Shared Ownership allows Winsford Couple to Plan for Early Retirement

Ian Oakes, 56 and his wife Susan, 57, wanted to plan for their future and decided Shared Ownership was the best way to do that.

The couple were renting an old home in Winsford, Cheshire that had a lot of issues. So when Ian received a lump sum from his pension the couple decided they wanted to put it to good use and invest in a new home.

Ian explains, “We were renting a home that was over a hundred years-old and paying £700 a month to live in a really cold house. We had to have the heating on full blast even in the summer! So when I received my pension lump sum we thought, rather than waste it, we should invest in a new home.”

Luckily Susan’s sister put the couple on to Shared Ownership as an affordable option after buying her home on the scheme over 20 years ago.  So the couple started looking for homes in their area.

Ian says, “We looked at a couple of houses, including a development just down the road but they were no were near as good as the houses at Woodford Grange. Once we saw these and how good they were we were sold!”

Woodford Grange is a £47m new housing development in Winsford built by award winning house-builder Keepmoat Homes.  The scheme comprises 401 new homes, of which 130 are being built on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council – the first local authority housing in the region for decades.

Affordable homeownership specialist, HomesHub, is selling 20 three-bedroom homes for Shared Ownership on behalf of the Council with prices starting from just £38,750 for a 25% share.

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.

This really appealed to Ian and Susan as their lump sum allowed them to put equity into buying a 35% share meaning they only had to obtain a small mortgage over ten years.

Once they realised Woodford Grange was for them, the couple got in touch with HomesHub Sales Officer, Trish to arrange a viewing.

Ian recalls, “We had quite a bit of contact with Trish throughout the process which was great. She kept us well informed and recommended us a Solicitor who was very good. I thought the whole legal process was going to be a nightmare but it was a lot easier than I thought and we were ready to complete seven weeks before the home was built!”

“I was really impressed with the whole service and would give HomesHub ten out of ten, I couldn’t fault them.”

The couple are now enjoying the benefits of their new home after completing their move in January 2018 with their two sons and cocker-spaniel, Daisy.

Ian says, “After we moved in I turned to Sue and said, I can’t believe we’re sat in a brand-new house paying less than when we were renting.  We feel really lucky and would recommend Shared Ownership to anyone. It’s a great way of buying an affordable home.”

Alison Gittins, Sales Manager for HomesHub says, “The Woodford Grange development, through Shared Ownership, offers a real opportunity to local working people who will have the chance to step onto the property ladder and purchase a brand new home without the need for a huge deposit. HomesHub are proud to be selling on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester council much needed quality affordable housing in Winsford.”

To find out more about Shared Ownership at Woodford Grange, please visit the Help to Buy North West website.