Homeowner reveals how shared ownership scheme helped her buy in London

After living in a succession of rented house shares for nearly 25 years, Rosa Monte has successfully managed to go it alone and buy her first home at Notting Hill Genesis’ The Staging Post in Hounslow, using the shared ownership scheme.

‘Renting with other people has enabled me to live in some of London’s most expensive locations — a huge shared mansion on High Street Kensington, a beautiful property near Little Venice and in another lovely house in Tower Hill,’ she explains.

‘Whilst it was great living so centrally, I knew it was time I thought about buying my own home. Once I had made this decision, I started putting money away in savings. I wasn’t sure what I could afford and in all honesty wasn’t even sure I could buy a property on my own.’

Shared ownership enables people who can’t afford to buy outright to purchase a share of between 25-75% of the property’s value, repaid via a mortgage.

The deposit is relatively small as it’s only needed for the share you buy, rather than the whole lot, and the balance is covered by monthly rent to a housing association. You’ll have the opportunity to buy more shares — known as staircasing — later on, subject to affordability checks.

‘Location was an important factor, so I did have initial concerns about how close I would be to London and how good the transport connections are,’ adds Rosa.

‘I needn’t have worried as Hounslow Central Tube station is a five-minute walk away. Last year I lost my job as a flight attendant and if I do choose to go back into that industry, Heathrow Airport is just two stops away.

‘Currently I work for Amazon UK, based in Acton and my commute is less than 30 minutes from home.’

Rosa purchased a 25% share in a one-bed, fourth-floor apartment with an open-plan kitchen/living/dining area and a balcony overlooking a park.

‘Friends came with me to view the apartment — I knew I liked it but sometimes you just need that reassurance,’ she adds.

‘When I saw their reaction, I knew it was the right one for me — it’s so lovely and bright and has great views. This is the first time ever I have lived on my own — it was a bit strange at first but now having taken the plunge I have often wondered why I didn’t do it sooner.

‘It is such a good feeling having your own home with your own space to enjoy.’ And Rosa is full of praise for shared ownership.

‘It is a really great way to find a home, particularly if you are a first-time buyer and can’t afford to buy a property in London. It means you don’t have to have a huge deposit, and can make sure it is affordable for you and your circumstances. The process was very easy, Notting Hill Genesis were very patient and made me feel at ease. Eventually I will be looking into staircasing, too.’

The Staging Post is surrounded by parkland and a short walk from the town centre but you’ll need to get a wiggle on if you want to live there as it’s virtually sold out and only one shared ownership apartment is left.

A one-bedder, it costs £86,250 for a 25% share of £322,500. Notting Hill Genesis has further shared ownership homes available across London.

Shared ownership: Do the maths

Full market price: £322,500

25 per cent share: £80,625

Deposit: £8,063

Mortgage: approx £422pcm

Rent: approx £554pcm

Service charge: approx £124pcm

Monthly spend: approx £1,100

Find out more at nhgsales.com

More first-time-buyer news…

Last Saturday, the first ever Virtual London Home Show took place — a one-stop shop hosted by Share to Buy that enabled aspiring first-time buyers to learn all about affordable routes on to the housing ladder.

Attendees were also able to discover the latest new developments, watch seminars and talk to sales teams, property, mortgage and legal experts — all from the comfort of their armchairs.

Although very different from the physical show which is usually held twice a year, this interactive event was a great success, attended by some 1,100 would-be buyers who participated in more than 230 meetings and video calls, and bookmarked developments over 6,600 times to look at later.

‘It’s been amazing to see the eagerness of London’s first-time buyers, who remain undeterred from their goal of stepping onto the property ladder,’ says Nick Lieb, head of operations at Share to Buy.

‘The London Home Show is the largest event for first-time buyers in the capital and we were thrilled to be able to take the show online, offering the same unprecedented access to the property industry’s biggest names and educational sessions all under one virtual roof.’

Find out more at sharetobuy.com.

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