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Former convict's first-time lifeline; HOUSING.

A new initiative was launched yesterday to help first time buyers get on the property ladder.

Property investor Saad at Khan has launched a new company, Comfortable Start, which will offer first time buyers discounts of up to 40 per cent on new build homes.

The company buys new properties from developers they are having trouble selling.

It has bought more than 200 homes in the North West at discounts of between 20 and 40 per cent.

The group sells the properties on to first-time buyers, passing on the bulk of the discount but retaining some to make a profit, typically five per cent.

It will give buyers a five per cent deposit, which they never have to repay, and cover the stamp duty.

For example, if Comfortable Start buys a property at a 40 per cent discount, it will typically pass on 30 per cent of this to the first-time buyer, plus a five per cent deposit, meaning it makes five per cent on the transaction.

Mr Khan said the deal would enable people to buy their first home without having to go through shared ownership, while they would also have a comfortable equity cushion against house price falls.

It is offering buyers the chance to purchase homes at The Hawthorns development in Blackley, Manchester, which have been valued at pounds 130,000 for pounds 79,000.

Mr Khan, who describes himself as a "Burnley lad", said he had launched the scheme because he genuinely wanted to help people.

He said life had not always been easy for him, and as a young man he had spent time 'detained at her majesty's pleasure'
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 20, 2008
Words:274
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