Samantha's story

Mum of three escapes rental trap to secure a home of her own in Shirley, Solihull

A mum of three has climbed out of the rental trap and now has a brand new three-bedroom house, thanks to a shared ownership scheme in the popular West Midlands town of Shirley, within the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull. Samantha was able to purchase her new home at SO Resi Solihull, a new development owned by investment from Gresham House and sold by SO Resi.

Children’s nursery manager Samantha, age 42, has three grown up children in their early 20s, two of whom are in education or training and live at home. The family had been living in a rented apartment in Sheldon, east Birmingham, for the past few years. With rents at record levels, Samantha knew shared ownership was the only route to getting a foothold on the property ladder.

Samantha said: “Having rented a small apartment for the past few years, it means so much that we’re living in a home of our own – back in Shirley, which is where the children grew up prior to separating from my partner and where we all wanted to be.

“While my eldest daughter has flown the nest and has children of her own, my youngest two children still need to live at home, so being able to afford a three-bedroom house was important. My son is 20 and he’s training to be a Paramedic, while my 23-year-old daughter is going to university to study child nursing. The current climate makes it difficult for them to move out of home and financially support themselves.

“Paying rent and saving for a deposit with just one income was a challenge, but SO Resi’s five per cent deposit was affordable and has really enabled this move to happen. Buying a brand-new home suits me so well because the energy bills and upkeep are manageable. I also love the newness and the fresh, clean, minimalistic way of living. This Christmas will be very special in our new home.”

SO Resi Solihull is located off Blackford Road (B4102), within walking distance of Shirley High Street, and a wide range of town centre amenities, including a large M&S and David Lloyd fitness centre. Samantha paid £122,000 for a 35 per cent share of her three-bedroom house. She funded the five per cent deposit using personal savings accrued over the past two years. The family home would cost £348,500 to buy outright and offers an ideal layout for modern family living.

The ground floor accommodation features a well-proportioned living room, downstairs cloakroom, an open plan kitchen and dining area, and private garden. The stylish property has three bedrooms, with a family bathroom, and an en-suite off the principal bedroom.

Samantha added: “I’m keen to take advantage of the opportunity to increase my share of the ownership of our new home over time. I’ll definitely be taking SO Resi up on the offer to add an additional one per cent share each year through their SO Resi Plus staircasing scheme.

“Being back living in Shirley has made us all so happy. This is a lovely area, with so many shops, pubs and restaurants close by. I know we’ll be really happy here.”

Shared ownership allows the purchase of between 25 and 75 per cent of a property for a deposit from five to 10 per cent of that share, with rent paid on the remainder to the housing trust. The homebuying product has become increasingly popular in recent years as buyers look for a more accessible route onto the property ladder.

Kush Rawal, Director of Residential Development at SO Resi, comments: “When a relationship breaks down, securing and running a home with a single income can be a daunting prospect. Buying a brand-new energy-efficient home via shared ownership is such a great way to make progress onto and up the property ladder.

“The new homes at SO Resi Solihull offer a real option for hard-working people to secure a family home or apartment of their own. If buyers can afford to rent in an area, they can nearly always afford to buy a shared ownership property there. The popularity of SO Resi Solihull means that I would urge those looking to secure their first home to contact us straight away.”