First time buyer steps onto property ladder thanks to shared ownership
Solo buyer, Charlotte, makes her dreams of becoming a homeowner a reality with Countryside and Sage Homes’ Home Stepper scheme.
15 Aug 2023

New mum, Charlotte (29) has been able to take her first steps onto the property ladder after discovering shared ownership. Despite being a solo buyer and currently on maternity leave, Charlotte was able to beat the odds and fulfil her home buying dream.

Charlotte had been looking at the homes at Countryside’s Millbank Lock development in Partington, Greater Manchester for a while, with the hope one day she’d be able to buy one. Luckily for Charlotte, Countryside had recently teamed up with Sage Homes to offer its Home Stepper shared ownership scheme.

Charlotte commented: “Without the Home Stepper scheme, I wouldn’t have been able to get onto the property ladder. Despite having a reasonable deposit, as a solo buyer, my salary wasn’t enough to qualify for a mortgage. I received inheritance from my uncle who, before he passed away, said he wanted me to use the money towards buying a home for myself and my seven-month old baby. Thanks to Home Stepper and Countryside, I’ve been able to do that.

“I’d been waiting for the houses at Millbank Lock to become available for some time, as I want to move closer to my family when I go back to work after maternity leave. Countryside released this home to buy through shared ownership just three days after I received my inheritance, so it really felt like everything was falling into place.”

The Home Stepper scheme enables buyers to purchase shares from 10% up to 75% of the home they would like to buy, based on their affordability. They will then pay rent on the other half of the property. Charlotte qualified to buy 40% of her new home and will pay £331 in rent per month on the remaining 60%.

Blyth open plan kitchen diner Millbank Lock

Charlotte continued: “The Home Stepper process has been quite straightforward and it has put me in a much better position financially. I’ll be paying less than if I was to rent a three-bedroom home and I’ll now be able to afford childcare, should I need it in the future. My aim is to buy more shares as time goes on and work towards owning 100% of my home.”

“Countryside has been amazing throughout the whole process, keeping me updated with the progress of the sale and the home. I’m looking forward to finally moving in, and being able to choose my kitchen and bathroom tiles before I do, means my home will already be personalised to me and ready to live in.”

Joe Turner, Managing Director, Countryside Partnerships Manchester and Cheshire East, commented: “Charlotte’s story is the perfect example of why the Home Stepper scheme has been designed. Being able to provide first time buyers with more options to help them become homeowners has been a key focus ever since the Help to Buy scheme ended. Home Stepper is an excellent solution that has helped to fill this gap and we’re pleased to have been able to support Charlotte on her journey towards homeownership.

“It’s fantastic to hear Charlotte has been able to fulfil her uncle’s wish of her finding the perfect family home and to have played a small part in making it possible. We look forward to, together with Sage Homes, supporting more buyers like Charlotte to take their first steps onto the property ladder.”

The Home Stepper scheme is available on selected plots at selected developments. Find out more information here.

First time buyer steps onto property ladder thanks to shared ownership

References to “we”, “us” or “our” are to the part of the Vistry Group (including Linden Homes, Bovis Homes, Countryside Homes, Drew Smith, Vistry Ventures or one of Vistry’s joint venture companies) from which you are intending to purchase a new home. References to "you” and “your” are to the prospective buyer or buyers of a new home from us.

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