What were your initial views about shared ownership/ did you have any hesitations?
As a young first time buyer I didn’t understand shared ownership and in fact had never even heard of it - our main fear was that when wanted to sell would be difficult. However, Moat reassured us when they explained the clause in their contract that they can get someone lined up for a seller, for first 3 years.
How did you find out about Saxon Court?
My partner Kayleigh and I were living two miles from Saxon with her parents for 3.5 years, saving up for a mortgage, in her childhood bedroom. My auntie knew someone who had moved into the development. I then went onto the website and saw there were 3 properties remaining. I contacted Helen directly and quickly passed the affordability assessment.
What else drew you to Saxon Court?
We wanted to stay in area - we both grew up here and all our family are here. I work in Rochford and drive into work, Kayleigh works in Basildon and gets the train in - finding a 2-bed property next to the station, and a few minutes from the sea in our price range was very difficult!
When we first saw the Saxon Court the blocks really stood out on the street, they looked so new and expensive - we couldn’t believe they were in our price range and ticked all the boxes! The area has everything you could need (and not need!) on your doorstep - a train station, Doctors, school, pubs, takeaways and not to mention a Blue Flag beach!
What did you like about the development?
Looking for properties on Rightmove, lots of places coming up but none as nice as Saxon Court, they all had something missing for example no parking or weird layouts. We fell in love with the apartment as soon as we saw it!
The apartment is brand new and feels very bright and clean with quality fixtures and fittings. We love our big balcony and ensuite! The kitchen comes with everything you can need including a washing machine and fridge freezer, plus space and wiring for a dishwasher. We get 1 parking space plus street parking, a bike store, a bin for everyone’s rubbish which is discreet and easy.
It’s very economical and cheap to run: well insulated, energy efficient, features an eco-toilet, in fact we are actually getting money back from our providers as we are using so little!! Our home is also fitted with wires for Virgin, which is the fastest provider in the area.
How was Saxon Court affordable for you?
We saved up an 18k deposit but even with that couldn’t afford anything we looked at, until we found Saxon Court. We were asked to supply a 10k deposit, which we rounded up to 11.3l with any spare money we had left over after all other charges.
We found that many lenders were scared of shared ownership and new build especially. Moat advised to go to a specialist broker and put us in touch with one who had many niche contacts for shared ownership - we went with Newbury Building Society.
What’s next for your homeownership journey?
We see ourselves there for at least 10 years and own our home outright! We went for a 25 years lease instead of 45 years following the advice from our broker. It means we pay a bit more for 3-4 years, but will be in a better position to staircase 3 years time, when we plan to increase from 75% to 90% shares.
How was your overall experience with Moat?
We had a brilliant experience with Moat. With one point of contact throughout, we had lots of support and no one from their team ever complained or made us feel we were asking too much. Helen constantly put my mind at rest and reassured us that Moat would look after us, she went above and beyond and made the whole experience seamless.
It’s also great to have housing officer who knows us personally and helps with any queries for a whole year following our move in. We’ve built up a good rapport with them and any snagging items are sorted right away. I don’t feel like just another number.
Ultimately we found it so much better going with Moat, we had top customer service, didn’t pay agency fees and they ensured they were the right fit for us and we were the right fit for them - I thought it was a match made in heaven!
Pets: 6 goldfish
Registered for scheme: 2nd January 2017
Moved in: 13th March 2017
Full market £195k
Share 25% (£146,250)
Service charge: £80