Adam Vernon and his partner Abbey Budd, both 24, were concerned that being put on furlough at the start of the pandemic would scupper their chances of getting on to the property ladder.
They found it harder to get a mortgage than under normal circumstances, but fortunately a decent-sized deposit enabled them to secure the deal they needed to move out of their rented flat and buy a three-bedroom house at Annington’s Dacre Road scheme on the edge of Brampton, a market town 10 miles east of Carlisle.
Annington is unique in the property sector in that it specialises in housing that formerly belonged to the Ministry of Defence.
The couple thought their house-buying plans had been foiled by the pandemic. (Picture: Lucy Knott)
The three bedroom house is part of a scheme offering MOD-owned properties at competitive prices. (Picture: Lucy Knott)
The company owns more than 40,000 homes across England and Wales which are leased back to the MOD to provide accommodation for service families, and any that become surplus to requirements are either rented out privately or sold.
The homes – predominantly terrace, semi-detached and detached houses – are usually refurbished before being offered for sale at competitive prices, often with incentives such as contributions towards legal and survey fees, and are popular with first-time buyers and key workers.
Adam managed to keep himself busy during furlough by going on-call for Brampton fire station as well as working as a truck driver and a supermarket delivery driver.
He explains: ‘I didn’t want to be stuck inside our flat with nothing to do and actually managed to increase my earnings during lockdown.’
As a firefighter, he needed to live within a few minutes of the fire station, and Dacre Road is perfectly situated for a quick dash when responding to an emergency.
The couple paid £124,000 for their spacious house, putting down a £30,000 deposit achieved through three years of hard saving plus an inheritance.
The house is well-located for the local fire station, where Adam works. (Picture: Lucy Knott)
The couple want to gut the flat and renovate it to their modern tastes. (Picture: Lucy Knott)
They were delighted to find that they now pay around £20 less per month on their mortgage than they previously forked out in rent, and feel they got a bargain.
The house had been lightly refurbished by Annington, and the electric, plumbing and heating systems all checked to give them peace of mind.
Its low price meant that Adam and Abbey had the funds to embark on some significant improvements to make it exactly how they wanted it.
‘Currently the house looks like a bombsite,’ laughs Abbey, a receptionist. ‘We’ve gutted it, knocking down walls to create a more open-plan living area and stripping it back to an empty shell.
‘We’re also going to put up a conservatory extension to house Adam’s pool table, which is certainly one of his priorities. After that, we’re going to do some work on the driveway to make parking easier.’
The houses in Brampton have all now been snapped up. However, Annington has other lightly refurbished homes for sale at locations throughout the country, including a range of three-bedroom semis at Marina Way in Ripon, North Yorkshire.
They include upstairs bathrooms, new living/dining room flooring, gardens and off-street parking, from £215,000.
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