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Why newly-weds say “I do” to shared ownership

Newly-weds Zak and Salma Townsend wanted to buy their own home in the sought-after village of Meriden, near Solihull.

But the couple knew that, no matter how hard they saved, they would probably never be able to afford open-market property prices in this attractive rural community.

Their hopes changed only when they found out about our new shared ownership homes at Mulberry Gardens - just five minutes walk from the historic village green.

Our popular part-buy, part-rent formula meant Zak and Salma, both 23, could afford to purchase just under 50% of a new two-bed Belford home with a full market value of £210,000.

With a minimum 5% deposit of less than £5,000* and affordable monthly costs, including low monthly rent for the share they didn't buy, the couple's dream of home ownership could become a reality.

Zac and Selma pic 5

They moved into their stylish Taylor Wimpey-built home off Leys Lane, Meriden, just under two months ago - and couldn't be happier.

"It really is a dream come true. Perfect in every way. We have a beautiful new home in the place we want to be and at a price that we can afford," says Salma, who works at the Coventry florist shop owned by her mother-in-law Tracy.

"Zak and I were lucky enough to be living with his mum at the family home in Meriden after we married, working hard and quietly saving hard for a deposit.

"We wanted to stay in Meriden - the place where Zak grew up and close to his job at Birmingham airport - and we didn't want to rent because we both think that's a complete waste of money. But at the same time we knew in our hearts that we could probably never afford to buy something on the open market here.

Zak and Selma pic 3

"Then we heard about the shared ownership homes at Mulberry Gardens, went to have a look and realised they were ideal for us. We finally moved in at the end of January - about a year after we were married - and we couldn't be happier.

"Shared ownership certainly made all the difference for us and we would definitely recommend it to other first-time buyers who, like us, find themselves unable to buy a home they can call their own because of crazy property prices."

Salma is equally quick to praise mother-in-law Tracy. "She has been brilliant, really supportive all the way. We really can't thank her enough. Like us, she thinks that the shared ownership homes here at Mulberry Gardens are amazing - and the prices are amazing too."

Zak and Selma pic 2

Bromford Homes sales team members Kirsty Darby and Berni Moloney are also singled out for praise. "Kirsty and Bernie have been so helpful and supportive from start to finish," says Zak. "We had some frustrating delays caused by legal issues but Kirsty and Berni did all they could to keep us informed and to help things along. Kirsty even cried on the day that we heard the mortgage offer had come through. It makes a real difference to know you've got someone who cares on your side and looking out for you through the homebuying process."

Bromford Homes Head of Sales Alan Bradley is delighted by the couple's warm words of praise for Mulberry Gardens, shared ownership and the sales team's customer service.

"We're always grateful when our homebuyers take the time and trouble to say such positive things about what we do - and of course we wish Zak and Salma many years of happy living in their new Bromford home," says Alan.

Zak and Selma Meriden case study

"Meriden is a very desirable place to live - like many rural communities in this hotspot between Solihull and Coventry - and this is reflected in the asking prices for all kinds of local property. As a result, most first-time buyers on ordinary incomes are quite simply priced out unless they get substantial help from what we call the Bank of Mum and Dad.

"These Meriden homes are built to the same high quality as the open-market properties that Taylor Wimpey built alongside them, and they come with all the mod cons and other features that people want these days.

"The big difference is the cost − and that's the reason why all the homes here at Mulberry Gardens have been snapped up. This proves, once again, shared ownership really does offer young working people a truly affordable alternative to private renting or living with your parents."

* It costs £94,500 to buy a 45% share of a two-bed home with a full market value of £210,000 and a minimum 5% deposit on that share would be just £4,725. The actual amount you buy depends on your financial circumstances but 40-45% is fairly typical and the maximum share is 75%. You pay low rent on the share you don't buy.

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.

28 April 2015