My Shared Ownership story: why a slice of the pie is better than none at all

Tom and Becky Reynolds didn’t want to privately rent.

They both believed their money would be better invested in an alternative home ownership scheme to help build a larger deposit for a full property purchase later on.

How did Shared Ownership help them onto the property ladder?

They tell us why Shared Ownership was the perfect fit for them and why the need to have large deposit doesn’t necessarily need to cause alarm. 

What type of property do you now own? 

We’ve owned our one bedroom ground floor flat with a small garden in Andover for the past seven years, after purchasing a 50% share. 

Why did you choose to purchase through Shared Ownership?

The scheme was attractive to us because we could purchase with a lower deposit and gain equity in a property, rather than drain money by renting. 

It also allowed us to continue to save for a full house purchase, as a mortgage (even whilst paying ground rent on the 50% we didn’t own) still worked out cheaper than renting privately. This meant that when we are ready sell-up and move, if the property has increased in value, we will share 50% of the profit.

How was your purchasing journey?

The whole process was easy, as our solicitor dealt with the majority of the process – from start to finish. In total, it took about eight weeks to complete and we moved just in time for Christmas!

What is the best thing about Shared Ownership?

There were lots of properties in the scheme that matched our price range so we had a variety to choose from.

What is the worst thing about Shared Ownership?

Unfortunately, even though we pay rent to a housing association, total responsibility for any maintenance or repairs stops with us - we can’t call a landlord if the boiler breaks or if there’s a leaky pipe. 

Would you recommend Shared Ownership to a friend, if so, what advice would you give?

Yes, it is easier than you think! 

It’s important to not let the fear of growing a deposit prevent you from getting on the property ladder; we believed renting privately was dead money. Therefore, Shared Ownership was a perfect compromise for us. We own a percentage of our home and when we come to sell, we will get back any equity we have paid off the mortgage, plus a share of the profit. This will enable us to build up a meatier deposit for our next home.

A lot of people aren’t aware of the other options available, other than outright ownership and the need to grow a huge deposit. A large proportion of our friends have the outlook that they will never own their own home, when this is simply not the case. We would advise anyone looking to step onto the property ladder to start looking now as you could own a percentage of your own home for little more than the cost of a deposit on a rental property.

What is the best thing about owning your own home?

We have the freedom to change what we want and put our own mark on it. We were also allowed a pet, Simon our miniature schnauzer, which might not have been the case if we privately rented. 

We also have a shed in the garden for all our stuff and great town centre location for all the amenities. As part of the title deeds we also own our own private parking space so don’t have to worry about the landlord/local authority changing parking facilities/arrangements!

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