Staircasing with Shared Ownership – Ben and Sophie’s Story
Ben and Sophie started looking for their first home back in 2013. After they got married, they knew the next step for them was homeownership, but they couldn’t afford to buy straight away.
They eventually found their dream home right on their doorstep, in one of Plus Dane’s exclusive rural developments outside of Chester. It was in a perfect location, and the fact the property was being offered on a Shared Ownership basis was even better.
“Without Shared Ownership we wouldn’t have been able to afford a home in this area, so it was a really good option for getting that first step on the ladder,” Ben says.
When you buy a home through Shared Ownership you have the option to buy more shares, known as staircasing, when you can afford to. As your share increases, the rent you pay goes down.
The couple bought a 55% share in a lovely three bedroom end-terrace home, and were eventually able to increase this to an 80% share – the maximum allowed on the development to keep it affordable.
“At the time we bought our original share Sophie was studying full time, so this affected the amount we could borrow,” explains Ben “When she got a new job we started to think about putting more into equity and less into rent, so when our two-year fixed-term mortgage ended we decided to staircase. The maximum we can staircase to is capped at 80%, but this means we don’t pay rent on the remaining 20%. So we’re now only paying our mortgage and a small service charge, which is great.”
They were pleased that our sales officer Sally, who sold them their original share, also handled their staircasing transaction. “Sally is great – she was there at the open day when we first went to view the homes, so it was nice that she was also our contact when we staircased.” they said.
The couple are now looking to the future, content with the fact they have taken their first step onto the property ladder.
“We really love the area and this is where we want to live, but we wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy here without Shared Ownership, so I would definitely recommend it. I’d say to anyone thinking of using the scheme not to be put off – do your research and find what works for you.”
If Ben and Sophie have inspired you to find out more about Shared Ownership, you can find out more about the scheme here or contact us on 0300 790 0570 for more details.