Case Study: The Right Place at the Right Time
"We’ve bought a 45% share of a lovely three-bedroom house through Orbit Homes, with a small deposit, and our monthly outgoings for mortgage and subsidised rent are still less than they would be paying the full rent on our old place."
Michelle Boyce and partner Robert Corless were living in rented accommodation with their baby daughter Sienna, and knew they would find it impossible to save the sort of deposit required for a conventional house purchase, whilst continuing to pay rent. However, by joining forces with Orbit Homes to buy on a shared ownership basis, they are now happily installed in their own, three-bedroom, family house at Queen’s Court, Northampton.
‘We were fortunate to be in a private rental with a nice landlord, who gave us a discount on our rent,’ explains, Michelle, 28. ‘But even with a discount, it was still impossible for Robert and I to save enough for the deposit we would need to buy a house on the open market, never mind then being able to pay a huge mortgage every month as well.’
Michelle, who used to work for a building society, was familiar with Help to Buy and Shared Ownership initiatives, and realised it was the only viable chance for her and Robert to own a home of their own. As soon as she discovered Orbit Homes was building new homes at Queen’s Park, she was quick to contact the company and register interest. She is very happy to be on the property ladder at last:
‘We’ve bought a 45% share of a lovely three-bedroom house through Orbit Homes, with a small deposit, and our monthly outgoings for mortgage and subsidised rent are still less than they would be paying the full rent on our old place. The huge difference, of course, is that this house is ours. We have something to show for our money and are really enjoying putting our own stamp on the place. Even little things like being able to put up your own pictures make a huge difference to how ‘at home’ you feel.’
Michelle, who is now a nursery nurse, explains why the move to Queen’s Court has come at the perfect time for the family.
‘I’m about to go back to work, part time, following maternity leave,’ she explains, ‘and our new home is only 10 minutes away from my Mother, who is going to look after Sienna for me three days a week. It’s also only a short distance from the school where the nursery is located, so the amount of time I spend away from Sienna will be minimised. Robert, (31) who is an engineer, is close to his work here too, so it gives us all more family time. ‘
The family is also enjoying what Michelle calls ‘being connected again’. She explains: ‘Queen’s Court is very close to where I grew up and that connection is certainly making a difference to us now that we are back here. We’ve started to see old friends again and it is so much easier to see our parents. Living here, I can just pop round to Mum’s for a coffee when I go out to the local shop and I don’t have to worry about the cost of the petrol. We also feel like we are part of a real community, as this is a small development of only ten houses, but everyone is really friendly and also has a connection to the area. This will be a lovely place for Sienna to grow up, with family nearby, proper neighbours and other young children to play with.’