Record numbers of first-time buyers are using home buying schemes to get on the property ladder. With Shared Ownership currently the favoured option, accounting for more than 10% of all first-time property purchases in 2020 compared to just 7% with Help to Buy, now is a great time to see if it is an option for you.

For first time buyer Leanda, opting to use the Shared Ownership scheme with Peabody presented her with a fantastic opportunity to upgrade from a rented two-bedroom apartment with no outdoor space to a stylish three-bedroom house with a private garden and parking at Limebrook Walk in the popular Essex town of Maldon.

Looking for the perfect home

35-year-old Leanda explains how she knew that Limebrook Walk was the perfect home for her and her daughter before she even had a viewing:

“I had been living in a rented two-bedroom flat in a neighbouring town near Maldon for about 18 months. I grew up in Maldon and know the area very well, I have family and friends that live here and my daughter attends school here too, so when I saw the Shared Ownership homes advertised on the hoarding at Limebrook Walk my decision was pretty much instantaneous!

I knew it would give me the opportunity to ‘come home’ so to speak. Buying a property on the open market in this area just wasn’t going to be affordable for me, so I had my heart set on Limebrook Walk from the start.”

Choosing between Shared Ownership and Help to Buy

Having explored both Shared Ownership and Help to Buy, Leanda explains why she chose the Shared Ownership scheme:

“Affordability was one of the main reasons why I chose to go with Shared Ownership. After I had looked into using Help to Buy I didn’t feel it was going to be the right option for me and my circumstances, whilst it can work for others, I wasn’t sure I would be able to afford the extra costs in the future.

Shared Ownership gave me a much more secure way of getting onto the property ladder, invest my money into bricks and mortar and buy a suitably sized home for me and my daughter. It gives me the flexibility to save money as and when I can, and then look toward purchasing extra shares in my home when I can afford to. By doing this I can increase how much I own, and if I want to eventually own 100% of the property – whether that’s in five years or 10 years, there is no time limit or cut off point, this really appealed to me.”

Leanda continues:

“Whilst renting I was paying £875pcm and now, including rent, mortgage and the service charge, I pay £940 per month - not much difference at all but I get maximum benefit. I purchased a 30% share in a three-bedroom house with a full market value of £350,000 using a deposit of £25,200. I had been saving money towards a deposit over the last few years, and lockdown gave me the opportunity to save as much as I could as we weren’t going out spending money.

I was privately renting a two-bedroom second floor flat for the whole of lockdown, with no access to any outdoor space. It was fairly hard going, my daughter likes getting outside so it meant having to take daily walks and find a nearby park, this took its toll after a while and we would much rather of had our own private space, especially when the weather is cold.

Now we have our own garden my daughter has loved it; we also have some lovely landscaped communal grounds within the development too, it’s lovely to have that freedom and not have to worry about where to go to get outside.”

Leanda finds the perfect home at Limebrook Walk

Leanda initially viewed the show home at Limebrook Walk virtually, here she explains how easy it was to purchase her property off-plan with Peabody:

“I had an initial virtual viewing, and was then invited to see the show home in-person. Whilst the virtual viewing gave me a good idea of the room sizes and layout, once I had physically seen the show home, the available space exceeded my expectations and gave me the confidence to purchase my home without actually seeing it!

All those little areas that you can’t necessarily see on a screen or get a feel for meant I had more space than I expected once I had moved in. Peabody made the process very easy; I had a dedicated sales person who I could pick up the phone to at any time, even on the day of completion I was able to call and they were there to help. From the point of reservation to moving in everything took about 4 months and this ended up being a real line of support for me.”

Speaking about how she is enjoying her new home, Leanda says:

“We absolutely love living here, it’s been a great move for us and we’ve had absolutely no issues at all. The property specification is very impressive, everything has been finished to an extremely high standard – from the selection of built-in appliances in the kitchen, to the small decorative detailing, even down to putting stops behind the doors which when you have a young child who flings doors open regularly is very handy!

The parking is for two cars but you can comfortably fit three cars on the front; the master bedroom is much bigger than I expected and there is a huge under stairs storage cupboard perfect as a coat and shoes space and somewhere to store away the hoover. Peabody have given a lot of thought about the layout and design of the homes – it’s really bright and spacious and has a nice welcoming feel.”

Summarising her thoughts about the Shared Ownership scheme, Leanda concludes:

“With the level of deposit I had available I would have only been able to afford a one-bedroom apartment if I purchased on the open market, which isn’t suitable for me or my daughter’s needs. By using Shared Ownership through Peabody, it gave me the opportunity to maximise the deposit I had and buy a property I really wanted, as opposed to a home that I would feel stuck with because of financial constraints. It is a great option for first time buyers to be able to afford their dream home and also provides a sense of security for the future.”

Make Limebrook Walk your new home with Peabody!

Prices at Limebrook Walk start from £60,000 for a 30% share in a one-bedroom apartment, and from £76,500 for a 30% share in a two-bedroom apartment.

Find a home

Share article on