Moving from a flat into a house can seem like a pipe-dream to those struggling to climb the property ladder – particularly single-income households.
However, for Charlotte McKenzie, 30, a brand manager from Emsworth, Hampshire, this dream became a reality when she moved from her flat into a house earlier this year using housing association Aster Group’s shared ownership scheme.
Shared ownership enables homeowners to put down smaller deposits on their homes, as they buy a proportion of their home and then pay rent on the reminder. Charlotte was able to put down a 5% deposit of £6,750 and has the option to increase the proportion she owns in the future.
Charlotte said: “I’m 100% sure that if it wasn’t for shared ownership, I wouldn’t have a stake in my own home. The south of England is such an expensive place to live and I just wouldn’t be able to borrow the kind of money I need for the house I wanted without shared ownership.”
Charlotte’s new house is just down the road from her parents in the town she grew up in.
She added: “I plan to stay here and would like to staircase the percentage of my home I own through buying more shares as time goes on. I love my garden and it’s great that I have parking. I feel really safe and secure too – this is a lovely development and I love the security that comes with shared ownership.
“Getting on to the housing ladder with Aster has been such a positive experience – from their clear communication through to the welcome hamper they sent in my first week.”
Amy Nettleton, assistant development director of sales and marketing at Aster Group, said: “We love making our customers’ dreams come true at Aster. Charlotte is clearly very happy in her new home and it’s great that she plans to stay there long-term.
“Combining shared ownership with staircasing means that people like Charlotte get the best of both worlds – they do not have to save the traditional 10% deposit and can gradually increase the proportion of their home that they own gradually in their own time.”
Aster is one of the UK’s leading housing associations for shared ownership homes. It currently has 2,580 shared ownership properties in its portfolio and in its last financial year (2018/19) it built 453 shared ownership houses.