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Real Life Case Study : Stability Bridie Banks-Harvey, Roman Court, Ware, Hertfordshire


Bridie Banks-Harvey (31) had been in long-term rented accommodation with her two children (aged 9 and ten) when her landlord announced he was putting her home on the market.

"We had been renting a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a garden for six years," says Bridie, a florist. "I knew we were lucky to have rented there for that long as landlords tend to sell as soon as property prices increase, so I wasn't surprised when my landlord eventually told me that he was putting it on the market."

Bridie then started looking for a permanent new home for her kids to escape the rent trap – but it wasn't easy.

"It was very difficult finding a home on the open market as my sole income would not cover the mortgage as the prices were so expensive," she says.

She then looked into shared ownership but found a lot of the properties she could afford went really quickly. She even looked into resale properties but the choice was very limited.

Eventually, Bridie signed up to the Share To Buy website and came across Roman Court, a boutique development of just seven shared ownership properties in Ware, Hertfordshire by Network Homes.

She bought a 35% share of the house worth £105,700 (full market value £302,000).

"I'm really impressed with the finish of my house. It's beautiful," she says. "We also have a lot more space now, which is important as the kids are getting older."

Although the garden is smaller than in her previous home, it suits them better.

"The garden is ideal for the kids," she says. "Access is from the living room so it's a lot more practical than the one in my old home, which was next to one of the bedrooms."

Shared ownership has made a huge difference to the family's life.

"I'm really grateful I came across Roman Court when I did and had the opportunity to purchase through shared ownership," she says. "I'm so glad we don't have to rent again."

"The move has given us stability. We are all really happy and settled in our new home."