Case study

Amie Drake, Didcot

Amie Drake (23) and Andy Spencer (31) used shared ownership to help them buy their first family home. 

Amie and Andy decided to start looking for their first home when they decided to start a family. They soon realised that saving for a deposit and buying on the open market in Oxfordshire wasn’t going to be an option for them. 

Stuck living in Andy’s parents home, when their son came along they were desperate to have their own place for their new family. 

Amie said: “All three of us living in a double bedroom was such a squeeze so we desperately wanted to get our own space, not only for us but our little boy as well.” 

They attended a Help to Buy home show, where developers showcase different developments in the area, and came across Aster’s shared ownership stand. After investigating the process, they went on to successfully purchase a 60% share of their perfect home, a three-bed end terrace house, for £171,000 with a deposit of just £20,000. 

“I initially thought shared ownership was a loan of some kind and that the home wasn’t actually yours. We spoke to the team at Aster who were so helpful from the get go and explained how shared ownership works and what it could mean for us. It sounded great so we spoke to a mortgage advisor the same day and she advised it would be the best option for us.  

“The Aster sales team have been fantastic and have guided us through every stage of the process. For us, the way the rent and mortgage is split is much more manageable, and the same with the cheaper deposit. Without it we wouldn’t have been able to get a home for our little boy. The fact he now has his own room makes me so happy and it’s had such a positive impact on him as well. He’s able to play in his own garden and is sleeping much better.” 

Amy Nettleton, assistant development director of sales and marketing for Aster Group, said: “The biggest challenge facing first-time buyers is saving for a deposit. The average house price in the UK currently stands at £218,000 and setting aside cash for a £20,000 deposit is proving difficult for the millions of people facing high costs in the private rented sector. 

“Shared ownership provides an alternative solution. It offers flexibility and security and is an increasingly important housing choice as the affordability challenge extends across the country. That’s why we are committed to building more shared ownership homes.” 

The couple plan to one day grow their family and have the comfort of knowing they have a secure home in order to be able to do that. They also want to eventually staircase to 100% and own the property outright.   

Amie and Andy's costs

They bought a 60% share at £171,000

Monthly rent: £261.25

Monthly mortgage repayments: £679

Monthly Service Charge: £13.96

Customer Deposit: £20,000