When renters Josie and Josh Drury discovered they were expecting a baby, they decided it was the right time to finally look at buying their own home.
The couple, who married in 2019, had been renting a two-bed house in Cambridge but it was not particularly child-friendly or spacious, plus it was an expensive way to live.
Josie said: “We moved into our first house after we got married but during the pandemic the rent kept increasing and when we found out I was pregnant we realised we definitely wouldn’t be able to afford to continue renting and would need more space.”
With the support and encouragement of both their parents, the couple decided to go ahead and soon found a home at Northstowe, a new development in the process of being built and reserved a plot at the end of January 2022.
Luckily a work colleague and friend of Josie’s was already in the process of buying a shared ownership home through bpha and told them all about how it worked.
“We looked at the government website about shared ownership, but having it was so much clearer coming from a friend. She was about three months ahead so could walk us through what was coming next.”
Josie, who is a children’s pastor at a local church, and Josh, 31 who works in a children’s nursery, moved in just four weeks before Annabelle arrived in the summer of 2022.
They have a lovely, spacious three-bedroom terrace. “It is very special to be able to be in our home for Christmas,” said Josie. “Buying new offered us a blank canvas and a clean place, somewhere low maintenance and really nice.”
They have friends who live close by, a few who live within the Northstowe development itself.
The move has also made the couple financially better off, as the monthly cost of mortgage and rent on their home is around £200 less than they paid in rent at their previous property.
“It has always been our dream to own our home. We are not big earners, so to be on the property ladder is so lovely. “
As Josie knew she would be on maternity pay, the couple decided to buy just 35% shares of the £365,000 house, with a plan to hopefully buy more over time.
Speaking about the process, she said it was really quick, simple and easy for them.
“The process went really well, with no delay. The thing that took the most time was getting the finance and mortgage set up.”
The team at Domovo worked really hard to ensure the couple were in their home before Annabelle was born.
“The staff were really friendly and quick at responding,” said Josie, 29. “We were blessed in that way, they were really efficient.”
To hear Josh and Josie’s full story, watch the video below.
Buying new offered us a blank canvas
When Nick and Tanya Dobbin were given notice that the home they rented on the private market was to be sold, the couple had to act fast.
“It left us in a situation where we had to find something pretty quickly and also with a consideration towards putting down roots for the long term,” said Nick, 43.
Despite hearing of shared ownership, the couple had never considered it as an option.
However after looking on the Help to Buy website for the area they wanted to stay in there was only one development that was going to be ready in time for them, which was with Domovo.
The two-bed end terrace house sits within the large development Longford Park in Banbury, on the edge of North Oxfordshire. As well as being light and airy inside, they have a good sized garden to enjoy with daughter Jasmine, aged six.
Nick, a hydraulic engineer at a small local company, said the process was not as easy as hoped to begin with.
“The buying process was great but we nearly fell foul of a Mortgage advisor who didn’t really know the Shared ownership market and gave us some poor advice.
“Nathan at Domovo was great and advised us to try another Mortgage Advisor that they had used before and he really came through for us. My advice is definitely find an advisor that knows the shared ownership market.”
As for the benefits of moving with Domovo, Nick said: “The main way the purchase has benefited us is that we have now staircased and purchased 100 per cent of the property and before the move we never really dreamed of owning a property”. Staircasing is the process of purchasing further shares in your Shared Ownership property.
“We rented on the private market for years and were always quite happy with the transient nature of it, giving us flexibility to move where and whenever we wanted to. But after having our little girl we decided it was now important to stay in one place.”
Find out more about Nick’s story by watching our video below.
Before Shared Ownership we never really dreamed of owning a property
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