The sports coaching company owner who used 'staircasing' to buy his own flat

The past 20 years have seen a 46% increase in the number of young adults living with their parents, largely due to the high costs of renting and buying a home.

After finishing university, CJ Glover joined their ranks and although he was keen to find a place of his own, he felt this was a remote prospect until his mum showed him an article about SO Resi’s shared ownership apartments at nearby Cardew Court in Bracknell.

He loved what he saw and sprung into action to buy the last remaining home at the development.

‘Bracknell is my home town and I wanted to stay to be close to my family and friends, as well as my work,’ says CJ, who runs a sports coaching company called In2Sport.

‘I knew it would be difficult to buy because I’m self-employed and wanted to live by myself. Even though I’d been saving hard for two years, I couldn’t afford to buy a property outright in Bracknell, so shared ownership was a great option.’

He moved in 2017, paying £158,125 for 55% of the market price (£287,500), with a £16,000 deposit.

‘Everyone at SO Resi sales was helpful, and once my mortgage was approved, everything progressed smoothly,’ says CJ. ‘As my apartment was new and ready to move into, it was just a case of picking up the keys.’

The development’s layout and location were a brilliant fit for CJ’s lifestyle.

I always wanted to own my home outright, but I couldn’t afford to do this initially

The contemporary open-plan living space opens on to a balcony, and a full range of kitchen appliances, fitted wardrobes in the main bedroom and an allocated parking space were all included in the price.

‘My home is really high quality and was brilliant value,’ he adds. ‘I enjoy having a balcony and with a second bedroom it’s easy for friends and family to stay. It’s ideal for me – I’m five minutes from my parents’ house and from my work.’

Monthly outgoings on the apartment were around £600 for the mortgage and a payment of £394 to SO Resi on the share he didn’t own, which included service charges. CJ has since increased his mortgage and staircased to owning 100%, so only has a monthly mortgage and service charge to pay.

‘I always wanted to own my home outright, but I couldn’t afford to do this initially,’ he says. ‘That’s what’s great about shared ownership – it allows you to buy in stages to fit your financial circumstances so is perfect for home buyers who need a helping hand at the start. I couldn’t have bought a home in this area without shared ownership – it’s made a huge difference to my life.’

All the homes have been sold but one and two-bed shared ownership apartments are available at SO Resi Mill Park, just 200 metres away. Prices from £91,000 for a 40% share of £227,500.

Everything to know about ‘staircasing’

Owners can buy extra shares in their home – called staircasing – whenever they wish. The more of your home you own, the lower your rent, and if you staircase to 100% ownership there will be no rent to pay.

The first step is to find out whether you can afford to staircase, so unless you have sufficient savings, contact your mortgage lender or an independent financial adviser for an assessment.

You’ll then need a surveyor’s valuation to determine the price of your new shares. Most housing associations allow a minimum 5 or 10%share to be purchased in one go and you’ll have to pay legal, mortgage and valuation fees every time.

The exception is the innovative SO Resi Plus scheme, where shared owners can buy an extra 1% every year for 15 years at a price set from the outset.

However, under the government’s recently announced new shared ownership model, from 2021 shared owners will be able to buy additional shares in increments of 1%, with substantially discounted fees.

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