Graham, who works in product design, bought a 25 percent share in a 2 bedroom property at Origin Housing’s The Move, St John’s Wood, in April 2013. Just over a year later, he decided to staircase up, and now owns 50 percent of the property.
He comments: “A friend of mine had moved into a shared ownership development close to The Move, and I was really attracted to the location, so I applied for a property at the development.
After living in the property for just over a year, I was in a position to staircase, which I knew would be a good investment. The option to staircase up gradually really appealed. It means I don’t have to spread myself too thin, and can keep my current lifestyle.
I think staircasing is still somewhat of a misunderstood process, I had to educate my bank and even the solicitors, so the process did take a little longer than anticipated. However, I can’t fault the Origin Housing sales team – they were fantastic, and really went above and beyond to make the process as smooth as possible from their side.
My advice to others would be to really do your research, and listen to all the guidance a housing association can give you.
Ultimately, depending on how long I stay here, I do aim to staircase up fully, and own the property outright."
Lola Crossman, a Benefit Officer bought a share in a one bedroom apartment at Origin Housing’s Lavender Place, Hitchin, and moved in during November 2014. She comments:
“I had been looking to buy a Shared Ownership property in Hitchen for some time and spotted the development when they first started building. Having already read a lot about Origin Housing and their schemes online I decided to sign up via the website and register my interest.
The whole Origin process was very straight forward from start to finish. The Origin Sales team were really helpful and were very quick to respond to any questions I had. I was really impressed with the quality and efficiency of the service provided by Origin, who made the process completely stress free.
When I first arrived at Lavender Place I fell in love with the stylish and high quality furnishing! The property has a big, bay window with beautiful views of the idyllic gardens and the allocated parking is a real draw. Location wise, it is really close to the town centre which has plenty of shops and restaurants, and is just a short walk to the local parks, Butts Close and Bancroft Gardens, where I enjoy going for walks.”
Primary School Teacher Hannah Goose, bought a share in a one bedroom apartment at Origin Housing’s Lavender Place, Hitchin, and moved in in July 2014. She comments:
“I’m originally from Hitchin, and I was looking to buy a home of my own. I regularly drove past Lavender Place, and thought it looked like a nice place, so I looked the development up online. I found out that there were shared ownership properties available there. I didn’t really know anything about Shared Ownership, but I looked it up, and checked my eligibility, and was pleased to see I could apply! The financial advisor and the Origin Sales team were really helpful and gave me plenty of guidance, and were very quick to respond to any questions I had.
I bought off plan, and initially, it was difficult to imagine what the finished product would look like, which is quite scary when you are buying your first home! But the end result is great, and it has met my expectations. It’s now approaching the end of term, and I look forward to spending the summer holidays in my new home!”
Dessy, a midwife working for the NHS, lives in a 2 bedroom Shared Ownership apartment at The Move, St John's Wood, with her 21 year old daughter. She comments:
“I am originally from Bulgaria, but I have been living in the UK for 14 years and I have a British passport. I never knew I could qualify for an affordable apartment! It was one of my colleagues who first mentioned Shared Ownership to me and being a local, I walked past The Move everyday whilst it was being built- and I dreamt of living here! So when I saw that there were shared ownership properties available, I knew I had to apply.
The flat is really impressive. The special heating system is really good, it’s very warm and I love the machine that shows me how much electricity I am using, it makes it really easy to watch my bills. The process, from first registering my interest to actually moving into my new apartment, it took less than 6 months.“
Francesca, an Image Coordinator for John Lewis, bought a share in a 2 bedroom apartment at Origin Housing’s Aldenham Square. She comments:
“I was living with my parents in Bushey and thought it was time to start looking for my own place. I had looked at other new properties in Watford and had been pretty underwhelmed to be honest. I kept passing Aldenham Square and my dad encouraged me to go and visit. When I walked in, I was so impressed, and I couldn’t believe I could actually afford it!
My apartment is a really lovely 2 bedroom duplex, with a terrace. When people walk in, they all say ‘wow, look how much space you have’! The specification is good and I work in Central London, so being right opposite Bushey Station is a real bonus. I really can’t fault my new home!”
