Shared Ownership leads to new home for the Mills Family
As Shared Ownership Week gathers steam this week, it’s great to hear how people have managed to buy a brand new home with this government-backed scheme, which allows people who can’t afford a suitable property on the open market to buy a share of a home and pay subsidised rent on the balance.
Belinda and Christopher Mills, together with their young children, Mason and Isabella, now live in a brand new home in Wellingborough thanks to a Shared Ownership scheme from housing association Metropolitan.
Their three-bedroom home is at The Leys, an attractive development of 40 new homes. It’s a big step up from their previous property, a two-bedroom rented home which the family had outgrown.
The Shared Ownership properties at The Leys required the family to finance just a 30% share with savings and a mortgage, only paying a deposit on the share that they were buying rather than on the full property value.
Thereafter, they pay the mortgage on this share, a subsidised rent on the rest, and the service charge. The monthly housing cost of a little over £560 is less than it would cost to rent a similar quality property privately in the area.
Belinda explains: “We were in a two-bedroom property with two children we really needed a larger home nearer to Chris’s work that we could settle in for the longer term. We didn’t want a huge mortgage to over-burden ourselves. We can stay here. With renting you can get moved on. We wanted somewhere that the kids could grow up in.”
“I found out about Shared Ownership through the housing association that I was renting from, they had mentioned the scheme on their website and in their newsletters. It took a while before we decided to buy because we were in Bedford, where values are much higher, but my husband works in Northamptonshire and so we started looking this way.
“When we saw the advert for The Leys, the fact that it came with fitted kitchens, bathrooms and carpets made it very attractive – we already knew and liked the area as we have family who live locally in Wellingborough.”
Belinda and Christopher completed their initial application for Shared Ownership with Orbit, the local Help To Buy Agent, which manages applications for low-cost homeownership schemes in the Midlands, late in 2014. The family then viewed with Metropolitan in January 2015, received their mortgage offer in February and exchanged and completed (moving in) late in April 2015.
“We’re settling in fine, we’re really happy,” says Belinda. “My daughter has settled in well at her new school and it’s a much shorter commute to work for Chris.”