Becky Moore and her family had outgrown their two-bedroom flat in Liden, near Swindon in Wiltshire. They longed to have more space, and a garden for their two daughters to run around in. Shared ownership gave them the opportunity to buy their own house at Sovereign Living’s Badbury Park development in Swindon, without having to provide a huge lump sum deposit upfront.
“We used to live in a two-bedroom flat a couple of minutes from Swindon,” explains Becky, who’s 25 and works as a health records clerk at the Great Western Hospital. She and her partner Steven (27), a postman, had always wanted to buy a house together.
“Living in a flat didn’t work with our lifestyle – especially having two children who didn’t even have any outside space to enjoy,” she continues. “Steven actually found out about shared ownership online, and signed us up to the Help to Buy South website. This gave us the opportunity to browse through available properties.”
Every week the couple would search for a three-bedroom property in their area. Once they’d seen one they liked, at Sovereign Living’s Badbury Park development, they called a financial advisor who carried out a financial assessment over the phone.
“We had to provide information such as the plot number, and details of how much Steven and I earn in a year,” says Becky. “Then we filled in the application, and Sovereign got back to us to let us know they’d received it.”
She found the process of applying really straightforward. “If you have any issues you can look on Sovereign’s website, where they have a step-by-step guide on what needs to be done at each stage. I also have a work colleague who had just moved into a shared ownership property with Sovereign, so it was great having her there to help us with what to expect.”
The house Becky and Steven bought was the very first one they viewed. “We did apply for another property but lost out due to more people having applied before us,” Becky remembers. “This was the first one we were able to have a look around, and we loved it.”
The couple put down a £4,800 deposit on their home, with solicitors’ fees and the cost of the financial assessment to pay on top of that.
“Now we’re in – and we’re loving our new home as a family,” says Becky. “Both our girls have their own bedroom now, which is great. The area and neighbours are so friendly here, too – it’s really refreshing, as we’ve never had good neighbours before. It’s also close to our places of work, schools, and family members.”
Becky says she would definitely recommend shared ownership to others. “I don’t think many people know much about it, though – I believe more people would be interested if they heard about it. I guess some would prefer to own the whole house outright, rather than continuing to pay rent to a housing association, but it’s so difficult to get on the property ladder nowadays. Even if you can afford the monthly mortgage payments, you still need a massive deposit to get you going, and this is what we had struggled with.”
For Becky and her family, the future looks bright. “We’re going to enjoy ourselves here together as a family, and give our girls the best life they can have. Our plans are to make memories together – and, of course, to buy more shares of our house until we own it 100%.”
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