Emily Herbert bought her first home in Great Whelnetham through our Shared Ownership scheme in July. Here she talks about her journey for others thinking about Shared Ownership.
Emily, a 25-year-old recruiter originally from Essex, said: “Over lockdown, I took redundancy and wanted to think about my next steps. “I felt that this was probably the only time I would get to relocate.” Emily got a new job in Diss and knew she would have to go to the office at some point after restrictions had been lifted. So she set out looking for properties in the local area.
“As a solo buyer, I knew Shared Ownership was the only way for me to get on the property ladder,” she explained. “I didn’t have a massive deposit, so this really was the best thing for me. It was the best of both worlds. “It meant I could own part of the property in a lovely location, which I wouldn’t be able to afford with just a mortgage.”
She added: “I started by looking at the Government website to find out the facts about Shared Ownership and then I took to Instagram. “I looked at other people’s journeys and how it worked for them, including the pros and cons. “I was conscious that I wouldn’t fully own the house, but I knew I could staircase over time. So it was about weighing up all the options.”
Finding a home
Emily said the process of finding her dream home was extremely fast. “It was lovely,” she said. “I showed interest in another house first, but Alex from the Home Ownership team said it was no longer available and recommended I look at the properties in Great Whelnetham. I booked in a viewing before the development had even gone live.
“Alex had really thought about what I was looking for and wanted to match my requirements. “The Home Ownership team have been amazing throughout; every time I contacted them they came back to me straight away.”
Emily saved for the deposit herself and was able to stick to a strict budget during lockdown. Every spare penny she had went into savings. She said: “I did a daily budget, and whatever I didn’t spend on that day went into the savings. “The main bit of advice I learnt from my parents is to put money into your savings at the start of the month, so you are not waiting until the end of the month to see what you’ve got left. I think of it as I am paying myself.”
Havebury’s Shared Ownership scheme
Emily says that she would recommend Havebury’s Shared Ownership scheme “a million per cent”. “Everyone has been so helpful,” she said. “Their attention to detail has been great, they noticed snags that I didn’t even spot, and they have been so attentive with any help that I needed. Everyone has been so on the ball. “I know some people are a little nervous of Shared Ownership but honestly if you can, go for it. You can get a much bigger home and potentially staircase it up to 100 per cent. It just means you are living in your forever home whilst you are buying it.”
Emily’s love for her new home is certainly evident: “I am very happy. It’s beyond anything I could have ever imagined that I could own. The location and the house itself is just beautiful. “I was amazed by everything that came as standard from the flooring to the worktops. The attention to detail is all there.”
Emily has now set up her own Instagram page, @casaherbie, so you can follow her home owning journey.