Thinking about moving? Help to Buy is changing…

Whether slipping the rental trap, calling time on cohabiting with parents or stepping onto the property ladder with a loved one, there rightly remains a high degree of romance about crossing the threshold of your first home.

There is an undeniable thrill about poring over particulars, viewing potential properties and imagining how you might configure furniture in new surrounds, however, securing a set of keys can be more of a frustration than a fairy tale.

The property market has demonstrated itself to be largely immune to the coronavirus pandemic, with house prices hitting a record high this summer, but set against a background of general economic unease and concerns over employment, this can make clawing together a deposit and securing a mortgage offer a significant challenge. Fortunately, the government’s Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme for 2021-2023 should serve to make life easier for first-time homebuyers. Now open to applications, the initiative – a shift towards shared ownership – allows domestic debutants to borrow an equity loan of up to 20 per cent (40 in London) of the sale price of a new build home.

Diminishing the associated stresses of a house move is also high on the agenda of the team at PLS Solicitors, who have partnered with an array of homebuilders to streamline the conveyancing process.

Negating the need to hunt down a property specialist on the high street or search for legal representation online, the innovative law firm can now provide homeowners-in-waiting with a quote and accept instructions at the point of sale.

With the click of a button and courtesy of PLS’ easy-to-use app, customers can access and sign forms and submit proof of identification via their phones within minutes of picking a plot and before even leaving a development’s marketing suite.

The company’s embrace of robotic process automation means previously time-intensive searches and Land Registry checks can begin almost immediately and its askPLS tool enables case progress and mortgage status to be tracked using an Amazon Alexa smart device.

By shouldering the burden of the “boring bits” and providing a reassuring voice on the phone if ever required, PLS Solicitors can help first-time buyers revel in the romance of finding a place to call their own.