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Coach driver Rose Clark (50) had been a homeowner for many years, buying her own house before she got married. Following a divorce, she was left without enough money to buy a property outright, and thought she would need to rent through the council. However, thanks to shared ownership she’s been able to buy a home at Sovereign Living’s Vyne Park development in Basingstoke. 

“I lived in Chineham previously, and it was so peaceful and quiet – I wanted somewhere similar,” Rose explains. Before getting married she owned her own home, which she later shared with her ex-husband. After getting divorced she had to sell the house and split the proceeds, which meant she didn’t have enough funds to buy another property. 

“I contacted the council to see about being put on the housing list,” she says. “They gave me information about Help to Buy South and what it’s all about. I’d seen leaflets on shared ownership before, but hadn’t considered it.” 

Having browsed properties online, she saw that Sovereign Living had announced they were building the Vyne Park development in Basingstoke, and asked when it would be ready. “I needed to stay this side of town near the A33 as I work in Reading, so the location was ideal.” 

Rose decided to apply for a semi-detached two-bedroom house, and found the process simple. “I went to Help to Buy events, which were useful, and Sovereign’s sales consultant Ella Fletcher was also very helpful.” 

She put down a deposit of £60,000 from the sale of her home, and secured a mortgage for £54,000, paying rent of £399 per month on top of that. 

Rose has now moved in, and is very happy with her home. “It’s great – it’s so modern, with a beautifully fitted kitchen and bathroom,” she says. “I have my own driveway, with space for two cars. For a two-bedroom property it’s very large, with a really nice sized garden. The development is not too big, and it’s on the edge of countryside. 

“It’s still very new here, so not a lot of people have moved in yet, but everyone is really friendly. I have a great neighbour who’s shared ownership, same as me.” 

Rose believes that shared ownership is ideal for people who don’t have a huge amount of money to use for a deposit, in particular young couples. “The home is yours, so you’re secure, but you’re not scrimping to pay a big mortgage,” she says. “Also, you’re not wasting money on private rent. If you’re paying rent you can’t afford to save for a deposit.”

She hopes to stay in her home for a very long time – “For the rest of my life!” she says. “I can buy more shares at any time. Hopefully, if I can afford to, I’d like to own the place outright one day.”

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