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There’s no Place Like (Your Own) Home

“The sales staff were so welcoming, and very keen to ensure that we could comfortably afford the home we wanted. We felt properly looked after!”

With property prices at a premium, it isn’t easy for millennials to save up the deposit required to buy their own home. However, thanks to Shared Ownership with Orbit at its Garland Place development in East Sussex, one young couple have been able to take a confident first step onto the property ladder.

 

Tim Hamilton (23) and Natasha Huth (24) were still living at home with their families, when Natasha’s parents decided to downsize and move into a smaller house. This seemed like the perfect time for them to start house-hunting themselves, but they were daunted by the size of the deposit they would need, despite being able to live with Tim’s father while they saved up.

Fortunately Natasha’s sister and one of her cousins had each recently bought their first homes through Shared Ownership, and they were happy to extoll its benefits to Natasha and Tim. As Tim explains:

“They told us how Shared Ownership would mean that we could buy an equity share of a new build property, and pay a government-subsidised rent on the rest. It also meant that we only had to pay a deposit on the part we were purchasing, so saving up for it suddenly became significantly less daunting!”

We’d looked at buying with other developers, but just didn’t get the impression they were interested in helping us. With Orbit it was completely different.

The couple were lucky to have the help of Natasha’s Aunt and Uncle, who had become very familiar with the Shared Ownership process thanks to their own daughter’s experiences with the scheme. Tim is also quick to point out they were very happy with the support they received from Orbit:

 

“We’d looked at buying with other developers, but just didn’t get the impression they were interested in helping us. With Orbit it was completely different. The sales staff were so welcoming, and very keen to ensure that we could comfortably afford the home we wanted. We felt properly looked after!”

Shared Ownership is open to purchasers who have an annual household income of less that £80k (and £90k within London), so Tim, who is a computer store manager, and Natasha who is a supervisor for a well-known coffee shop chain, were able to buy a 35% share of a two bedroom house.

They plan to buy further shares through a system known as ‘Staircasing’, which means that over time they can work towards outright ownership of their home, just like purchasers who take the conventional property-buying route. As and when they can afford it, they can opt to increase their equity share of the house, and pay less rent proportionately.

“We are very grateful to my Dad for letting us live with him while we saved our deposit, but we are so happy to be here! We love the country lifestyle and the peace and quiet, and we are still so excited that every room in the house is just OURS! Obviously you love your siblings, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to share a bathroom with them!”

Despite being in their early twenties, and very happy to be within 15 minutes of the bright lights of Brighton, Tim and Natasha are keen walkers, (who even trekked up Devil’s Dyke on their first date, three years ago) are loving the peaceful, country lifestyle at Garland Place, and having plenty of space to call their own.

Tim and Natasha are also enjoying the freedom to have friends over to socialise, and according to Tim, there is plenty of space to allow them to host in style:

“We absolutely love entertaining, and we’ve easily managed to seat eight people around the table for a dinner party. It’s amazing how many of our friends have asked us for more information about Shared Ownership at these gatherings. I think we may have started a trend!”

Someone else who seems to be loving the country life is the couple’s rescue dog Lottie. As Tim explains: 

“There are wonderful places to go for walks, with access to footpaths right on the doorstep. Plus, there’s now plenty of room in the house for all her toys.”

Lottie doesn’t comment, (what with being a dog and everything,) but she does look pretty pleased with herself.

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