Abby’s experience of Shared Ownership

WTF is this blog about?!

  • Wanna buy your own place but struggling to afford it on your own?
  • In this blog, Abby from @theresnoplacelikehome.x_ shares her experience of buying a house solo through Shared Ownership.

It’s so cool to be joined by Abby from @theresnoplacelikehome.x_ to chat about her experience of Shared Ownership. I’m always so impressed by people who go against the grain to do what works for them, and Abby’s story of buying a house on her own is exactly that! #strongindependentwoman alert 🚨

Abby’s a mortgage and protection adviser (fancy!) from Staffordshire who was struggling to get on the property ladder on her own, until she discovered Shared Ownership…

Can you tell us a little bit about the property you bought and how much it costs?

I bought a 3 bed semi-detached house worth £197,500. I purchased a 40% share which cost £79,000 with a deposit of £5,000. The legal costs were around £1,100 and the two vans I hired to move all my stuff cost £150! Also, the house only came with flooring in the bathroom and kitchen – so that was another big expense!

In terms of ongoing costs, I pay £330 a month for my mortgage and £305 for rent.

How did you save for your deposit?

My deposit came from the sale of the house I owned with my ex-partner. I used the inheritance I received from my late father, who unfortunately passed away in 2018, to buy my first house.

Why did you decide to go down the Shared Ownership route?

It was all down to affordability. Mortgage providers typically only lend up to four times your annual income, which in my case wasn’t enough. Plus, if I had bought a house that I could afford to purchase outright, it would have been a wreck needing a full renovation, which is absolutely not something I want/can afford at this stage in my life! 😂

What was the process?

I started by contacting housing associations to see what was available and viewed a couple of second-hand Shared Ownership properties, as well as floor plans for new builds. I then chose the house I wanted, which ended up changing halfway through due to delays/Covid!

I then had to apply for the Shared Ownership element. This has to be done before any mortgage checks to make sure you qualify. Once I was accepted, I made the full mortgage application. This included financial checks, valuations and lots of documentation! Once I had received my mortgage offer, my solicitors began the legal work. Once this was complete, exchange and completion was set. This ended up happening within a couple of days of each other. 

What part did you hate the most?!

The waiting and having no control over timescales!

What part was your fave?!

When I first viewed the house, Covid was at its peak and I got given the keys to show myself around. It was so exciting and I must have gone about four times in two days!

What was your biggest lesson?!

To try not to let the stress get to me, and to not make decorating plans until I’m in – because it might not look right in real life and then you have to change it all again!

Any funny stories?

More foolish than funny… I had to move out of my old house and into my new house on the same day! And after I’d moved everything in I decided it would be a genius idea to go to B&Q for flooring and then Ikea for furniture too! I spent far too much money in excitement that day 😂

What’s your biggest tip for other first-time buyers considering Shared Ownership?

Make sure you know what’s included and what’s not. For example, my house only came with lino in the bathrooms and kitchen so I had to buy flooring for the other rooms. Plus, although most appliances were included, they were very basic options. I’d also recommend asking the housing association to provide you with a template lease that will be similar to yours so you know what your rights will be.  

So what?

Buying a place on your own can seem impossible, but hopefully Abby’s story has provided you with some serious inspo! To find out more about the pros and cons of Shared Ownership, read this blog.

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Now for the serious part: my blogs are for educational purposes only – speak to an independent financial advisor for information on your specific circumstances. And remember, investments can go down as well as up.
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