First step on the property ladder for Sam and Bekah
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.
Sam and Bekah, aged 23 and 24, started looking for their first home in March 2021. After two years of living a long distance from each other while they studied on different continents, they got married in the US and Bekah moved to England to join Sam.
On the same day in March 2021, Sam’s employer announced that staff could continue working remotely after the pandemic, and their landlord gave them six months’ notice to move out as he wanted to sell the flat they were in. That was when they knew the next step for them was home ownership.
Sam’s work colleague was very experienced in property and suggested they consider shared ownership. After weeks of getting their heads around the idea of paying both rent and a mortgage at the same time, they decided it was the right step for them.
The couple bought a 45% share in a lovely two bedroom end-terrace home, at the Abbey Meadows development in Leicester. The house was ideally situated with a bus ride to the city, walking distance to the wonderful Abbey Park and only a short drive from a close relative.
“Without the shared ownership scheme we wouldn’t have been able to afford our own home, so it was a really good option for getting that first step on the ladder without sacrificing our dream to step down to part-time hours at work and start our own businesses together.” Sam says.
When you buy a home through shared ownership you have the option to buy more shares, known as staircasing, when you can afford to. Both Sam and Bekah are keen to work and save hard so they start to increase their share in the house, thereby reducing the rent.
They both enjoyed a positive experience of buying their first home. They dealt with a number of housing associations along the journey but felt that “NCHA were very efficient, kind and understanding and were able to put themselves in our position, making the process very straightforward.”
The couple are now looking to the future, content with the fact they have taken their first step onto the property ladder at such a young age. They are both working from home, with plenty of space and a lovely garden, and are looking forward to hosting guests now they have more space.
“We really love the area and this is where we want to live, but we wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy without shared ownership, so we would definitely recommend it. We’d say to anyone thinking of using the scheme not to be put off – do your research, talk to people you trust and find what works for you. Don’t be ashamed if you don’t understand, and don’t assume you can’t afford it.”