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A lot has changed in the last year for James and Jasmine (both 24) since buying their first home together, but not their enthusiasm for how shared ownership with Sovereign Living helped them get on the property ladder in Thatcham.

“I knew when we left school this would probably be the only way we could afford to move out and have our own property without throwing money away at private rent,” says Jasmine. “Berkshire is a very expensive place to live but we wanted the option to still be near family and friends. I think shared ownership is a brilliant way to get on the housing ladder, especially if you live in an area where house prices are very high and are rising.”

Much has changed in the last year for the young couple since moving into their two bedroom house at The Apiary, for one Jasmine has changed jobs. “This has allowed us to spend more money on the property and start putting our stamp on it. We were so used to living apart, so the last 14 months have been amazing as this has been something we have been working towards for years,” says Jasmine. “We love having our own home, and we are really enjoying decorating and making it personal to us. We love the layout of the property and really like the area the house is in.”

James and Jasmine put down a 5% deposit which they had been saving for whilst living separately at their parent’s homes. They also factored in costs for flooring, legal fees and a moving van, as well as treating themselves to new furniture.

Having registered on West Berkshire’s housing list as soon as they left school, it gave them a good advantage when it came to applying for their home. They also registered on Help to Buy South’s website, which is where they saw their home advertised.

“We reserved the property off-plan as it wasn’t finished, but when we viewed the property we loved it. It was a perfect starter home for the two of us and we were very happy as it was a house and not a flat. We’ve always wanted to have the option of having a garden,” says James.

Jasmine continues, “We found the process quite simple and chose to use a financial advisor which meant the whole process was a lot less stressful. It’s important for people to do their research though, as I know some people think they are not fully responsible for repairs as they rent part of the property.”

Thinking of their next year and beyond, “I see us living here and eventually growing into a family. This could be in our current home, or eventually in a bigger property if we get the right opportunity to sell the property and make a profit.”

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