Stella & Jakob's story

Shared Ownership enabled newlyweds to prioritise a healthy work-life balance

When newlyweds Stella (29) and Jakob (30), decided to buy their first home, the top priority was finding a property with enough space so they could both work from home when required. However they wanted to stay in London where high prices usually mean compromising on size, quality or location – or all three. Thanks to shared ownership, the couple could afford to buy a much bigger property than if they had bought it outright and didn’t have to sacrifice quality or location either; the stylish 65 sq. ft., two-bedroom apartment they bought at SO Resi Brixton is located in one of London’s most popular hotspots.

Stella comments: “We’d been renting a one-bedroom flat in Ladbroke Grove which was very cramped. We’re both freelance graphic designers and often we work from home at the same time, which was very difficult with so little space. Shared ownership with SO Resi was key to helping us to buy the kind of property we wanted, without waiting forever to afford it.”

Shared ownership allows you to buy a share of your home, typically between 25 per cent and 75 per cent, and to add more shares in future if you wish. The deposit and monthly mortgage are smaller than they would be if you bought your home outright because they are based on the size of the share purchased rather than the full value of the property.

Stella and Jakob had been saving hard and their savings were boosted by gifts of money from their wedding. They purchased a 25 per cent share of their two-bedroom apartment for £131,250 (full market price £525,000) and put down a deposit of £20,000, which was higher than the ten per cent deposit required.

Jakob says: “Each month we pay around £950 for the mortgage, £450 for the payment to SO Resi on the share we don’t own and around £230 in service charges. Our monthly outgoings are only £30 more than when we were privately renting a one-bedroom apartment for £1,600 – which was money down the drain. The space is much bigger, far better quality and it’s given us a start on the property ladder. It’s definitely great value.”

The couple have settled in and are thrilled with the extra space. Stella explains: “The second bedroom gives us flexibility and we have much more living space and also a balcony. We’ve divided the living space into areas for working and relaxing, which makes it easier to keep tidy and life a lot calmer.”

Jakob adds: “The design of our apartment is great, especially the floor-to-ceiling windows which make it very light. We love it here - the development has a young professional vibe and we’re looking forward to getting to know our neighbours.”

Stella says: “We enjoy walking to the tube through the market and when the stalls are being set up in the morning there’s a real go-getter atmosphere. We’re very close to the village and it’s fun getting to know the cocktail bars, restaurants and many other attractions in the area.”

For quality time together, Stella and Jakob can head down to Brixton’s popular Brockwell Park where they often enjoy a game of frisbee, or work out in their local gym.

Jakob concludes: “From visiting SO Resi Brixton for the first time, to moving in to our new home, it took only two months and the buying process was very straightforward. Our families live overseas and owning an apartment makes us feel much more settled and grounded. I’d definitely recommend shared ownership to young couples like us – it’s an easy way to get on the property ladder with the flexibility to buy more of your home in future.”