How this wellbeing support officer saved to buy a flat in two years

The shared ownership scheme gave Phil Puttock the helping hand he needed (Picture: Arthouse Photography Ltd / Jeremy Banks Photography /

Phil Puttock, 34, a lead wellbeing support officer, spent two years living with his parents in Buckinghamshire, juggling work and studying for a degree alongside saving up to get on the property ladder.

This enabled him to save on rent and achieve his goal of home ownership, and last November he moved into a one-bed apartment at Latimer’s Ascot House in Staines Upon Thames.

Knowing that an affordable scheme was the only option for buying a place of his own, Phil began his search for shared ownership homes online.

He originally considered Kingston, where he has friends and family, but was struggling to find anything suitable until he came across a digital advertisement for Ascot House in nearby Staines.

Having arranged to view a studio, he later discovered that his budget could stretch to a much larger, one-bed, seventh-floor apartment which would suit his lifestyle much better.

After almost a month of careful consideration, he took the plunge and reserved it, and hasn’t looked back.

Phil is 'over the moon' with his flat (Picture: Jeremy Banks Photography)

Phil is ‘over the moon’ with his flat (Picture: Jeremy Banks Photography)

The development

Ascot House is modern and stylish (Picture: Arthouse Photography Ltd)

Ascot House is modern and stylish (Picture: Arthouse Photography Ltd)

Ascot House is a collection of studio, one and two-bed shared ownership flats, moments from Staines High Street and close to public transport.

Each home has an open-plan layout, underfloor heating throughout and a balcony or terrace, plus access to a roof garden with views of Windsor Castle.

Studios start from £73,625 for a 25% share of full market value £294,500, and one-beds like Phil’s are from £77,785 for a 25% share of £311,500.

Find out more at Ascot House Staines.

‘The location of Ascot House was the determining factor when purchasing my first home,’ he explains.

‘I was familiar with the area through visiting friends and family and the convenience is second to none. I have a retail park on my doorstep and the bus to the station for my commute to work is five minutes away.’

Phil's flat has a balcony and views (Picture: Jeremy Banks Photography)

Phil’s flat has a balcony and views (Picture: Jeremy Banks Photography)

On the inside Phil's flat is cosy and modern (Picture: Paul Eccleston, Arthouse Ltd)

On the inside Phil’s flat is cosy and modern (Picture: Paul Eccleston, Arthouse Ltd)

Shared ownership enables people who can’t afford 100% of a home to buy a share by taking out a mortgage, and paying subsidised rent to a housing association on the balance.

The minimum share ranges from 25 to 75% of the full market value, but is due to drop to 10%, and there’s the option to buy more shares, called staircasing, at any time.

Another benefit is that deposits are low as they’re only needed for the share purchased, and – as in Phil’s case – are often under £10,000.

To be eligible, household income can’t exceed £90,000 (£80,000 outside London) though there’s no upper limit on the property values.

Phil is loving having his own space, plus outdoor areas to unwind in after intense days at work. ‘I’m so grateful for the shared ownership scheme as without it I simply wouldn’t have made it onto the property ladder,’ he says.

‘It allowed me to buy a 25% share of my home with an £8,000 deposit and I’m over the moon to be here. I hope to staircase and increase my share as my career progresses.’

Do the maths

(For a one-bed flat)

Full market price: £311,500

25% share: £77,875

Minimum deposit: £3,894

Mortgage: approx. £332pcm

Rent: £389 pcm

Service charge: £166pcm

Monthly spend: approx. £887

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