When Rebecca Ellis decided it was time to buy her own house she discovered that Shared Ownership was the perfect way to get her foot on the property ladder.
Rebecca, 30, from Cheshire had saved for many years in order to buy her own home but then decided to use her savings in order to go to university and train to become a nurse.
Now a fully qualified Staff Nurse she works for the NHS and earlier this year decided it was time to look for a home of her own.
Rebecca explains, “After completing my training I decided it was time to get my foot on the property ladder as I knew the longer I left it the harder it would be to get a mortgage. I’d been saving for about a year after using my previous savings for uni, so my deposit was only small. When I found the house I wanted to buy the estate agent told me it was for sale on a Shared Ownership basis, explaining all about the scheme, and I realised that my small deposit would be enough.”
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 home Rebecca had her eye on was actually a Shared Ownership Resale from Plus Dane Housing. A Resale is a property that has been bought through Shared Ownership in the past, which the owner now wants to sell and move on. In this particular case the share the owner was looking to sell was 25%, exactly what Rebecca could afford, however not everything was that easy.
Rebecca reveals, “The application process was really straight-forward and Plus Dane were great. They were happy to work around my schedule and explained and simplified everything for me which was really helpful. However, my mortgage advisor wasn’t aware of the Shared Ownership process and this made things more complicated and the process a lot longer. So I’d advise anyone thinking of using Shared Ownership to use a mortgage advisor who is familiar with the product.”
Once all the legal and financial details were sorted out Rebecca was able to go ahead with her purchase and is now paying just £143 mortgage and £345 rent and service charge on her two bedroom apartment.
She says, “Before I bought my apartment I rented a two bedroom flat in a similar part of town for £550. Now I own my own house for less than that and I don’t have to share with anyone! I’m so glad to have my foot on the property ladder as realistically it would have taken me 5-10 years longer without Shared Ownership. Now in two years’ time when my fixed-rate mortgage is up I’ll be able to increase my share.”
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.
Rebecca is now enjoying life in her new home after moving in last month.
She adds, “It’s finally starting to sink in that it’s mine! I’m not paying someone else’s mortgage, I’m paying my own. I think there is a bit of a stigma attached to Shared Ownership as people don’t really understand what’s involved. But they should look at all of their options and speak to others who have used it as I think if they see its helping people onto the property ladder they would see the benefit of it.”
If Rebecca has inspired you to find out more about Shared Ownership you can contact us on 0300 790 0570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shared Ownership Week takes place 5th-11th October 2015, follow @soweeklive on Twitter for more information.
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