Pupil barrister Pete Lockley, bought a 50 percent share in an apartment at Amberwharf by Origin Housing, East London, in 2006. Pete has now completed the staircasing process, and owns the property outright. Pete comments:
“When I first started looking to buy a property in 2006, I put my budget and the area I wanted to live in into a property portal and the only result it came up with was a car parking space West London! I could see it was going to be difficult to buy on the open market and I knew I wanted to bag myself a shared ownership property.
Having lived very happily in the property for 7 years, my circumstances have changed. I have since got married and moved jobs, so ultimately the opportunity arose for me to staircase up and my wife and I now own the property outright.
The whole staircasing process from start to finish took less than 3 months. It was pretty simple, involving filling out a few basic forms from Origin and sorting out a mortgage for the remaining 50 percent. The sales team at Origin were really helpful throughout.
We have just had our second child, and so are outgrowing our two bedroom property, so we are looking to move up the property ladder to somewhere bigger. Owning the property outright allows us to sell the home on the open market.
For me, Shared Ownership has been a great way to get on the housing ladder."
Back in 2004, charity shop founder Claudine Edwards bought a 50 percent share in an apartment at Origin Housing’s Amberwharf in East London. Claudine has now completed the staircasing process and owns the property outright. Claudine comments:
"When I first started looking for a property back in 2004, I already had an idea of where I wanted to buy. I needed it to be convenient for the city, whilst still being close to my friends.
Having looked at a lot of properties in and around the area, I chose a two bedroom apartment in Origin’s Amberwharf development primarily for three reasons; the view over the canal, the fantastic layout of the apartment and the luxury of outside space.
The property became even more convenient when I changed my career path four years ago, and opened The Lama’s Pajamas, a charity shop in Bethnal Green, which meant I could walk to work in less than 20 minutes!
Having happily lived in the property for nine years, my circumstances changed and in 2013 I approached Origin about the possibility of staircasing up to 100%, because I wanted the freedom of owning the property outright.
The whole process from buying the initial 50% share, to staircasing up to 100% was completely stress free. I found Sandrine at Origin Housing to be particularly responsive and efficient in all our correspondence, and the interaction with her throughout the purchasing process made me feel extremely reassured."
Iraj, who works at The University of London, bought a share in a 2 bedroom apartment at The Bloc by Origin Housing. He comments:
“My wife and I were looking to buy a Shared Ownership property in North London and before long, we found out about The Bloc. Between first approaching Origin Housing and getting the keys for our home, the whole process only took a month! When we first spoke to Origin, there were only one bedroom apartments available, which wasn’t enough space for us, however, as soon as a two bedroom became available, the sales team contacted us, and we got the process going.
Now that we have moved in, we love living here. When you arrive at The Bloc, you fall in love with the design straight away; it’s a very beautiful environment and it feels very safe and welcoming. Location wise, it’s good for transport, and my commute into Euston is very easy.”
Helene & Lizzie
Helene, a Paralegal and student at the College of Law, and her sister, Lizzie, purchased a share in a two bedroom apartment at Inspire by Origin Housing in November 2012.
Helene comments: “I had read about affordable housing online and in the papers, and my sister and I could see that this was something we would be able to afford. We registered with First Steps, and then stumbled across this development online, which was just round the corner from where we were already living. The property is modern, finished to a great standard, and is in a brilliant location. Origin were very helpful in making the process run smoothly and quickly. We viewed the development in September 2012 and exchanged and completed in November 2012."
Chris, Lorna and Milo
Designer/researcher Chris, his wife Lorna and their baby boy Milo, live in a 2 bedroom intermediate rent apartment at Archway Heights.
He comments: “I was living in Ealing but my wife is a teacher in North London, so we needed to move into this area. We had spent our first eight years in London around Holloway Road and Caledonian Road (we're originally from Scotland), and now that we have a baby we were desperate to get back, to be closer to friends and family in the area.
To be honest living in London is a huge struggle, and you're just looking for ways to make it a little easier – so we started looking into affordable housing. We both work hard, but without the bank of mum and dad getting deposits together is just incredibly difficult - maybe impossible. So the intermediate rent scheme makes things a little more affordable.
