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How shared ownership helped 21-year-old make dream of owning her own home a reality

A young woman who managed to buy her first home at 21 has explained how she turned her dream into a reality with the help of shared ownership.

Sales Executive, Jasmine, has now moved into a newly built home, despite thinking it would be at least another five years before she could afford to buy her own property.

But she was introduced to shared ownership after her stepdad used the scheme to buy his own home.

Shared ownership is a government-backed scheme that allows you to buy a share of a home instead of the full amount. You then rent the rest at a reduced rate.

Now Jasmine says living in her semi-detached home, in Telford, is ‘a dream come true’.

“I definitely couldn’t have achieved this without the help of shared ownership,” explains Jasmine.

“Before I knew about the scheme, I had been looking to buy a house for about a year, but I couldn’t get a mortgage offer for the amount I needed as a single buyer.

“I wanted to be able to buy a house myself so I could be independent and not have to rely on a partner.

“But it would have been another five or 10 years before I could have afforded to buy a home outright myself.”

Jasmine was living with her grandparents when she began saving for a deposit two years ago.

After typing ‘shared ownership’ into Google, Jasmine discovered a development in Telford where homes had been made available for shared ownership by Severn Homes – part of Housing Plus Group.

Through saving and hard work, including juggling two jobs, she was able to put down a £15,000 deposit on a three-bedroom home, priced at around £235,000.

Jasmine currently owns 40 per cent of the property value, but when the time is right for her financially, she will be able to buy more shares in her home through a process known as ‘staircasing’. When she buys more shares, she’ll pay less rent.

“As soon as I found out that renting is essentially throwing away money, I was determined to buy something I could invest in,” Jasmine said.

“I was able to save quite a bit of money as I don’t really go out clubbing, which I know is strange for my age, and I even had two jobs at one point.

“When I found this house, I liked everything about it. It’s really spacious, with a huge garden and is much bigger than I thought I would be able to afford.

“I’ve got a lot more for my money. Instead of buying a rundown property and having to do it up, I’ve got a new build with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and it came with a new oven, fridge-freezer and a washer and dryer.”

Jasmine moved into the property in August with her 12-week-old kittens Kevin and Benji. She says she feels incredibly proud to be a homeowner.

Jasmine added: “It feels amazing, I’ve wanted my own home for the past two years and now it’s finally here. It just doesn’t feel real.

“My family are very proud of me. I was determined to buy my own home and now I’ve done it and I’m extremely proud of myself.”

Jasmine was supported throughout the process by Severn Homes Sales Negotiator Coordinator Luke Jones.

Luke said: “For many young people who dream about getting on the property ladder, they may not have heard of shared ownership.

“But buying your first home early, instead of trying to rent and save up for a deposit at the same time, can help save you money overall.

“I get a lot of satisfaction from being able to help young people like Jasmine achieve their dreams.”

Before deciding if the scheme is right for you, you’ll need to consider what you can afford, what deposit you can save and understand the monthly payment breakdown.

You can find more information about shared ownership here and see some of the homes that are available here.