Hyde helping new home owners
Published by N Dorrington for The Hyde Group in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
Michelle and Barry Umpleby in their new home
Owning your own home is an aspiration for many but sadly in today’s tough economic climate it can often be nothing more than a pipe dream. Hyde New Homes is turning the tables on this trend, helping people to realise their dream by becoming shared owners.
In the last three years alone Hyde New Homes has sold over 800 Shared Ownership homes and since its creation in 2002, helped more than 3,000 people to take their first step on the property ladder.
Two of those people are Michelle and Barry Umpleby who had previously lived in a Housing Association rented flat for over 20 years. They’d put money away for a deposit over the years and always planned to buy their own place; but with the ever rising property prices they’d never managed to find any properties at a price they could afford to buy.
Michelle saw a property in a new estate in Dartford (Kent) online which was being advertised as a “resale”, a term used when an existing Shared Ownership property is advertised for sale. “When we went to visit, we loved it from the moment we saw it,” she explains. “We expressed our interest and then had a nail-biting wait to find out whether we’d been successful.”
Everyone who is interested goes through a selection process which takes into account their current housing circumstances, the number of dependants they have, their financial situation, where they work, and then the Resale Team narrow it down to the applicant with the highest priority.
“We thought that as we didn’t have children, this would count against us as we wanted a house with a garden and a spare room so my elderly mother could stay on a regular basis. It turned out that because we were moving out of a social rented housing association property we were the highest priority as we were freeing up a flat for someone who needed somewhere to live.”
“When the Resale team from Hyde New Homes rang to offer us the house I was in floods of tears as I was so happy! It took me quite a few minutes to calm down enough to call Barry.”
As part of the process the couple then spoke to a financial adviser to check they could afford the mortgage and were assisted in completing the necessary forms. They had saved all the money for the deposit and legal fees, so had no trouble getting a mortgage.
Twelve weeks after that phone call they moved into their new home. “It really feels like we’ve won the lottery as this house is everything we could want,” says Michelle. “We’ll never move from here as we love it so much. Even the cat has settled in nicely!”
Another person with a foot on the housing ladder thanks to Hyde New Homes is 22 year old Tiffany Preston, who is now the proud owner of a two-bedroom apartment in Brighton.
Tiffany had been renting privately in Brighton since graduating from Sussex University and was fed up with renting ‘dark, damp, depressing flats for ridiculous sums of money’. Tiffany had been left some money when her Grandfather passed away and wanted to make good use of it. Her sister had bought a place through a shared ownership scheme so she understood how it worked.
“As a social worker I have quite a stressful job,” she explains, “I wanted to be happy to come home in the evening, not dreading walking through the front door. I was fed up with making landlords rich at my expense!”
Tiffany saw an advert for Viaduct Lofts, a Hyde New Homes development and after checking out the location decided it was perfect. “I wanted an apartment that was reasonably high up in the block so that I could get some light and air. I also wanted a parking space as I need a car for my job and parking spaces in Brighton are a very rare commodity.”
Throughout the process she was assisted by staff from Hyde New Homes and also made use of their approved solicitors and mortgage advisors which made things easier as they were used to dealing with shared ownership.
“Overall it has been a very positive process and I feel so much happier now,” says Tiffany. “It has really lifted my mood living here. If you are thinking about buying a home I would thoroughly recommend it. I have an amazing apartment in Brighton and I can afford it.”
Shared Ownership is provided through housing associations like Hyde and means that people can buy a share of a home which is worth between 25% and 75% of the home’s value and then pay rent on the remaining share.
The need for Shared Ownership has never been greater. The last 10 years have seen house prices rise three times faster than real incomes. The last five years have seen mortgage availability for first-time buyers almost dry up. Yet the aspiration to own a home remains strong.
For more information on all Hyde New Homes properties contact 0845 606 1221 or visit www.hydenewhomes.co.uk