Stonewater helps couple in Wincanton to buy their own home

Dominic and Katie Harding have always wanted to own their own home but with house prices in the South West continuing to rise at a faster rate than incomes, getting on the property ladder can seem impossible for families like the Hardings.

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In South Somerset, the average house costs £226k and private rent is on average £617 per month. With two young girls, aged five and one, affordability was a real issue for the family and being able to save for a house deposit was unthinkable.

Dominic and Katie are determined to purchase their ‘forever’ home but many of the schemes to support first-time buyers like them, are not quite right. It was through their research for alternatives, they discovered Stonewater’s Rent to Buy scheme.

Rent to Buy gives people the chance to rent a brand-new home at an affordable rent for five years. By renting a house at 80 percent of the market value, families like the Hardings are able to save for a deposit and be in a position at the end of the tenancy to buy the home they live in.

Since 2014, the family have rented a two-bedroom flat from Stonewater and recently moved into a three-bedroom house through the Rent to Buy at Balsam Park, Wincanton.

Having lived in a Stonewater property for a number of years and received nothing but good service, the couple didn’t even consider looking with another housing provider.

“Getting on the property ladder while you provide for your family and pay rent each month is difficult,” said Dominic.

“We work hard, but Katie and I have always felt like we were never in a position to buy a house. Having the girls, it was important to us to have something that we could pass on to them.

“Stonewater explained what we needed to do and got the ball rolling almost straight away. For us, the support from Stonewater has been incredible and even with moving to a new house, it had little disruption to our daily routine.”

The new Rent to Buy scheme is designed to give working families, like the Hardings, the realistic opportunity to work towards owning their own home whilst renting it. The new scheme allows people to rent a brand-new home for a below market rent, with the option to buy the home at the end of the tenancy.

For more information about the scheme, click here.