Jenny and Andrew, both 24, have recently moved into a brand new Shared Ownership home at Calderstones Grove in Liverpool. The young couple, who were both living at home with their parents, had been talking about possibly getting their own place when they heard about the apartments at Calderstones Grove.
"We literally saw the sign," says Jenny, "we lived close to where the development was being built so once they were ready we saw the advertisement and went online to have a look."
"Whilst we were looking we realised the properties were for sale on a Shared Ownership basis. I'd heard about Shared Ownership before but wasn't quite sure what it meant, so I started researching it and realised it would be a good fit for us."
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 was perfect for Jenny and Andrew as large deposit requirements had been a barrier for them.
Jenny explains, "I think nowadays it's so hard to get a mortgage, especially for younger people. We had a good deposit but still couldn't get a conventional mortgage, so Shared Ownership was a great option for us."
Once they had decided Shared Ownership was for them, the couple went along to a viewing day at the development where they had to choose three apartment options, ranked in order of preference.
"After that we were assessed and allocated an apartment," explains Jenny, "we almost didn't get our first choice of apartment as they were so popular but we did in the end and we were made up!"
The apartment they bought is part of a development of 16 two-bedroom apartments just a short drive from the bars, restaurants and amenities of Allerton Road and Rose Lane, which all feature a balcony or Juliet with patio doors, a high spec finish and quality fixtures and fittings.
"It's an ideal first home," Jenny reveals, "the location is perfect, and it's good to know we've got warranties if anything goes wrong. You never know with an older house."
The couple finally received the keys to their new home on 31st October 2014, and moved in the first week in December.
"That was a good day," Jenny says, "it felt like it had been a long wait but it was definitely worth it in the end. It was nice to have our own place, and we had our first Christmas together just the two of us, it was lovely."
Andrew says, "The best thing about having our own place is the freedom. I also like the fact it's safe and secure, with its own parking."
So now that they're home-owners do they have any advice for other first-time buyers?
Jenny says, "Research the property and everything that goes with buying it. If you're buying a Shared Ownership property, it's definitely worth using a Solicitor who knows the product as it's so specialised. Most of all you just need to have patience! Looking back I was so stressed, but you just need to be calm and let happen, it will all work out in the end."
If Jenny and Andrew have inspired you to find out more about Shared Ownership you can contact us on 0300 790 0570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org