Young couple reveal what it's like buying a shared ownership flat

After renting in Croydon for several years and with their six-year old daughter Lexie now at school, Evelin Csaki, 31, and her partner Anthony Omoregie, 39, were very settled in the area.

They wanted to buy, but after looking at lots of properties that weren’t right or were out of their price range, they were beginning to wonder if they’d ever find a place of their own.

So when they spotted that Legal and General Affordable Homes was marketing some shared ownership apartments at Leon House in the heart of Croydon, they were eager to learn more about it.

‘We had been searching for a new home since 2018 but couldn’t find anything suitable,’ explains Evelin, who works as a nanny. ‘On our daily walk to Lexie’s school we were really interested to see work starting at Leon House. I started researching what was being built and put our name down.

‘As soon as the marketing suite opened, we visited and spoke to the sales advisor. We realised we could buy a 35% share of a two-bedroom apartment, which meant we could finally get ourselves on to the property ladder.’

Who is it for?

Shared ownership will suit you if:

Your household income doesn’t exceed £90,000 (£80,000 outside London).

You have a small deposit.

You can’t afford a mortgage on a private sale home.

You’re currently renting privately as your monthly payments are likely to be less.

The move was rather stressful as it took place at the end of April, at the height of lockdown.

‘It was a really difficult time for everyone and we ended up getting delayed with paperwork being held up so we had to move into temporary rented accommodation for just over a week until we could get everything sorted,’ she says. ‘Moving in was such a relief.’

Four and a half months on and with life slowly returning to normal, the family couldn’t be happier.

‘The apartment is so spacious; almost double the size of the one we were renting and the large windows let in so much light,’ says Evelin.

‘Modern appliances were included in the price and it’s wonderful to have two bathrooms instead of one. We also love the fact that it has outdoor space in the form of a roof garden for all the residents to use. Lexie is so settled in her new home and we just love having all the extra space.’

Do the Maths

Price (for a similar two-bed): £410,000

25% share: £102,500

5% deposit: £5,125

Rent: £705pcm

Mortgage: approx £484pcm

Service charge: £200pcm

Monthly spend: £1,389

Leon House is a Brutalist former office building transformed into contemporary one and two-bed apartments. It’s within walking distance of East Croydon station and street food venue Boxpark, and on the edge of restaurant quarter South End.

Homes have high ceilings, and great views, and amenities include a residents’ co-working space, concierge service, and a rooftop garden and private dining room.

One-beds start at £77,500 for a 25% share (full market value £310,000), and two-beds from £102,500 for 25% of £410,000.


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