How Shared Ownership Helped Donna Find Her Dream Home: A Heart-warming Journey

After spending years in private renting, Donna and her husband reached a point where they longed for the stability and security of having their own home. Donna's dedicated 29 years of service in the NHS had rewarded her with a pension lump sum, which served as a stepping stone towards realising their dream.

Donna's gratitude resonates through every word as she recalls her encounter with Aster, a housing association that extended the hand of opportunity. "We were really, really grateful to come out of private renting, because we're both in our 60s, and it gives us that security and we feel safe," Donna shares. The prospect of security was more than just financial; it was emotional and psychological, providing them the comfort they had yearned for.

The essence of shared ownership lies in the newfound security and belonging it bestows. Donna emphasises the importance of feeling safe and having a place to call home. She contrasts this with the uncertainty of private renting, where the whims of a landlord could disrupt their lives. "Having a lovely home, especially a new build, I feel those are the important factors," Donna reflects. The security she finds in shared ownership is more than just walls and a roof; it's a haven where memories are woven and dreams take root.

Navigating the housing market can be challenging, especially when geographical constraints come into play. Donna's connection to her birthplace, Exmouth, was strong, but the high prices and limited shared ownership opportunities led them to consider other options. The expansive development at Cranbrook, offered a substantial percentage of shared ownership properties and proved to be the answer they were searching for. This choice gave them the chance to buy somewhere that they could truly call home.

Donna's story extends beyond her own aspirations. As a dedicated caregiver to her elderly parents, proximity was paramount. Shared ownership provided the dual benefit of buying her own home with the ability to be there for her parents in their time of need. The model's flexibility allowed Donna to balance her responsibilities and dreams seamlessly.

Donna's enthusiasm for shared ownership goes beyond her own experience. She sees the potential it holds for others, including her friend who still lives with her parents. Donna believes that with a little more education and awareness, shared ownership could be a transformative solution for those caught in the private rent cycle.

Donna's journey encapsulates the heart of shared ownership—providing people with the opportunity to buy a place they can truly call their own. It's about more than just financial arrangements; it's about the security, stability, and belonging that a home offers. Donna's story reminds us that whilst challenges may arise, there are solutions that can transform lives and build stronger communities. Through shared ownership with Aster, it’s not just about bricks and mortar; it's about turning dreams into reality. As Donna aptly puts it, "Thank you to Aster. Thank you."