When James Freeman took his first steps on the property ladder in 2013, he bought a 25% stake in a two-bedroomed flat with Plumlife on a Shared Ownership scheme.
Now, just five years later, James has gone to the top of that ladder, and using the staircasing method, now owns that ‘dream home’ outright. One hundred per cent.
“I didn’t think I’d ever be a homeowner. But through shared ownership and staircasing I’ve been able to buy outright my lovely flat in a picturesque location. I’d always recommend shared ownership, it’s a great way to pay into a property you can one day own. And, now for me, that day has come. I own my own home, 100%,” explains a delighted and very proud James.
So how did he get here?
In his late 30’s, James was a first-time buyer from the High Peak area of Buxton, back in 2013. At the time he worked as a supervisor at a cheese factory and the home he decided up on was the two bedroomed flat in Burbage in Buxton.
James, now 43, said: “I’d been renting in Buxton for a few years and was keen to get onto the property ladder. I was sick of renting and having nothing to show for it. I wanted to own my own home. My parents were also keen for me to buy my own pad and kindly agreed to help with a deposit.
“I began, like most house hunters, by browsing in estate agents’ windows. I knew I wanted to stay in Buxton and buy a flat not a house. Buxton is the perfect location, it’s a pretty country town and is close to Sheffield, Derby and Manchester.
“I spotted my dream flat and noticed it was a Shared Ownership property. I knew this was a part buy, part rent scheme and thought it could work for me.”
James added: “I booked a viewing and from the off loved the location and the fact the flat was just ten years old. I have fabulous views, lovely neighbours and there’s plenty of wildlife. It’s also really close to work, which is so handy.
“Adelle was very helpful and always kept me up to date with developments. She advised me I could ‘staircase’ my flat and sent me some literature about it. ‘The Staircasing’ process means if you already own a shared ownership property you can purchase further shares and eventually own your home outright. For most customers, staircasing is likely to involve a new, larger mortgage. Once it was explained this option seemed like a good route to eventually becoming a homeowner.
“In order to buy my flat, originally I needed a £5,000 deposit. This enabled me to buy 25 per cent of the property. To cover the 75 per cent I hadn’t bought I paid about £270 rent and a service charge of £79.49 every month. Four years later, after saving a further £10,000, I was able to staircase my property so that I owned 75 per cent. And, just a couple of months ago, I achieved my goal of 100% mortgage and no rent.”
“I didn’t think I’d ever be a home owner. Owning a property makes moving when circumstances change much more feasible. People look after houses more when they’re their own. Shared ownership offers such a flexible way of getting on the property market, If I’d opted to buy a house in the conventional way I’d probably still be back in the council flat in Peak Dale trying to raise sufficient deposit while moaning about things!”