We really like living here, it's ideal to have a small child in, it's been carefully thought out to maximise a fairly compact space. The neighbours' are friendly. The balcony gives us an outdoor option for summer. Also we moved from a one-bedroom flat, so really needed the extra room this apartment offers for our boy.
On the whole, the process was pretty painless. There was a bit of unpredictability and a delay of a few months, but that worked in our favour as our previous place was holding us to a 2-month break clause. Emmanuel in the sales team re-assured us that he would work around our needs as far as he could, and (with a little luck) that worked for everyone.”
Gisele, a physiotherapist working at Whittington Health, purchased a 25 percent share in a 2 bedroom apartment at Origin Housing’s Inspire, Corsica Street, Islington, London N5. She lives in the property with her partner. After living in the property for just 3 months, the couple are preparing to purchase a greater share in the property.
Gisele comments: “We moved into the property at the end of 2012, and my partner and I are already looking to staircase up, we hope this will be possible in the next couple of months.
The location is perfect for me, Highbury and Islington are so close, and my commute to work is just 15 minutes. The transport is great here too- you can get anywhere. I love the kitchen, and I really like the overall design of the building. All the apartments are different and the layout isn’t typical. The rooms are interesting shapes, not just boxes.
There was a lot of paper work, but Origin were very helpful. The financial advisor and the sales team were outstanding.”
Natalie, a Work Office Manager for a Barristers Chambers, purchased a share in a three bedroom shared ownership apartment at Origin Housing’s Moselle Place, Crouch End, in March 2012.
Natalie comments: “I registered with First Steps in January 2012, having decided that I needed to get onto the property ladder, and find a nice home for myself and my two children to live in. My primary concern was to purchase in a familiar and safe location. I have lived in the local area for some time, so when I saw Moselle Place online, I knew it would suit. It was an added bonus moving into a brand new property, particularly as I have children.
I went and met with Origin’s sales team and signed up immediately. The process was extremely straightforward, and the enthusiastic sales team were immensely helpful and supportive during the purchasing process, which I really valued as a first time buyer. Everything ran extremely smoothly and I was amazed that the whole process only took 10 weeks, from the initial sign up, to the day we moved in."
Claire, a Bureau Manager at Securit World Ltd, purchased a 30 percent share in a two bedroom shared ownership apartment at Origin Housing’s A1 Apartments, Hendon, in March 2012.
Claire comments: “My husband and I had been looking for a property in the Hendon area for a while when we came across the A1 apartments on the Internet. I was drawn to the terraces! We had seen a lot of properties, which were the same price, but a lot smaller with only 1 bedroom prior to finding our apartment. We both agreed that we thought the property was good value for money and so quickly registered our interest and went and viewed the property.
We both loved the apartment on our first viewing and a month and a half later we had moved in! Origin were extremely supportive and accommodating during the transaction and we’d recommend them to anyone thinking of making their first move onto the property ladder!”
Dayal, a chef at Koffman’s at the Berkeley Hotel, moved into a three bedroom apartment at Origin Housing’s A1 Apartments, Hendon, in February 2012, having purchased a 25 percent share. He now lives in the apartment with his wife and two young sons.
Dayal comments: “I was living in Hendon, very close to the development, so had seen it being constructed. I was looking to move, but really wanted to stay in the area, so I thought I’d better go and have a look around the A1 Apartments! I was impressed with the layout of the kitchen and living room, and there are some good quality appliances in the kitchen. We love the fact that the property has a balcony, which is great for my kids.
My wife and I didn’t find the process of buying too complicated. The process was reasonably quick, and the only hold up was getting the mortgage through, but everything ran very smoothly from Origin’s side.”
Going, Going Gone!
Following the extremely successful launch in September, all 28 homes at The Mews, Gilbert Street, Enfield have now been reserved and keys are being handed over to the new owners. This exciting development consisted of one, two and three bedroom apartments, three bedroom maisonettes and two and three bedroom houses.
