BoKlok celebrates National Home Buying Week
This week BoKlok is celebrating National Home Buying Week (19th – 26th March).
Headed up by First Time Buyer Magazine, this national campaign is dedicated to first time buyers and assisting them with that initial step onto the housing ladder – something which Boklok itself is very passionate about.
We speak to Jerrie Kristiansson, Sales Director of BoKlok UK, who explains more about the BoKlok approach and why BoKlok is so passionate about helping first time buyers into homeownership.
- BoKlok is built on a concept that everyone should have the same opportunity to ‘live well’. Our homes are designed to offer value for money and to maximise space. We are passionate about making home ownership more accessible to first time buyers, key workers and those wishing to live more sustainably.
- The BoKlok model has worked successfully in the Nordics for over 25 years. In 2020 we were very excited to officially launch our first development in the UK, BoKlok on the Brook, in Bristol. Following a sell-out success here, we launched BoKlok on the Lake in Worthing. The first phase here is now all sold, with a second phase due to launch soon.
How do you assist first time buyers?
- We aim to make the home buying process both fair and transparent. We understand that most of our purchasers are going through the process for the first time. Each development has a dedicated sales team, so our customers are always dealing with the same, familiar faces. We also have a series of step-by-step guides to assist purchasers and to support them. Our website is packed full of useful information for our customers, and we have created a Guide to Buying a Boklok Home to assist purchasers throughout their journey with us. By working closely with recommended mortgage advisors and conveyancers, who understand the new build market, we are able to make sure that our customers are supported and fully understand the whole process and all of the options available to them.
- We also offer our purchasers a series of additional benefits to include a £300 IKEA gift card, a free 1.5 hour session with an IKEA interior designer and a free handyperson service (for two hours) once they are moved in. These are all designed to ease any upfront costs and to assist our homeowners as they settle into their new home.
What makes BoKlok different?
- It is our ambition to assist more people in the UK to purchase a new home that is not only built more sustainably, but one that is designed to assist them to live more sustainably too. Our homes include a series of features such as water saving taps, enhanced insulation and Air Source Heat Pumps (to our houses). Working in partnership with IKEA, our homes are also designed to maximise space, with careful attention paid to the layouts and the way in which people will actually live within their home.
- Our approach to selling is a little different too. At BoKlok, when our homes are released for sale we do this via a BoKlok ballot. Anyone interested in reserving a BoKlok home has an opportunity to participate (as long as they have a mortgage in principle in place/ are able to prove they can afford to purchase one of our homes). Investors are not permitted to enter the ballot and all applicants must be in a proceedable position (i.e. not have a property to sell/be under offer). A draw then takes place and those who are drawn successfully are offered an opportunity (very importantly in turn), to reserve a BoKlok home. We believe that this is the fairest and most transparent approach and gives everyone an equal opportunity to reserve one of our homes.
How many of your UK purchasers so far have been first time buyers?
- The short answer is nearly all of them! Our first development, BoKlok on the Brook in Bristol has been a sell-out success, with 97% of our purchasers here being first time buyers. So far, at our second development, Boklok on the Lake in Worthing, we have released and sold out of the first phase – with 91% of purchasers here being first time buyers. Phase two is due to be released soon and we expect to see more first time buyers choosing to make their home here.”
What do you see as the challenges for first time buyers?
- A big challenge has to be affordability. For many first time buyers, being able to save a sufficient deposit is the main barrier preventing them from stepping onto the housing ladder. At both of our developments so far we have had Help to Buy available, enabling purchasers to buy with just a 5% deposit – this has proved hugely popular, with over 75% of our UK purchasers opting to use this scheme.
- I would also say that the whole home buying process in the UK is quite a lengthy and a complex one, which can be daunting when you are approaching this for the first time. At BoKlok we provide purchasers with a range of information and fact sheets, to guide them. In addition, we provide our purchasers with access to our recommended mortgage advisors and conveyancers. Customers are free to choose whether they appoint them or not, but as specialists in the new build market they are ideally positioned to support our customers as they navigate their home buying journey. We are also open and transparent throughout, with processes such as our ballot designed to give everyone an equal opportunity to reserve one of our homes.
National Home Buying Week is designed to inspire and support those looking to purchase their first home. With a dedicated website offering access to a range of information from videos and podcasts to articles and print outs covering everything from stamp duty and deposits to navigating leasehold.
Read more about first time buyers, Aisling and Lewis (featured above) – our first UK purchasers.