Case Study: It’s a dog’s life at Roebuck Park!
"It turns out that Shared Ownership isn’t just for first time buyers"
When Mike James had to sell his house to clear debts run up by his ex-partner, he was worried that he would never be able to afford another home that enabled him to keep his beloved dogs. ‘I worked out what I could afford to buy and it was looking like a choice between struggling to rent a suitable house or buying a flat and re-homing them somewhere with a garden.’ He explains, ‘It was a horrible choice to face.’
Fortunately for Mike and his fiancée Mark Harrington the discovery of Shared Ownership, through Orbit Homes, now sees them and their four legged friends, Daisy the basset hound and Harry the cairn terrier, starting a new life together in a spacious house and garden, at Roebuck Park in Hellingly, Sussex, where they are surrounded by idyllic dog walking country.
‘Orbit Homes’ Roebuck Place development is perfect for us.’, explains Mike, who took early retirement from the Post Office so that he could work with adults with learning difficulties in a nearby residential home. He continues: ‘It’s very handy for my work and Mark is Banqueting Manager at a boutique hotel in Lewes, which is also an easy commute from Hellingly. The setting is perfect too; we’re in a lovely rural location with lots of places to walk the dogs.’
Mark comments: ‘We were so impressed with Orbit Homes and the quality of their customer care. As you can imagine, working in hospitality, I deal with the public all the time and everything has to be perfect, so I’m pretty fussy! Orbit Homes made everything really easy for us and took all the stress out of buying our own place.’
He continues, ‘I know Mike was worried when we first considered Shared Ownership. Because he’d been through a rough time and had to sell his previous house, he thought perhaps we wouldn’t be eligible for Shared Ownership, or that being a gay couple might be an issue. It turns out that Shared Ownership isn’t just for first time buyers and far from any misconception about facing any stigma, Orbit Homes treats all its purchasers with respect and courtesy. It all went so smoothly that we kept thinking ‘where’s the catch? Laura, in the Orbit Homes sales office was wonderful. She held our hands right through the process and even helped to chase up third parties like the Local Authority, to keep everything on track.’
Both Mike and Mark love the freedom that buying their own home through Shared Ownership gives them. ‘It’s great’, says Mark. ‘I lived in rented accommodation before this, so I was used to being restricted by the tenancy agreement. It’s been wonderful arranging our things, thinking about what décor we prefer and creating our home the way we want it. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much space we have and how much of our combined furniture we have managed to fit into the house.’
‘At Roebuck Park we’ve got everything that was on our wish list. There are three bedrooms, so we can have one as a study; the overall finish is excellent and the house was a ready-to-move-into home, right down to the fridge freezer in the kitchen and the garden being ready turfed and having a shed. ’ Says Mike, continuing: ‘As we are very sociable people, the kitchen is the heart of our home. It’s easily big enough to accommodate the inevitable gathering when we have friends over to eat and even the dogs have room to be on hand, should we need any ‘help’ with cleaning up leftovers!’
Life has certainly changed for Mike. ‘We fell in love with our house the moment we saw it and we love it here,’ he says with a smile. ‘And to put the icing on the cake, as well as having a beautiful new home in Roebuck Park, Mark and I are planning our wedding. I can’t remember ever being this happy before. Even the dogs are happy!’