Case Study: Shellock’s Home
"I found myself in a real Catch 22 situation, so I was running out of hope when a friend suggested I checked out Shared Ownership as a possible solution."
New Rosary Point resident, Jo Shellock, was delighted to discover that her dreams of getting back on the property ladder could become a reality, with Orbit Homes' Shared Ownership scheme.
When Jo, who is Customer Services Manager for a large car dealership, split from the partner with whom she had a joint mortgage, she was convinced that her home-ownership days were over.
"I couldn't possibly manage the mortgage we'd shared on just my salary." explains Jo, "I moved into a rented property, assuming there was no way I could afford to buy on my own. I'm 49, so I thought it was very unlikely I'd be able to borrow enough to buy a place in Norwich, which is where I need to be for work."
"I'd even applied to a housing association, but they couldn't help me because despite not earning enough to buy a place alone, I still earned too much to qualify for their scheme. I found myself in a real Catch 22 situation, so I was running out of hope when a friend suggested I checked out Shared Ownership as a possible solution. I went to look at another development, but it wasn't right for me, and then I found Orbit Homes' Rosary Point when I was doing my daily online trawl of the property websites. I came to see the show flat and it was just about perfect."
Jo was then very happy to learn that she qualified for a Shared Ownership partnership with Orbit Homes, which would allow her to own "50% of something" rather than having "nothing to show" for the monthly payments on a fully rented property.
Jo says; "The biggest surprise was that the combined cost of the 50% mortgage and the 50% rental balance comes to less than I had been paying, just to rent a place that I would never own. I've also got the option of "Staircasing", which means I can buy extra shares in the property if I have more income available, or if I have a sudden windfall. It's entirely realistic to believe that one day I will own this apartment outright."
Jo was also pleasantly surprised by how easy and straightforward the purchasing process was. The mortgage and the 50% rental balance comes to less than I had been paying, just to rent a place that I would never own. I've also got the option of "Staircasing" which means I can buy extra shares in the property if I have more income available, or if I have a sudden windfall. It's entirely realistic to believe that one day I will own this apartment outright."
"Honestly, I've never heard of such a stress-free property purchase! It was an absolute breeze and I really didn't think that was possible. I used the solicitors that Orbit Homes recommended, as did most of my new neighbours, and I'm so glad I did. Because they understand shared ownership so well, there was no need to explain it all from scratch. They were completely au fait with the process and made it really easy for me. Orbit Homes even gave me a contribution to the legal fees, which was a definite bonus!"
Thanks to her own profession, Jo was particularly conscious of Orbit Homes' commitment to customer care, remarking:
"I've been so impressed with Orbit Homes. They've been brilliant every step of the way. Any questions I've had have always been quickly and honestly answered and I've been so pleased with the customer service and support. Given that I work in customer services myself, I'm probably extra picky, but I really can't find fault with the way they have looked after me."
Jo is enjoying her new life at Rosary Point and finds it has given her all the benefits she hoped for, with more besides. She explains:
"This area is very peaceful, but it's still close enough to the city centre that I can walk into town and not need a taxi back from a night out. As well as working in Norwich I have lots of family and friends here and Rosary Point is brilliantly placed to help me maintain a busy social life. The neighbours are lovely too and we plan to meet up every few weeks for a meal. I think Orbit Homes is very responsible about who it sells to, because it cares about its customers and wants them to get along with their neighbours."
When asked what she likes best about her new apartment, a smiling Jo says;; "It sounds cheesy, but I love ALL of it! I really like having my own parking space, which is something I couldn't find at other developments I visited; the kitchen is amazing, with so much workspace and storage and there is even some communal outdoor space, which is a real plus for somewhere that's so nicely appointed, yet so affordable to live."
She concludes: "The apartment is great, but I guess it's got an awful lot to do with the sense of ownership too, as it feels like this place is just mine and I love the security it gives me."