Mason Parker, left, with Isle of Wight Council deputy leader Cllr Steve Stubbings and Isle of Wight Council operations manager Lorraine Bower. Picture by Robin Crossley.
A NEW mortgage scheme has seen its first purchasers collect the keys to their new homes.
Amongst the first buyers is 23-year-old Mason Parker, who is one of the youngest Islanders to buy a house through the scheme to date.
The Local Lend a Hand scheme, a £1 million investment package involving Lloyds Bank and Isle of Wight Council, was launched in March to give first time buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with a low deposit.
It has allowed Mason to buy a three-bed, semi-detached Victorian property on The Broadway, Sandown.
Mason said: "I heard about Local Lend a Hand online and thought it was a very good opportunity.
"I had been renting with friends until about three months ago, when I moved back in with my parents to save up for a deposit on my first home.
"The whole application process was very straightforward and I was able to see the mortgage advisor fairly quickly. All in all, the process took about eight weeks to complete.
"I’m really happy with my new house and would encourage other first time buyers to look into the scheme, as it can really help."
The Local Lend a Hand scheme allows borrowers to choose any existing previously-owned Island property, up to a maximum mortgage of £150,000.
First time buyers put down a minimum five per cent of the property price and the council provides a cash-backed indemnity of up to 20 per cent as additional security.
Steve Stubbings, Isle of Wight Council executive member for adult social care and community well-being, said: "The scheme is designed to provide a much-needed boost to the local housing economy, while helping people buy their first homes — and this shows it is already working."
The scheme is offered on a first-come, first-served basis and those who would like to know more should visit Lloyds Bank and ask about the scheme.
Marc Page, Lloyds Bank mortgages director, added: "Local Lend a Hand addresses some of the real problems that prospective buyers on the Island might face.
"It’s great to see first time buyers like Mason getting the keys to their new home."