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James is at the top of the property ladder

James is at the top of the property ladder

In 2013 James Freeman took his first steps on the property ladder buying a 25% share of a two-bedroomed flat with Plumlife using the shared ownership scheme.

Now, just five years later, by purchasing more shares (known as staircasing) he’s gone to the top of the property ladder, owning his ‘dream home’ outright.

James said: “I didn’t think I’d ever be a homeowner. But through shared ownership and staircasing I’ve been able to buy outright my lovely flat in a picturesque location.

So how did he get here?

Back in 2013, James, who is from the High Peak area of Buxton was in his late 30’s and a first-time buyer.  He told us: “I’d been renting in Buxton for a few years and was keen to get onto the property ladder. I was sick of renting and having nothing to show for it. I wanted to own my own home. My parents were also keen for me to buy my own pad and kindly agreed to help with a deposit.

“I began, like most house hunters, by browsing in estate agents’ windows. I spotted my dream flat and noticed it was a shared ownership property. I knew this was a part buy, part rent scheme and thought it could work for me.”

James added: “I booked a viewing and from the off loved the location and the fact the flat was just ten years old. I have fabulous views, lovely neighbours and there’s plenty of wildlife. It’s also really close to work, which is so handy”.

In order to buy his flat, originally he needed a £5,000 deposit. This enabled him to buy a 25% share of the property. To cover the 75% he hadn’t bought he paid about £270 rent and a service charge of £79.49 every month. Four years later, after saving a further £10,000, he was able to staircase his property so that he owned a 75% share.   And just a couple of months ago, he achieved his goal of 100% mortgage and no rent.

James remembers: “I didn’t think I’d ever be a home owner. Shared ownership offers such a flexible way of getting on the property market; if I’d opted to buy a house in the conventional way I’d probably still be back in the council flat in Peak Dale trying to raise sufficient deposit while moaning about things!”