Alex Hardaker

carolross

Alex, 27, and his partner Trish, 24, had been living together in a two bedroomed, privately rented house in the centre of Northampton since 2015. They were happy living together but felt that they were wasting their money on renting. They also couldn’t make the house their own.

Alex says: “We were keen to get on the housing ladder sooner rather than later, but when we looked at buying on the open market, we’d have needed a deposit of £20,000. After paying our rent, we just didn’t have enough money left to be able to put aside that kind of money, despite our existing savings.”

Then the couple saw an advert from Grand Union Homes for brand new shared ownership homes in Wootton, near Northampton, and got in touch with their Sales Team.

“Shared ownership simply made sense. We only needed 5% of our intended share as a deposit. We’d be paying out a similar amount each month, but our home would be ours, to do with as we pleased.

“We underwent an affordability check and our share is based on that. From the moment the process started with a small holding fee, the Sales Team were really helpful.

“After a couple of months living with my parents, in order to save as much money as we could, we’re now proud owners of a two bedroomed semi-detached house with a driveway big enough for two cars.

“We bought off-plan but the house is much bigger than we envisaged and we have a very generous garden. Other two bedroomed houses we’d looked at on the open market were much smaller.

“The traffic where we used to live was horrendous. Wootton is lovely and quiet and it takes half the time for me to get to work now. We’re really happy with our new home!

Alex is originally from the Milton Keynes area and has been working as an IT Analyst on the outskirts of the city for the last two years.

“We’ve been priced out of the Milton Keynes housing market. Both of us have good jobs with a good wage, but we still couldn’t afford to purchase a house here on the open market.

“I would advise people to use incentives that are on offer, for example the Help to Buy ISA. It was a massive help to us. Just investing around £2,000 resulted in the government giving us £700, which paid half of the solicitor’s fees.

“I’d definitely recommend shared ownership, it’s an incredibly easy way to get on the housing ladder and you don’t need to struggle to get a deposit.”