AFTER seven years of renting and two cancelled weddings, an impulse decision had a happy ending for Claire Rimmer and Paul Love.

Using their wedding fund as a deposit and with the aid of a Help to Buy equity loan, the couple have moved into a home of their own at Balmoral Gardens in Southport.

“We’d always talked about buying our own home but hadn’t really saved as it felt like a dream that would never happen because it’s difficult to put money aside when you’re paying rent,” Claire explained.

“Our wedding was cancelled twice because of the pandemic and so we made an impulse decision to spend the wedding fund on a house.”

Service adviser Claire, 34, and joiner Paul, 38, had seen the Elan Homes development at Balmoral Gardens starting to take shape and knew it was where they wanted to live as it’s close to family and friends.

“I went to the sales office and said ‘I need one of these houses,’” Claire recalled.

They bought a two-bedroom Beeston style property using the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme. Exclusive to first time buyers purchasing new build homes, Help to Buy reduces the initial cost of homeownership. Typically, someone buying in this way should only need a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage as the remaining 20% is covered by an equity loan, which is interest free for five years.

“We couldn’t have bought without Help to Buy because of the size of deposit we would have needed,” Claire said.

“After years of renting it was good to be able to choose the fixtures and fittings in our own home. We chose light grey kitchen units with darker grey worktops and in the bathroom we opted for funky brown stripe effect tiles.”

Claire added: “We love our new home. I sit here at night and still can’t believe this is ours and we own it.”

Claire said she “couldn’t fault” the Elan team, adding “everything has been perfect and they’ve gone the extra mile”.

“When they touched up the paint around the sockets they left us the rest of the paint, which was nice,” she said.

The couple’s son Harry, three, has the largest of the two bedrooms.

“We love how friendly everyone is. The site manager always gives us a wave,” Claire added.

“The sales office and show homes are only a few doors down from our home and Harry always asks if the sales executive is home because he thinks they live here too.”

To find out more about Balmoral Gardens or to arrange to view the show homes, see

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