Shared Ownership helped Dannielle stay local
Having lived in Oxford all her life, Dannielle Herman knew it was the only location where she would want to get on to the property ladder, staying close to her family and friends. Living with her parents to save for a deposit, Dannielle was initially disheartened with the lack of options within her budget – until she came across Shared Ownership.
Dannielle comments, “I’d been thinking about moving out of my parents’ home for a while, but faced a lot of barriers, including trying to get a mortgage for a single buyer and saving up for a deposit. However, when we went into lockdown, I was able to save more money than before, putting me in a position to start my property hunt more seriously. It was then that I came across Shared Ownership.”
Name: Dannielle Herman
Occupation: Financial Advisor
Purchased: A two-bedroom apartment at Newman Place
Cost of home and % bought: £134,000 for a 40% share of a two-bedroom apartment (FMV: £335,000)
Monthly rent: £460
Monthly service charge: £146
Mortgage costs: £520
Total monthly cost: £1,126
Shared Ownership is a government backed scheme which allows buyers to purchase a share of a home, and pay rent on the remaining portion. The initial share is usually between 25% and 75%, with purchasers only requiring a deposit and mortgage for this portion of the property. As and when they can afford to, purchasers can buy greater shares in their home through a process called ‘staircasing’, until they own their home outright.
Through the scheme, Danielle was able to purchase a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at Newman Place – a new development by Catalyst in Littlemore, on the outskirts of Oxford city.
Initially reading about Shared Ownership online, an advert popped up on Dannielle’s Instagram page for Catalyst’s Newman Place, and she was immediately keen to find out more.
Dannielle explains, “I clicked through to the Catalyst website, where I registered my interest and signed up for the virtual preview event for Newman Place. During the online event, I found out so much about Shared Ownership, including how affordable it is, and received loads of information about the development – I knew at that point that Newman Place was where I wanted to buy.”
“I arranged an appointment with the sales team, but was initially disheartened to find out I didn’t have enough saved for a deposit. However, with my foot in the door and a clear goal in my head, I was determined to save enough to buy an apartment at Newman Place.”
Six months later, Dannielle had saved up the deposit she needed, and got back in touch with the sales team to secure one of the last remaining homes.
Thinking back on this period, Dannielle comments, “In the months between my appointments, I tried to stop thinking about the development in case it sold out, but I couldn’t help myself – I knew it was the development for me. I had totally fallen in love with Newman Place; the location was such a huge win for me, and to know that I could potentially get a second bedroom in my budget, together with the spaciousness and modern layout of the homes – it really was perfect.”
“I kept my eye on the development and its progress, and by August I had saved enough to put a deposit down on my home. I contacted the sales team straight away, and immediately reserved!’
Reserving her home off-plan, Dannielle had no concerns about buying a property she hadn’t yet seen in the flesh.
She explains, “The sales team really helped me visualise my future home, walking me through the floorplans in depth, and showing me how I could lay out all the furniture. I also got to see specification examples like kitchen cabinets and bathroom tiles, so I knew these features were all good quality.”
“Another bonus was all the integrated appliances included in the price, like a fridge, freezer and washing machine; it was reassuring to know that when I moved in, it would all be ready to go.”.
Having settled into her new home, Dannielle has found the space perfect for her life as a new homeowner. From creating a brilliant work from home space, to the ultimate entertaining area for friends, Dannielle lists some of the features she loves most about her home.
“One of my favourite parts of my home is the hallway. It’s so spacious and long, and I’ve now created a photo wall with pictures of my friends and family, so it feels really homely now. I’ve also bought an island breakfast bar that matches my kitchen cabinets perfectly, so I’ve been able to create two separate spaces in the open plan kitchen living area.”
“It was so important to me that I had a separate space to work from home in, without overflowing into my bedroom and living area. The second bedroom has been amazing! I have set up a desk area where I work, and I’ve also styled it into a spare room, which my friends are always staying over in.”
After having so many friends to stay in her new apartment, some of them are now looking to buy their own home at Newman Place.
“One of my friends who lives locally was having the same problems as me in regard to finding something affordable in Oxford. But now she’s visited Newman Place and seen how good a scheme Shared Ownership is, she’s hoping to secure a property in one of the later phases here.”
Newman Place proved a fantastic find for Dannielle, giving her the Oxford lifestyle she’s always enjoyed, at a price she could afford.
Dannielle finishes, “I’m so proud to be a homeowner in Oxford, and to have managed to do it all by myself. I’m really enjoying my lovely new home, and plan to be here for the foreseeable!”
Catalyst is currently marketing a range of two-bedroom apartments and four-bedroom houses at Newman Place priced from £83,750 for a 25% share (FMV: £340,000).
One-bedroom apartments and three bedroom-houses at Newman Place will launch in future phases.
Find out more at: catalyst.homes