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Sherlock home’s logical answer for 1st-time buyer

YOU don't have to be a legendary detective to know that shared ownership can solve the Case of the Typical First-time Buyer. It's elementary my dear Watson, according to Sherlock fan Thomas Turner, who used his own powers of deduction to track down the affordable home of his dreams at St Mark's View, Cheltenham.

Like his fictional puzzle-solving hero, Thomas considered all the "clues" and came to what he believes was the only logical conclusion: Buy through Bromford's shared ownership scheme.

He moved into his two-bed part-buy, part rent home late last summer and has since added several themed touches such as a bound copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, a Baker Street sign and an old leather armchair he affectionately calls Sherlock.

It's a truly happy ending to his "case" and 24-year-old Thomas believes that other first-time buyers can also crack the property-buying puzzle if they consider three key pieces of evidence:

1 Deposits and purchase prices are much more affordable with shared ownership. "It's ideal for first-time buyers like me who want a house that they make their own and don't want to wait until after they have saved up the enormous deposit that lenders require for an open market sale," says Thomas.pictured below. "In my case, I wanted to live near work. Shared ownership allows you to buy a share of a new home and to make it yours."

Thomas Turner at St Marks View

2 Smaller mortgage payments plus low rent add up to a real win-win deal − and are typically less than than private renting. "Overall, I know I pay less each month than friends in the Cheltenham area who rent apartments and, unlike me, they are not going to get anything back over time," says Thomas. "Before this I was lodging in a room at somebody else's home. They were very kind but I was always conscious of it not being my own home and that I was essentially helping to pay off somebody else's mortgage."

3 Shared ownership is an affordable first step on to the property ladder and you can increase the share you own. "This is an investment for my future. I want the hard work I do to contribute over time towards something that will eventually be all mine," says Thomas. "You can increase the share you own in the future through staircasing and that's certainly something that I would choose to do when I can afford it."

His final deduction? Would Thomas recommend shared ownership to other first-time buyers and other people who can't afford to buy on the open market? "Absolutely. In fact, I often do," replies Thomas. "I always advise people that it is a brilliant way to get started on the property ladder."

What else would Thomas, pictured again below, say to other first-time buyers in Cheltenham? "Come around for a cup of tea! I'll happily show off my home, of which I am very proud. And I would certainly encourage them to get in touch with Bromford as their sales consultant was brilliant and they have been very forthcoming every time I have needed any little bits of help."

Thomas Turner in lounge

Bromford Homes Head of Sales Alan Bradley says: "We're delighted that Thomas put his detecting skills to work and − like so many other first-time buyers − came to the conclusion that shared ownership is the answer.

"The evidence is there for all to see and consider. Our part-buy, part-rent formula − also called shared ownership − really does make a difference to first-time buyers and other people on lower incomes who can't afford to buy on the open market."

Instead of buying outright, you buy between 25% and 75% of your new home − the actual amount depends on what you can afford, with around 45% being fairly typical − and pay low rent on the remaining share. This means, for example, that you can get on the property ladder at our new Pennylands development in Winchcombe for around £78,750 − or 45% of a two-bed Spoonley home with a full market value of £175,000 − and a minimum 5% deposit of £3,938.

"Figures like that make buying much more affordable and we work with each customer to make sure that the actual amount they buy reflects their personal circumstances," says Alan. "And it's not just the initial costs that are cheaper. There's plenty of evidence to support what Thomas says − that the total monthly cost of shared ownership are typically cheaper than if you buy rent from a private landlord. That's why people across central England keep saying such an enthusiastic yes to shared ownership."

To find out more about shared ownership and Bromford developments across central England call 0845 60 10 878 or register for updates. You can also keep in touch by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

09 January 2014