Wiltshire ex-serviceman steps on the ladder with shared ownership

ntering the housing market via shared ownership with Aster Group has proved life changing for first-time buyer Kurtis Marsden (26). On returning from serving in the Navy, Kurtis started renting a property in Swindon with a friend. A year on his friend moved to Manchester and, unable to afford rent on his own, Kurtis moved back in with his parents.

Desperate to have a place of his own he started looking at his options but wasn’t really sure where to start. It was Kurtis’ mum who suggested he look at shared ownership with ethical landlord and developer Aster. He went on to successfully purchase a 25% share of a two-bed flat for £33,000 with a deposit of just £3,300.

Kurtis said: “I felt like I’d taken a step back when I moved back in with my parents. It felt almost impossible to get a mortgage on my own and at the time I couldn’t see what my other options were.

“When my mum suggested shared ownership I really didn’t know a lot about it. I think for the average young adult on a lower income it’s so difficult nowadays to understand it all and know where to start.

“After doing some research and getting in touch with Aster, my eyes were opened to the possibility that I really could own my own home through shared ownership. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get on the ladder if it wasn’t for the flexibility of this type of homeownership.

“I’m so relieved to finally have my own place. My plan over the next five years is to buy - or staircase as it’s known - to 50% ownership and then to 100% in ten years’ time.” 

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, but many don’t realise it exists.

“Shared ownership offers people the chance to get on the housing ladder with smaller deposits and enables homeowners to scale up their equity over time.

“Kurtis is a perfect example of how shared ownership can change lives and is why we are committed to building more new affordable homes so that people like Kurtis have the chance to own their own homes close to their family and friends.”