Situated in a quiet residential street less than five minutes’ walk from Turkey Street station and minutes from the many shops and restaurants on offer in Enfield Wash these homes ticked all the boxes; well-designed stylish kitchens, spacious bedrooms, balcony/gardens and off street parking - it was no wonder all properties were reserved so quickly.
When Mr Hindocha, who has previous purchased through Lanes New Homes, began his property search he had two requirements; firstly his new home should be in a great location and secondly modern and stylish. Luckily Mr Hindocha found The Mews and quickly snapped up a two bedroom apartment that was exactly what he was looking for. Mr Hindocha commented, “the quality of the apartment is exceptional and the customer service from Lanes New Homes and Origin Housing has been second to none. I’m over the moon with my new home”.
The Mews was developed by Origin Housing and marketed by Lanes New Homes and priced at £149,950 – £279,950. Origin Housing was happy to assist first time buyers by offering a 5% gifted deposit which most buyers took advantage of and was greatly received.
Peter Cunningham, Lanes New Homes commented: “This development has proved that if you have the right product in the right area at the right price then there are many purchasers ready and willing to buy in this market. The bonus of a gifted 5% deposit paid has definitely added to the success of the development as it has enabled first time buyers to get onto the property ladder whilst still providing a good medium to long term investment.”
For further information please contact Lanes New Homes on 020 8370 3999 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lanesnewhomes.co.uk
All images are indicative of aspects of the development; they are not intended to depict specific plots and are subject to change.
Louisa and her husband bought a share in a two bedroom apartment at The Mews by Origin Housing. She now lives there with her husband and 18 month old son.
Louisa comments: "We were living locally, staying with my husband's family in Enfield, but we really needed our own space, particularly as we have a little boy. We were looking at shared ownership schemes because the deposit needed was so much less. After registering with First Steps, we found out about The Mews.
What I liked most about the property is that it came with all the white goods, which would have been a big expense for us. It comes with a fridge freezer, cooker and washing machine. It even has a dishwasher so we were really happy about that because my husband Mike is usually the dishwasher!
It's really nice to know that all the property is brand new too. Another big plus is the fact that it has a balcony, as well as access to a shared garden, which we didn't see at any of the other properties we looked at.
The process was pretty straightforward, and we were always in regular contact with people at Origin, they even gave us mobile numbers to ring. We selected our plot off plan, and Origin even let us change our minds about the plot a couple of times. The sales team were really helpful throughout."
Secondary school PE Teacher, James, bought a 30 percent share of a one bedroom apartment at Bellmaker Court, Origin Housing's first East London development located in Tower Hamlets. Prior to purchase, James has been a Public Sector Tenant, renting in the borough of Tower Hamlets.
James comments: "I am originally from Oxfordshire, but have been living in London for 3 years. In June, I made the decision to remain in London, and decided that I needed a more permanent home, having been living in rented accommodation through another housing association.
As a key worker, I just don't have the funds to purchase a home on the open market, so I began looking into shared ownership. The process was quicker and easier than I had anticipated, and the only real delay I experienced was the negotiation with my mortgage lender.
I really like the pleasant community atmosphere of Bellmaker Court, it's gated, and feels secure. The property wasn't new; I bought it as a re-sale. I feel like it's a far 'sturdier' property that the apartment I was living in before- the soundproofing is excellent, in fact, the property is on a fairly busy road, but it's so well insulated that you can't hear a thing. I like the layout, the open plan kitchen living dining area suited my lifestyle and my furniture."
Paul, an Online Operations Manager for British Telecom, moved into a two bedroom apartment at Origin Housing’s latest shared ownership development, Churchway at the UNISON headquarters, in July 2011.
Paul comments: “I must admit that I was slightly cynical about shared ownership schemes before I started doing my research – I just assumed there had to be a catch. However, once I registered with First Steps, I was pleasantly surprised, and the process was far more straightforward than I had first anticipated.
I initially looked at another Origin Housing scheme, on Whitfield Street, but I decided Churchway was the development for me. I expressed interest via the Origin website, and was invited for a viewing almost immediately. Then it was just a case of filling out the paperwork, and I was offered the apartment.
My main criterion was location, and at Churchway, I am right in the centre of London, with everything on my doorstep.”
