Getting onto the property ladder with Shared Ownership

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First-time buyers Lucy and Bryn have fully embraced Shared Ownership and would encourage others to do the same.

The young couple from Cheshire bought their first home using the scheme and are now enjoying life as home-owners. Lucy, 26, tells us why Shared Ownership was a great option for them.

“We have wanted to own our own home for years, and we finally got to a place last year where we were ready to purchase,” she says. “I was constantly on Rightmove looking for homes when I came across one offering Shared Ownership. I’d heard of Shared Ownership but never really looked into it and never thought you could buy a new-build property with it, which is what we wanted.”

Shared Ownership allows you to buy a share in a new home, ranging from 25% to 75%, depending on what you can afford. A housing association owns the remaining share, and you pay a reduced rent on this share. This means that you need to get a smaller mortgage to buy the property, and will also need a smaller deposit.

The house Lucy found was a two-bedroom home at Canal Fields in Sandbach being sold on a Shared Ownership basis by Plus Dane Housing and at £28,750 for a 25% share Lucy believed this was within their reach.

She reveals, “I saw that Plus Dane was having an open day at the development and that mortgage advisors would be there, so I took the afternoon off work and went along. The mortgage advisor went through our income and expenditure and was really positive so I came away thinking we could actually do it.”

The couple went ahead with the purchase and are now paying just £218 rent and £110 mortgage on their new home, something Lucy feels is a real benefit.

She says, “We never wanted to just rent as it’s money wasted. Now we’re paying rent and a mortgage so there is a goal at the end, the property is becoming ours. I never thought we would get to this point so to achieve that is really nice. And because our payments are low enough we’re hoping to staircase in the next two years so we will reduce the rent we’re paying and increase the mortgage.”

When you buy a Shared Ownership home you also have the option to buy more shares in your home when you are ready, known as Staircasing. At this point the amount of rent that you pay on the unsold share will reduce accordingly, and if you staircase to 100% there will be no rent to pay.

“It’s a step by step process,” Lucy says, “the payments are ideal meaning we’re able to still save and buy more shares when we’re financially ready. I see some of my friends struggling to save for a full mortgage and I think why stress? With Shared Ownership you can get onto the property ladder and work towards that goal, it’s such a good option.”

If Lucy and Bryn have inspired you to find out more about Shared Ownership you can contact us on 0300 790 0570 or email info@helptobuynw.org.uk.