The rat and mouse have a good post about a report on new build incentives to buyers as reported in the Daily Telegraph.
This caught my attention as I have been inundated recently with emails and offers from developers telling me how summer heights and other awfully named projects are the best places to live since you could buy your own council house. Indeed, not only is the Zen (I kid you not) a blissfully appealing place to live, but there are a number of Zen like schemes to make it all affordable, especially if you are a first time buyer.
So I went to see one and have a chat with the sales rep. As she was telling me all about the great features of this pathetically small(poor plot) one bedroom flat and what incentive schemes were on offer, I called her bluff and asked outright how keen she was to get rid of the property. In other words, what would she take?! Slightly taken aback she indicated that a small discount may be available, but i could see in her eyes she was desperate so i offered to buy for what I thought was a considerabe 20% discount on the offer price. She gulped and explained she would have to ask her superiors.
I didn't expect a call back so I was surprised when she came back to me and said we had a deal if I could sign and deposit very quickly. I said I would if she threw in a Chelsea season ticket for my nephew. Perhaps the camel that broke the other camel's back as she never called back, but it goes to show what is available.
If you have the funds and really want to (a) live in compound called 'Zen' or (b) think that property won't fall more than 20% and rental will survive and it will all bounce back anyway, then there are offers out there, just don't get fobbed off with a super-saver evergreen environmental scheme payment plan, just negotiate and take the discount.
I note the government also offer a first time buyer discount, which on first reading actually appears helpful. The devil is in the detail however and without boring you, you have to start repaying the government after a period of time and guess what - this money goes towards the 50% they lent you? Not a chance, you pay for the facility and still have to pay back the 50% when you sell, at the market value at the time!