Teacher Ben has just sold his two bedroom Victorian conversion apartment in Holloway, via a shared ownership scheme, linked to Origin Housing.
He comments: “Selling my shared ownership property through Origin Housing was fantastic for me - it really took the hassle out of the whole process. I didn’t have to bring in any estate agents, and I knew there was a great customer service team available to help me throughout.
I bought the flat 12 years ago through St Pancras Housing Association*, under a scheme which allowed me to purchase a property that was available on the open market. The housing association paid 50 percent, and I paid the other 50 percent.
There was plenty of interest in the property, it was actually the second couple who looked round that ended up being the purchasers, then there were over 50 other enquires after that. The whole process, from putting the property on the market, to exchange and completion, only took about 3 months. I was extremely impressed with the sales team at Origin, whenever I had any questions they were very friendly and helpful.
I have now moved in with my wife to a privately owned property- I felt it was time to give someone else a chance to get on the property ladder like I did! My wife and I are now living happily in Stoke Newington.”
*St Pancras Housing Association has since merged to become part of Origin Housing.
Gary, an Emergency Medical Dispatcher for the London Ambulance Service, moved into a one bedroom apartment at Origin Housing’s Intermediate Rent Development, The Wrap in April 2011.
“I was searching for somewhere a bit more spacious than the flat I was renting in Edgware, when I came across The Wrap on Rightmove. I love the fact that the apartment is so modern, and it’s great to be the first person to move in. I chose an apartment with upgraded specification, so my new home has a great open plan kitchen/living/dining area. It’s a real plus being such a short walk from Watford Town Centre, which I am starting to get to know.
My key criterion was affordability, and to be honest, I was pretty amazed at how reasonable intermediate rent schemes can be. Surprisingly, my commute to the office in Waterloo is actually quicker then when I was living in Edgware, despite the fact that I have moved out of London. The train into Euston only takes 20 minutes, and then work is just a short tube ride from there.
The whole process was much quicker and easier that I expected. It was really just a case of getting in touch with Lea Valley Homes, filling out some forms and then faxing over my details to Origin Housing. Within a week and a half, I was told I could have move into the apartment.”
Michel bought a share in a two bedroom apartment at Origin Housing’s award winning Shared Ownership development, Kings Cross Road, in the London Borough of Camden. A French national, he has lived in the UK for six years, working for a financial communications firm in The City.
“I had been looking into buying for some time before I began exploring the possibility of shared ownership schemes. I wasn’t able to afford market values, particularly in central London.
After getting in touch with my local authority, the apartment at Kings Cross Road was one of the first properties I saw. I looked round plenty more afterwards, and this apartment really stood out as a cut above the rest. I love the light contemporary space, and was impressed with the high quality specification and fittings. Most importantly, the location is ideal. I have easy access to work and the West End, and the national, and indeed international, transport links are fantastic from Kings Cross and St Pancras."
Origin Housing were really helpful throughout. As someone who is not familiar with the British system, buying a property could have been quite a daunting experience. It’s a big decision and huge financial commitment. Origin kept in contact throughout the process, putting me in touch with a solicitor and mortgage advisor, allowing me to move into my new home as soon as it was ready, in December 2009.”
Cori, Centre Back for Watford Ladies FC, moved into a two bedroom apartment at Origin Housing’s latest Intermediate Rent development, The Wrap, in November 2010. Cori shares her seventh floor apartment with a friend, and enjoys living at the development, which is built around the south stand of the Watford FC’s Vicarage Road Stadium.
“I’ve recently graduated from Hertfordshire Uni, and when I moved out of my student digs in Hatfield, I was looking to move somewhere really modern. This apartment ticked all the boxes, and it was a real bonus that it was brand new. What’s more, as it’s my fifth season playing for Watford Ladies, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to live in a development that is literally wrapped around the Vicarage Road stadium! Living here, I’m about 10 minutes away from the Watford Ladies Ground, Northwood, and I’m pretty close to town too.
"From start to finish, the whole process took about a month. Once I’d passed all the criteria tests through Lea Valley Homes, I was put in touch with Origin. By that stage, it was pretty much just a question of deciding when I wanted to move in!”