Meet Sue Smyth, Sovereign Sales Consultant for the East. Sue has been matching people with properties for the last 18 years and has a genuine passion for helping people to get on the property ladder.
She is well known in the office for her friendly, caring approach to guiding customers through the buying journey and it’s not uncommon for the rest of us to stop what we’re doing and listen when Sue’s speaking with a customer. We sat down with Sue for a coffee to hear just a few of the stories of customers she’s helped over the last six years at Sovereign.
The importance of a place to call your own
“Only last week I bumped into someone that I’d helped get on the property ladder with shared ownership many years ago,” starts Sue. “Even after all this time she still remembered me and thanked me. It reminded me just how important it is to so many people to have a secure place to call your own. When she purchased she was in her forties, and expensive rent had made it hard to save a deposit. Shared ownership was her only option for buying her own home at the time, and she reminded me last week what she told me years ago - that it’s never too late to get on the ladder”.
With grown-up children of her own, Sue knows all too well how difficult things can be for young families too. “I’ve seen so many times, where parents are renting, and with children it’s even harder to save! Kids form such important relationships at school, and when landlords sell-up it can force parents into homes they don’t want in order to avoid longer school-runs, or moving their children to a different school altogether. It’s even more satisfying when I know that a shared ownership home is helping two generations to feel like their future is safe and secure”.
Shared ownership could be the perfect balance
Many people feel like they have to put their lives on hold while they scrimp and save towards a home purchase, and Sue remembers an older customer who was really struggling to get the balance right. “This chap was on his own, and was having to work past retirement to try and keep up with mortgage payments. He decided enough was enough and sold his house, but soon realised that renting would eat away at his little pot of equity. I remember hearing his life story when we first met at a Help to Buy show and realising that shared ownership could just be the perfect balance for him. We helped him find a shared ownership home in a rural village and the day that we handed over the keys he told me he finally felt like he could get back on with life. I love moments like that!”
Sue’s been matching people and property for years, and has helped many people along the way to be happy in their home, but what about that golden piece of advice for people starting out on their home buying journey?
“Easy” says Sue, “remember what a new home will give you. Mortgages and the legal process can feel stressful at times, but never lose sight of why you’re doing it. It’s the security of having a place to call your own, and knowing that your money is doing YOU some good, not somebody else”.