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Ines Stuart-Davidson's Story

Shared ownership helps graphic designer put down roots in popular Twickenham

It’s often the case that homebuyers are priced out of popular areas in London where they really want to live. Ines Stuart-Davidson, 29, was living in Twickenham with her parents and thought that high property prices would make it impossible for her to buy a home locally. This changed when her mum alerted her to the shared ownership homes at SO Resi Twickenham and, instantly impressed by their central location and modern design, she bought a 25 per cent share in a new one-bedroom apartment.

Through shared ownership, you buy an initial share in a home which can be as little as 25 per cent but no more than 75 per cent. You just need a deposit of between five to ten per cent of the share you buy which is much lower than paying a deposit on the full price. You then take out a mortgage to cover the rest of your share and pay SO Resi a monthly payment on the share you do not own.

Ines says: “I wanted to live close to my family and to Kew Gardens, where I work as a graphic designer. Prices have rocketed in this area since my parents bought their home here 20 years ago, and I would never have been able to buy a home outright by myself. Lots of my friends have moved to east London where it’s cheaper, but I never wanted to move so far away.”

Although Ines had looked at plenty of apartments online, nothing had caught her eye before she saw SO Resi Twickenham. She says: “Building works were still going on when I first visited, but I felt confident in putting down a deposit straight away. When I walked into the finished apartment for the first time and saw how light, spacious and airy it is, I knew I’d made the right decision - it’s the best place ever!”

Ines paid £105,625 for a 25 per cent share in her apartment (full price £422,500). Although she only needed a five per cent deposit, she put down £65,000 funded by her savings and gifts from her parents and grandparents.

She comments: “Each month I pay around £800 in total which covers my mortgage, my payment to SO Resi and the service charges. Paying a larger deposit has kept my monthly outgoings at a level that I can afford on my salary and have money left over to live on.”

Ines is also keen to buy more shares in her home. Shortly after moving in she increased her share to 26 per cent, thanks to SO Resi’s Shared Ownership Plus scheme which allows her to buy an extra one per cent share of her apartment annually for 15 years; the price is fixed at the time of purchase, which saves the cost of valuation, a survey and solicitors fees which are usually required each time you buy more of your home. 

Ines comments: “Shared Ownership Plus is a very easy way to buy more shares of my home and saves a lot of expense and hassle – you don’t really have to think about it but you’re always moving forward.”

SO Resi Twickenham is the restoration of a 1960s’ building in the heart of the town into a high-quality development of one and two-bedroom apartments set in landscaped grounds. Residents also have access to a communal roof terrace.

Ines says: “I really love it here. The apartment has floor-to-ceiling windows and is very light, which is  great for my plants. All the rooms are very spacious – at my parents’ home I only had a bedroom to keep all my stuff in and now I can be creative with the space and make everything just the way I want.”

SO Resi chooses great locations with excellent transport links for all its homes. Ines cycles to work when she can, but has a good choice of local services and she catches the bus in winter. Twickenham station is less than five minutes’ walk away and it’s a quick 20-minute train journey to Waterloo to meet friends in central London. 

Living close to the river, Kew Gardens and Richmond Park gives Ines plenty of opportunity to pursue her passion for photographing and drawing plants.

Ines concludes: “Once the building was completed, everything progressed very quickly; I had lots of support from SO Resi and my parents which helped a lot. Shared ownership is a great way to buy and stay in your chosen area, I’d definitely recommend it.”

All the homes at SO Resi Twickenham have been sold, but SO Resi has a wide selection of shared ownership homes across London and the South East. For more information, please visit www.soresi.co.uk or call 0208 607 0550.

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