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When Nick Dunn, 62, separated from his partner and moved out of her home, he ideally wanted to buy a place of his own. He didn’t think that this would be achievable, until he found out about shared ownership and bought a two-bedroom apartment from SO Resi by Thames Valley Housing, giving him the fresh start he needed.
Although Nick had owned properties in the past, before moving in with his former partner, his current self-employed status – working as a driver instructor/trainer for individuals and the fleet sector - made buying a home very difficult. He explains:
"Being self-employed means that my income and business costs fluctuate year on year, and as the costs are set against earnings, this can make my income look low or unreliable. I consulted several mortgage consultants and, using the standard industry formulae, the combination of a modest income and age made it impossible to obtain a mortgage. Everything seemed to be working against me – it felt like I was being shut out of the property market. And being out of the market for so long made my position worse, as I had no equity from a property to use."
He adds: “Shared ownership was literally a lifeline – it meant I could buy a share of a property, take out the mortgage element by putting down a larger deposit, and pay TVH a payment on the remaining share.”
Nick found the ideal place for his new life at Cardew Court, a popular development of one and two-bedroom apartments in Bracknell.
Nick’s ground-floor apartment cost £282,500 and he bought a 65% share for £183,625 which he funded by cashing in his pension, topped up with money from an inheritance. His monthly outgoings are now very modest at £259 on the shared owned by TVH and £129 service charges.
"The shared ownership scheme is managed well."
“Everything went very smoothly. I didn’t have any experience of buying a shared ownership home, but everyone at Thames Valley Housing was so helpful and the shared ownership scheme is very well managed,” comments Nick.