First Time Buyers achieve goal of 100% Ownership with St Arthur Homes
Owning a piece of bricks and mortar has long been considered the ultimate aspiration amongst first time buyers, signifying a certain life status and achievement. Recent research has revealed that this is still the case, with almost half of those surveyed (47%) saying that owning a home is their top priority – for Michael and Jade Sakala, buying their first property was a goal they were determined to achieve. Using Shared Ownership with St. Arthur Homes, first time buyers Michael and Jade not only managed to step onto the property ladder in Southampton but have also successfully managed to staircase their way to 100% full ownership within five years of moving into their home.
Explaining how they both initially decided that Shared Ownership was the right scheme for them, 39-year-old HGV Driver Michael comments: “We were renting a two-bedroom flat with our son on the other side of Southampton in Shirley and we were really keen to find the best way for us to be able to buy a home. We looked into Help to Buy and although it offers a lower deposit level, it was still quite an expensive process and we also couldn’t find a property we really liked. I then drove past a small development of houses that was under construction and saw information advertising Shared Ownership with St. Arthur Homes – we did some research and looked into the development and decided it would be a great option for us.”
31-year-old Catering Manager Jade, continues: “Shared Ownership was the easiest option for us and our circumstances, and it proved to be more affordable than Help to Buy. We purchased a lovely two-bedroom semi-detached house at Midanbury Lane in Bitterne, Southampton in a quiet and peaceful cul-de-sac of just nine houses. Our rented flat was smaller, we had no outside space, the parking was a nightmare and being in a block of flats with other families, you can’t get away from the natural level of noise created from the neighbours. It’s so nice to live somewhere quieter and we have our own garden! It’s been something we have really appreciated having during the recent pandemic.”
Talking about their commitment to staircase to 100% ownership, Jade explains: “St. Arthur Homes were different to other Shared Ownership providers in that they offer starting shares at 50%, whereas others start from 25%. Our main aim was to own 100% of our home within five years, by being able to purchase a higher share from the start was really appealing and meant we would be able to reach that goal – a lower share would have taken a longer time as the extra shares you purchase are in set increments. We are really pleased to have been able to achieve full ownership, this is a great investment for our future, and also means we aren’t paying rent anymore.”
Michael and Jade have a 14-year-old son, so when deciding to buy a home the school choice was an important factor, Jade explains: “We had already decided we would like our son to attend Bitterne Park School, by moving to this side of Southampton we knew we would be within the catchment area. Once we moved here, we applied and luckily he was accepted which was a relief. He loves living here, he’s a very calm and kind boy and has made lots of new friends. The area is lovely, we have a riverbank nearby where the children go to meet and play, and he loves the nearby skate park too. We can take the bus into the city centre which takes around 10 minutes, and we still have our friends and family close by too. We get on very well with the neighbours, we have all kept in touch during the lockdown and checked in on each other which has been really nice.”
Giving their thoughts about the Shared Ownership scheme, Michael and Jade say: “Shared Ownership has worked extremely well for us and our circumstances. Having the option to purchase a larger share amount from the beginning gave us the head start we needed in order to become homeowners. We would definitely recommend using the scheme to anyone wanting to get on the property ladder – there are lots of schemes out there to choose from so it’s worth doing some research and finding the best one for you.”
We are really enjoying living here and yes, we are paying more now than we were renting but we knew that we would be the case when we decided to move. We feel we have a much better quality of life now, we have a better quality of home, a lovely garden, our own driveway to park on and the surrounding area is much nicer. St. Arthur Homes were great throughout the original purchase process and still keep in touch with us on a regular basis. We don’t have any plans to move, we are very happy here and love our home.”
St. Arthur Homes currently has a selection of Shared Ownership homes available across outer London and both the south and east of England. For further information please visit www.starthurhomes.com or call 020 7224 3066.