Help to Buy helps couple to move out of rented one-bedroom flat into their own detached house in Surrey

A couple have upgraded from a one-bedroom rented flat to their very own three-bedroom detached house in Surrey thanks to the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Roberto and Julie Balasco moved into their newly built house at Ashberry Homes’ Chestnut Grove development in Ash Green in January this year.

They had previously lived in Bristol and Grenada before they moved to Walton-on-Thames five years ago.

Julie said: “We were in a rented one-bedroom flat in Walton-on-Thames and so it has been really nice to move into a three-bedroom house with a lot more space.

“The rent for that one-bedroom flat was barely £25 less than the monthly mortgage we are now paying for a three-bedroom house – and also that rent was going to someone else. It is definitely worth buying your own home because it is an investment.”

Roberto, 41, is a senior manager while Julie, 37, works as an administrator. As first-time buyers, they found that buying a new-build house was more financially accessible since it allowed them to take advantage of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme which provides up to 20 per cent of the price as an equity loan which accrues no interest for the first five years.

This means they could buy their new home with just a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage. The scheme is only available for first-time buyers on new-build homes under the price cap for the region – in Surrey this is £437,600.

The couple initially paid a visit to Chestnut Grove last October since the site was a short drive from both their respective workplaces.

Roberto said: “My brother, Stefano is a mortgage advisor and he asked me if we wanted to have a look at the house at Chestnut Grove as it was close enough to where we worked and just half an hour away from where we lived.

“We had no intention of buying a property and we came just to have a look. What steered us to buy it was that we loved the house and we loved the area.”

Julie added: “We were not looking to buy a property at the time, and we kept putting it off because our plan was to keep saving up. For the last 10 years, we have moved around a bit but now we are more settled where we are. So it was a good time to buy a house.”

They are both delighted to have finally bought a place of their own as they relish the privileges that come with homeownership and the peace of mind which comes with a new-build property.

Julie said: “The fact that you can do what you want with your own home is wonderful, because you cannot do much to a property you are renting. It is a great feeling to have that freedom of choice, and we got to choose the flooring, the carpets, and the tiles as well in our new home.”

Roberto added: “We did not want to go to an old property and then have to think about all the work it needed to be ready for us. We both work full-time and so we wanted a house that was simple and easy without any hassle.”

The couple love the peaceful location of their new home in the village of Ash Green.

Roberto continued: “The flat we lived in was at the centre of Walton-on-Thames right by the river but if I am honest, it got quite rowdy at night especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

“We do not have to worry about that anymore because it is very peaceful in Ash and that is something we really appreciate. It is so relaxing here and we have the woods just opposite to our house.”

The customer service they received from Ashberry Homes also impressed Roberto and Julie.

Roberto said: “Whenever we have had any snagging issues with the house the site team have fixed it immediately, and they are always attentive around the clock.”

Ashberry Homes is building 59 two to four-bedroom homes at Chestnut Grove, off White Lane in Ash Green.

To find out more about this development, visit