Affordable housing schemes such as Shared Ownership help many onto the ladder. First-time buyers, former renters Maria and Tom used the scheme to buy their first home at a development in Zone 2 South East London. Through Shared Ownership, the couple were able to buy a home in the area they wanted, without having to pay over their budget. Here is their story.
To move or not to move: The London renter’s dilemma
Buying a home for the first time often means sacrificing luxuries like a short commute or the flexibility to move if you don’t like where you’re renting. Maria, a 26-year-old Legal Services HR Officer, explains: "Tom and I have always lived in South London, renting an apartment near to Old Kent Road. When we decided that we wanted to buy our first home, we knew that we wanted to stay local, because there is so much to do and great transport connections for me to commute to Liverpool Street and Tom to Moorgate. It was only once we started house-hunting, however, that we first realised how competitive the market is, and how much of a struggle it might be to find something that was within our budget!"
Shared Ownership: Too good to be true?
"When we discovered the Shared Ownership scheme, it seemed the answer to all our prayers. We saw Camberwell Fields online, but thought it looked too good to be true - the location was perfect, and upon visiting, we realised how good the build quality and internal specification was. We registered our interest that day, knowing that it might be popular.”
The buying process: How they did it
"We were allocated our first choice apartment, which is a spacious two bedroom flat that we purchased for £183,000 for a 40% share. Full market value, the apartment was £457,500, which we wouldn't have been able to afford without using Shared Ownership. The process of buying through Notting Hill Sales was a lot simpler than we were anticipating, because their sales advisers had solicitors and mortgage brokers that they could recommend us, which saved us a lot of work. We bought off-plan, but were invited to visit a little while before it was finished, which was so exciting to see and we couldn't wait to get in!"
Oval Quarter – A South London Zone 2 Shared Ownership Scheme
Oval Quarter is the final phase of a stunning selection of three bed family homes in Lambeth. This Zone 2 development is surrounded by well-known neighbours including Brixton, Clapham, Stockwell and Camberwell giving homeowners a sense of place. Purchasers can receive a £2000 legal contribution when completing on an apartment within 8 weeks of reservation.