Carly & Sam’s Story

Stamp Duty holiday saves first time buyers £10,000 and gets them onto the ladder

Moved in


The Chancellor’s decision to extend the stamp duty holiday and offer a tapered ending means that almost half (45%) of all properties will be exempt from the tax from July to September, according to Rightmove. One couple, Carly Holland (41) and her partner Sam Duwensee (37), found that the stamp duty holiday combined with Help to Buy was their route onto the property ladder, with the government incentives allowing them to purchase their first home: a three-bedroom home at Martin Grant Homes’ Coombelands Gardens development in Addlestone, Surrey.

Carly and Sam were living in Addlestone and renting a three-bedroom home with their daughter Etta-Lilly (8) and Carly’s son Ben (19). The couple had been saving for a deposit for around 18 months, and had been keeping an eye on the local property market. Newly-armed with information about Help to Buy, the couple put down their deposit – and were thrilled when just a few weeks late, the Chancellor announced a temporary stamp duty holiday.

Sam, who works in sales, comments: “We had been saving for a deposit for a few years but thought we were still a way off from buying. We hadn’t even heard of Help to Buy until around a year ago so had been prepared to pay a minimum 10 per cent deposit. We attended an event at our local estate agents Seymours and spoke to a broker who explained more about Help to Buy and completed an affordability assessment there and then. When we found out we could afford to buy at Coombelands Gardens we decided to go for it straight away and were one of the first buyers to put down a deposit.

“The stamp duty holiday came at an excellent time for us, as we had been expecting to pay the tax. In total the exemption saved us £10,000 which is an incredible amount of money, and meant that we could put that money towards buying new furniture and other items for the house instead, which was a huge help.”

The current stamp duty holiday has supported hundreds of thousands of transactions to date, many of these first time buyers, and will continue to boost the property market over the coming months before returning to the previous model in October whereby first time buyers will continue to be exempt from the tax up to the value of £300,000.

Dean Markall, Sales and Marketing Director at Martin Grant Homes, comments: “The stamp duty holiday has been a lifeline for the property market, and we are pleased that first time buyers like Carly and Sam have been able to benefit from the tax break. This combined with Help to Buy has proven to be a real catalyst for first time buyers accessing homeownership over the past year, as they are able to purchase a new home with a considerably lower upfront cost.”

“We’re so happy to have moved in and are really enjoying being here. The development overall offers a good balance of countryside yet is really well connected and close to the shops, so we aren’t totally isolated. There is also a really strong sense of community despite not being able to meet properly due to lockdown and lots of families here – our next-door neighbour’s daughter is a similar age to Etta-Lilly, so it will be lovely when they can play together.”

Long before the stamp duty holiday was announced, Carly and Sam had been aware of Coombelands Gardens thanks to their nearby walks and runs through Franklands Park and the neighbouring woods in Addlestone, which borders the development.

Sam adds: “We had been keeping an eye on the development ever since the initial clearing works began a couple of years ago. Our previous home was literally around the corner, so we were able to watch the development from the very beginning and see our house each day through the woods.”

Coombelands Gardens offers a collection of 40 new homes set on the site of a former printworks owned by print magnate Percival E Jones in the 1920s, who had a factory with a model village and leisure facilities provided for his workers. The new homes have been designed to complement the historic area and are surrounded by mature trees and countryside, with green open spaces and a trim trail within the development.

For families, there are a good range of schools available locally, alongside leisure opportunities ranging from hiking and biking in the Surrey Hills to hiring a boat on the river at Chertsey. Commuters have two easy options – Addlestone Rail Station is a nine-minute drive away (or 11 minutes by bike) offering trains to London Waterloo in 52 minutes with a change at Weybridge Rail Station. Alternatively, Weybridge is around a 15 minute drive from the development with connections to London Waterloo in 35 minutes.

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