Three years ago, Simeon Dore, 35, bought a two-bedroom shared ownership flat in Bromley, south London, which he now owns outright.
“Prior to being a shared owner I was renting a flat down the road in Lewisham, south London but wanted to get on the housing ladder, he said. “Had I not managed to buy through shared ownership I wouldn’t have been able to save up a deposit to buy my own home (through the private sale market).”
Simeon, a customer analyst at a UK bank, paid £68,750 for a 25 per cent share of a two-bedroom flat at Clarion’s Aurora Apartments development, which had a full market value of £275,000. He raised £11,000 for a deposit which he acknowledges did require a few small sacrifices. “I had to sell my car to afford the deposit but it was worth it.”
He was single when he bought the flat but was confident that the equity would increase sufficiently enough within a few years enabling him to buy somewhere else outright. However, Simeon’s situation changed after meeting his fiancé. He said: “Shortly after moving into my flat I met my partner and we then decided to staircase instead. I am emotionally attached to my flat so I really didn’t want to leave.”
Simeon and his partner Kyron Edwards decided that together they would staircase up from 25 to 100 per cent, which they did this April. He said: “While I could not have staircased alone, I had accumulated around £40,000 of equity over three years, which also massively helped.” As part of the staircasing process, his flat was re-valued at £320,000.
The couple’s long term plan is still to move out of the flat and buy a house with a garden, but for now they are very satisfied. “I am incredibly happy with what I have achieved in such a short time frame”, he said. “I still view this flat as a stepping stone, but what a first property it is.”
Simeon believes that while the housing market is very confusing for first time buyers, shared ownership provides a simple solution. “People don’t seem to realise that you only need a £2,000 deposit to get a shared ownership home. It’s really that simple. I have been raving about shared ownership for some time now, and I have even convinced my brother to do the same.”
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