"A new chapter for me"
Shared ownership is an affordable way to buy a home of your own. NCHA's customers have written about their experiences in a series of case studies, to explain what shared ownership has done for them.
For many people a shared ownership home is their first chance to get on the housing ladder, a first step towards home ownership.
But for Barbara, her new home in a Leicestershire village is likely to be her last. “They’ll have to carry me out of here,” she laughs.
Barbara is in her mid-seventies. Still very active, the village location is just what she was after; close to shops, her church, the train station, and plenty of countryside to walk her beloved Labrador.
She’d lived abroad with her husband for over a decade, before returning to the UK about six years ago. Their plans to buy were thwarted when her husband fell ill, and when he passed away late last year, they were renting from a friend.
Newly widowed and under the shadow of COVID-19, Barbara had to reassess where her life would go next. She closed down her late husband’s business and looked to rent privately in the village where she’d built up a great support network of friends.
“I wasn’t looking to buy.” Barbara explains: “I wanted to rent in the village, but it wasn’t easy. Private rents in the area are really high and no one would take me with the dog. She’d been my husband’s companion while he was ill; re-homing her was not an option!
“My friend suggested we take a look at the new houses being built in the village, and at the show home they explained that some of the houses were shared ownership from NCHA.”
Barbara had never heard of shared ownership before, but was delighted to discover it was the perfect option for her: “I bought 25% of the house outright and pay rent on the rest. The rent I pay on this house is less than half what I would have had to pay if I’d rented privately.”
Shared ownership has allowed Barbara to stay in the village she loves, she has not been priced out of the market, and she got to keep her dog: “I basically bought a house for the dog,” she jokes.
“This house is a new chapter for me. I have so many friends in the area, the church and so much else close by, I can visit my family easily from here. I love the village, I love the house, we’re near the train line and I even love watching the people go by on the train.
“Shared ownership was the perfect solution for me, and the added security that it’s mine! I’ve moved four times in the last six years. I can stay put now.”