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After a busy night shift, London police officer Richard Carroll (30) was looking for somewhere quieter, as well as affordable, to go home to.
He’d been living in Enfield with his parents, but a few friends and work colleagues had moved to Hertfordshire where there were more options to buy – and a different pace of life. He’d managed to save more living with his parents, and after exploring some different options, Richard put in an offer on a flat he liked. However, he struggled to get a mortgage.
It was after that he found the SO Resi Forster Oaks development in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. His brother, also a policeman, knew someone who’d bought shared ownership through SO Resi. Richard liked the location and as he was buying on his own, being able to buy a share of property made it affordable.
And this time, getting a mortgage for the two-bedroom apartment was easy. With the help of Metro Finance, he had different options to review within a few hours and was able to choose the best deal. Richard bought a 35% share with a deposit of just over £18,000, which his parents helped him with.
He comments: “Mum and Dad were downsizing and decided that enough is enough and told me it was time to move out. I realised that all my friends were leaving London and so I decided to go too. It’s good to drive out of the city and escape to a nicer area to live with leafy and green spaces around.
“Forster Oaks is lovely, it’s quiet and a nice lifestyle change, especially after a busy night working. But with good transport links, I can still get into London easily and go out with friends.”
Richard signed up for SO Resi Plus when he bought his flat, which allows him to buy an additional 1% share each year at a fixed price and without solicitors or valuation fees. Over the next five to six years, he plans to explore additional staircasing options.
Richard adds: “The experience of buying through SO Resi has been fantastic. I was up against the clock because of the Stamp Duty holiday coming to an end, and a lot of people were buying at the same time. The SO Resi team was really helpful in pushing through the sale to exchange contracts in time.
“I’ve been telling my mates about buying with shared ownership, and one is looking at buying in another block in the same area. When you’re young and single, it’s the easiest way into home ownership.”
Kush Rawal, Director of Residential Investment at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, comments: “Shared ownership is not only about enabling more people to buy their own home but buy in places that suit their lifestyle, whether that is living in busy urban areas or somewhere with a quieter pace of life. SO Resi Forster Oaks offers the best of both worlds being close to the countryside but still within an easy commute of London.”