Julie and William Cadwell had lived in the same rented property for 17 years when their landlord told them they had to move out. With just months to find somewhere new to live, the Cadwells found that many routes to owning a home in Cornwall were out of reach.
The couple wanted a solution that offered them more security than private rental so they decided to look at buying a house for themselves. Both at retirement age, they discovered that traditional mortgage lenders weren’t willing to give them more than £80,000. In a region where the average property price is approximately £250,000, it soon became clear that traditional homeownership wasn’t an option.
Having seen an Aster sign outside a house for sale in Perranporth, Mr and Mrs Cadwell decided to look into shared ownership. After discussing their options with Aster, the couple were able to buy a 25% share in a brand new, two-bedroom property worth £200,000 with a deposit of £14,000.
Julie Cadwell said: “It was getting to the point where we didn’t know if we’d be able to find somewhere in time. Shared ownership was a lifeline for us as we didn’t want to end up in the same situation as before – dependent on a landlord who could evict us at any time.”
William Cadwell said: “At first we were sceptical about shared ownership as we were worried it would be just like private rental but with a large down payment. But Aster explained to us that we owned our share and would be able increase our stake as and when we can. We only wish we’d done it sooner.”
Previously living in a large, ageing property, the Cadwells were paying £1,000 a month in rent and over £3,000 a year to heat the poorly insulated building. In their new home the couple pay a combined total of £711 a month in rent and mortgage and now live in an energy-efficient house, saving them money on utilities.
“We actually get to the end of the month now and find we have money left over which we can save. It’s enabling us to put a bit aside which we can build up to buy a larger share of our home in the future,” added William.
Amy Nettleton, assistant development director – sales and marketing at Aster Group, said: “William and Julie are proof that shared ownership is designed to help a wide range of people in differing circumstances.
“There are a lot of people who, for whatever reason, aren’t able to access a traditional mortgage – whether it’s because they’re paying too much in rent to save for a deposit or, as with the Cadwells, lenders aren’t willing to give them a mortgage because of their age.
“In areas like Cornwall where house prices are rising faster than wages, shared ownership offers people a genuine opportunity to get on the housing ladder, have a home they can take pride in and increase their share in the property with the ultimate goal of full ownership.”