I was fed up with paying my landlords mortgage, so decided to pay my own!

Bee - Customer story

Customer stories · Mon Mar 18 2024 ·

Having lived in rented accommodation for three years in Wombwell, Barnsley, Bee Lokkit (30), a Programme Manager at a large bank decided it was time to purchase his own home. The landlord of his two-bedroom rental property was set to increase his payments by £100 a month – the second rent increase that Bee had received notice for since moving into the property.

This set the wheels in motion for Bee, who decided it was time to think about paying his own mortgage instead of his landlord’s, and he started investigating different home ownership schemes. Bee, who now owns a 25% share of a three-bedroom house at Willow Heights in Thurnscoe, explains:

“My plan at first was to understand what I’d be able to afford and see if I’d even be able to get a mortgage. I applied for a mortgage in principle and was approved almost immediately – I didn’t expect it at all! Once I had a clear idea of what I could afford in my mind, I then knew it was time to start searching and saving for my house hunt.”

Bee wanted to get a feel for the types of homes that he’d be able to purchase with his mortgage in principle, so set up to receive New Homes alerts – which is where he came across a three-bedroom house at Willow Heights.

A new development in Rotherham, Willow Heights offers a collection of two-to-four-bedroom homes in the growing Dearne Valley community. Shared Ownership homes were available to buy at Willow Heights with Home Reach – where buyers can purchase a percentage share on the home, and pay rent on the unowned share, often making buying a property more affordable.

“Quite soon after I got my mortgage in principle, I got a New Homes alert on my emails letting me know that there was just one Shared Ownership home left at Willow Heights. I googled the development, and it was only 10 minutes down the road from where I currently live, making it the perfect location. It almost seemed too good to be true, so I booked an appointment with the sales team immediately.”

Bee initially received a call from the Willow Heights sales team, who invited him to view the house on the same day. His application had been passed onto the Home Reach team, where a Shared Ownership assessment was completed, and Bee was approved to purchase his home.

“Once my application had been approved and I’d reserved the house, I then needed to think about my deposit. I was really determined to own my own home before the age of 30 so knew I needed to get to work and save as much as possible. I made an effort to spend as little as possible for around three months. The deposit was my end goal, so getting through the summer months knowing I’d soon be in my own home was my motivation, and it was worth it!”

After three months of serious saving, Bee had a deposit of £8,000 - 15% of the share he was looking to buy.

Bee says “I’m now living in a three-storey house, and my bedroom is set on the top floor with so much space. I’ve always dreamt of having a super king-sized bed, and that’s exactly what I’ve got now! The space is also amazing – I’ve got a separate kitchen with a table, and another table in the living room – an extended 6-person marble table to be exact. My sofa fits perfectly, and my friends are always amazed at the amount of space I have when they come over.”

Commenting on the efficiency and support he’d received from the Home Reach team, Bee says “I received a compete end-to-end service and spoke to Selina at every stage of the process. She was extremely accommodating, even helping me shuffle my move-in date to work around current plans and annual leave.”

Looking to the future, Bee says “At the moment I’m just so happy that I’m finally paying my own mortgage – I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to do this. One of the things that attracted me to Shared Ownership with Home Reach was knowing that I could buy more shares as and when I want to, so I’ll definitely be staircasing when the time is right.”

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