Nestled in the heart of the rolling Dorset countryside, just a stone’s throw from the quintessential village shop and traditional pub, lies a stunning rural development of new build homes.
With the mix of thatched cottages and traditional flint exteriors, you’d be forgiven for thinking that these homes have always been part of the village. It’s behind one of the immaculate Beech front doors we step into the home of Jo and Rob as they tell us how shared ownership enabled them to purchase the home they describe as “The One”.
Having been privately renting for a number of years, they tell us how they’d grown tired of their house not feeling like “home”, so they decided to look into other housing options. Jo describes how she’d always known about shared ownership so decided to investigate further, it was after a Google search she came across Sovereign Living, and the development they have happily lived in for the last two years. “We initially attended an open event here and fell in love; it was a nervous wait to see if we’d been successful in our application. When we were offered a home I was so excited and just SO happy. We’d initially been offered a larger plot than this, however, once I’d started to envisage where everything would go, I fell in love.”
Having prior knowledge of buying and selling on the open market, they advise how they’d anticipated the worst for the buying process “We were so pleasantly surprised, we were ready for long delays and the stress that everyone talks about, but the whole purchase went smoother than either of us had imagined. We were given the option to buy a larger share of the property, so we did so. We plan to eventually staircase to owning 100%, but even now our monthly payment is less than what we were paying in rent!"
Rob especially remembers the sense of relief he felt the day they got the keys “When you realise you’re not renting anymore, that you’re secure, you can breathe out and just relax. This is our home, we can have pets, we can decorate how we like, and can do it without always thinking we’re living in someone else’s property.”
Everywhere you look in Jo and Rob’s house are interior details and touches that would not look out of place in a glossy magazine, you can tell that every ornament, cushion, and picture has been lovingly considered. It’s hard to believe that they had no idea how they would decorate when they first moved in.
Thrilled to be able to finally put their stamp and identity on their own space, the home just started to come together. The light and airy living room, with a beautiful fireplace is now their favourite space in the house and with gorgeous views of the garden and the trees beyond, we can see why.
So two years on are the couple still happy? “Absolutely, we love it here. If it wasn’t for shared ownership we’d definitely not be home owners yet, we’d still be scrimping and saving in the private rent market. I’d recommend shared ownership to anyone and everyone trying to get on the property ladder.” And, in fact they have! Having seen how happy and settled the couple are in their home, Jo’s brother and his family are now shared owners too! “They’d rented for over 10 years and within that period had been forced to move several times, trying to keep their daughters in the same area for school was really stressful. Initially they didn’t think shared ownership was an option for them so we urged them to look into it, and I’m so glad they did. It’s great to know that they are finally experiencing the security that we are, it’s been a fantastic move for them.” And a fantastic move for Jo and Rob “It’s ultimately the peace of mind of having your own space and your own home. It’s a feeling that money can’t buy, but shared ownership has given us.”
Have you heard of our Money Diaries series? We're talking to real Sovereign shared owners to find out exactly what it costs to own your home with shared ownership. For an insight into how other shared owners manage their finances click here.