Most people aspire to owning their own home, but in reality it is becoming increasingly hard to fulfil this dream. For one family, Jeminy and Gary Jackson and her two sons, they have been fortunate to use Shared Ownership and then staircase to own 100% of their property.
Jeminy explains, "We were renting in Hainault in Essex in a three bedroom house with my two sons before we got married 15 years ago. My mum had bought a property through East Thames so we knew they had a very good reputation. Once Gary and I got married, we decided that we would love to buy our own home."
"We looked around and put our name down with Redbridge Share to Buy and were sent a number of different properties through. One day we received details of a three bedroom second hand home by East Thames in Clayhall. We really liked the look of it and decided to get in touch with East Thames. Fortunately, we were successful and went ahead and bought a 50% share of the property, with rent payable on the remaining share."
Over the past 14 years, Jeminy (43), who works in social services and Gary (45), who is a web designer, have carried on paying both their mortgage and rent on their property, and from time to time discussed exploring the option of staircasing to buy further shares.
Jeminy continues, "We really liked the idea that eventually we would be able to completely own our own home. A few years ago East Thames invited us to attend a staircasing event where we learnt all about what was involved and could speak to a mortgage advisor. It was so useful and really insightful. At this time, although we were interested, we decided to put it on hold."
Jeminy and Gary revisited the option of staircasing this year when East Thames invited them to another event. Jeminy concludes, "Gary and I decided that it was the right time to buy the extra 50% share of our own home and that the monthly payments would not be a lot different to what we were already paying. It was not as scary and as expensive as we thought and I would recommend it to anyone.
"It is so hard to get on the property ladder nowadays but Shared Ownership gives you that added security that you are buying with a reputable Housing Association and you have the option to invest more money when you can afford it. I am so pleased we were able to do it and we finally own our own home."
Staircasing allows a homeowner to buy further shares in the Shared Ownership property, enabling them to own a greater proportion of their home. The greater the share that is purchased, the less rent they will pay. If a purchaser is able to staircase to 100% they will become an outright owner and pay no rent. Staircasing is now becoming one of the more popular methods into home ownership and is perfect for people that cannot buy 100% of a home straightaway.
East Thames have a range of properties across London available for Shared Ownership. For more information, visit www.east-thames.co.uk.