Shared ownership helps Weymouth family onto the property ladder

Electrician Dan Heys and his family knew they had found the perfect home-buying option when they discovered Stonewater’s new Pemberly shared ownership homes in Louviers Road, Weymouth.

39-year-old Dan had been renting an old cottage in Chickerell with his partner Tara Woodham, 42, for over six years, but found that they weren’t able to save enough money for a deposit on a house of their own because their rent was too high.

“We didn’t like feeling that we were effectively paying for someone else’s mortgage instead of investing in our own property,” Dan explains. “We wanted to have our own home and decided that a shared ownership scheme would be the fastest way to get onto the property ladder.”
The family, who have four children between them, became aware of Stonewater’s shared ownership development at Pemberly after driving past it several times during its construction.

“We had already viewed a few other housing developments and none of them had been suitable because they were either too small, unattractive or expensive,” Dan says. “We needed something affordable with at least three-bedrooms which the Pemberly houses could provide. It was the best development for us as a family.”

£88,000 for new three-bed home

The stylish new two- and three-bedroom properties on the edge of Preston Down are within easy walking distance of shops, local transport and amenities. The new homes are part of the £5.3 million first phase of Pemberly, a 176-home development which is being built by Dorset-based builder F H Cummings off Louviers Road in Littlemoor. Prices start at £68,000 and buyers are able to purchase 40 to 75 per cent of the property initially, with the option to own 100 per cent. First time buyers living or working in the Weymouth and Portland area were given priority on these affordable homes.

“We are much closer to everything now,” says Dan. “It’s especially useful to live near the local Co-op as it’s open much later and has a much better variety of products than the small convenience shop where we used to go.”

Dan and his family bought a 40 per cent share of their three-bedroom house for £88,000 and pay the remainder as affordable rent. The Stonewater shared ownership scheme also offers the family the option of buying their home outright at a later date.

“At the moment we are happy with the deal we have but wouldn’t rule out purchasing an additional 10 per cent share of our home in the future,” Dan explains, “Stonewater has been really helpful and answered any queries we’ve had throughout the buying process and they still call regularly to check up on us and see how we are settling in.”

As an electrician at Futurum Renewable Energy Systems, Dan is particularly impressed with the environmentally friendly and energy-saving features incorporated in the house.

Spacious and energy-efficient

“We have an air source recovery system which helps to keep the rooms warm in the winter and thick, well insulated walls to keep the heat in. Our old cottage had absolutely no insulation so you could practically feel the pound notes flying away!”

The new house includes a modern and spacious kitchen and living room, three bathrooms, a garage and a turfed garden which is perfectly suited to accommodate the family - including Tara’s 17-year old daughter who lives there permanently - and the couple’s other children when they come to visit.

“All the rooms maximise the space really well,” says Dan. “This house is perfect for a large family like ours. The children love the garden and the wide doorways on the ground floor of the house are great for when we have a friend of ours who is in a wheelchair to visit.”

The family also love the fact that their house was ready to move into with carpeting, built in wardrobes and a garden shed already installed.

“The fact that the house was already nicely decorated and had some of the furniture provided, meant that we didn’t have to spend lots of money initially,” Dan says. “We also felt it was thoughtful that the house came with useful features in the garden such as a rotary washing line and water butt.

“I would strongly recommend choosing a shared ownership scheme for people who are struggling to save up for a deposit to put down on a house of their own. The combination of affordable rent and energy-saving features lowering our bills has helped us to save between £250 and £400 per month which is absolutely brilliant!”