When Debbie and Matthew Long found the perfect property for their young family, they knew that Shared Ownership was the only way they would be able to make their dream become reality. With the help of Leaders’ Shared Ownership team, the couple had sold their old home and moved into their new one within just four months.
The couple, who moved into the new property at the end of August, were actually upsizing from their first 2-bedroom home to a much bigger, detached 3-bedroom family home. With two young children, more space and a large back garden were two criteria Debbie and husband Matthew were not prepared to overlook when searching for properties.
“We had actually enquired about another property on the development Persimmon were building in Bishops Stortford, but all the 3 beds had been reserved,” said Debbie. “As soon as one became re-available though, Leaders called us back to tell us. We were familiar with the area and the developer – so after some initial chats and viewings, we knew we could see ourselves living here.”
Keen to find out how they could start the process, Debbie and Matthew booked an appointment with the Leaders’ Shared Ownership team to discuss their options. “Our old property had been bought using Shared Ownership, so we did have an understanding of how the scheme works, but it was helpful to discuss the routes available to us.”
What is Shared Ownership?
Shared Ownership is a housing scheme giving first-time buyers or those on a lower income the chance to enter the property market. The scheme is a combination of buying and renting, which allows buyers to purchase a property using a deposit and a mortgage, then pay rent (at a reduced price) on the remaining share. It is usually available on either new home or re-sale properties, via a housing association.
Who’s eligible for Shared Ownership?
Many people think Shared Ownership isn’t an option unless you are a key worker, such as a nurse or teacher. However, in England, Shared Ownership is available to:
- First-time buyers or those who used to own a home but can’t afford one now
- People whose combined household income is less than £80,000 (or less than £90,000 in London)
- You rent a council or housing association property.
For the Longs, a £54,000 deposit and 40% ownership, meant they were able to secure the home they wanted. “For us, Shared Ownership was the only way of getting the family we home we need, and the only way we could get on to the property ladder,” said Debbie.
Leaders’ Shared Ownership team were always on hand to guide the couple through the process. “Everyone at Leaders was really helpful,” added Debbie. “It’s a very close company, so we were passed over to the best person in the process very easily. The team lead me through everything and were very responsive at a stressful time when I needed help or questions answered.”
Although not newcomers to Shared Ownership, the Longs had not used Sage Housing before. “As an affordable home provider, Sage has proven to be a lot more understanding and helpful already,” added Debbie. “Leaders made the process with Sage a lot better.”
“With Leaders help, we have increased from our first home to our ‘forever home’ – and we’d like to think we’ll be able to do the same again in time to come.”
Leaders’ property experts offer a bespoke, supportive service dedicated to helping you find your dream home. To discover more about Leaders and how we are striving to support first-time buyers through the Shared Ownership scheme, call 02380 981 565.
Check out our Shared Ownership properties, here!