L&Q: Shared Ownership helps single parent onto the property ladder
First time buyer purchases a three bedroom home in Milton Keynes
Laura Lucas had been living in Milton Keynes since she was 19. Getting on the property ladder had always been an ambition, but as a single parent, she didn’t think buying a house was something that would ever happen for her.
“I’d been living in the same two bedroom house for years – it was a social rent property, owned by the council, so I sort of assumed it was a lifetime thing and I’d live there forever. I never imagined I’d be able to own my own property – I’m a single parent!”
Laura has recently purchased a 40% share of a three bedroom Shared Ownership house with L&Q at their Milton Keynes development, Saxon Reach. She explains how she knew very quickly that Saxon Reach was the right place for her;
“My favourite pub is the Wavendon Arms, and I’d always said to myself – ‘if I ever buy a house, it has to be near this pub’. I used to drive past Saxon Reach quite a lot when it was in the early stages of being built and I thought ‘well that’s not far from the Wavendon Arms!’. I knew they were extending the Milton Keynes Redway cycle network out to Saxon Reach, so I went and asked one of the builders if they were also building a Redway out to the pub – and they were, so that sold it for me! I can now walk there in six minutes! Generally, the site is very accessible and I can travel to work and to see friends easily.”
Initially nervous about taking the plunge into homeownership, Laura arranged an appointment with the L&Q sales team, who were able to talk her through the process and answer all of her questions.
She explains; “I was really nervous about giving my house up – once you’re in the council system, you don’t want to get out and lose your place, so that was something I was quite anxious about, but I’d managed to save up for a deposit for a Shared Ownership property and I started to think that maybe owning a house was something I could achieve.
“My journey with L&Q was just amazing. I registered online and not long after, someone at Saxon Reach called me and asked if I wanted to view the show home and have an initial chat. I went in for an appointment and the sales team were absolutely brilliant. I had so many questions, but they talked me through everything and really reassured me. I came away thinking ‘this really is something I could do’, so I went for it!”
Having had her first appointment at Saxon Reach in August 2020, Laura began the process of buying her home just as the country was heading into a second national lockdown.
“There were a couple of delays because of COVID-19, but the L&Q team were great and kept me informed at every stage. They were always in touch with me, even when we were in the middle of a lockdown. I also used the mortgage broker recommended by L&Q, The Mortgage People, and they were amazing. They talked me through everything – they were really responsive and so helpful. We eventually moved on March 31st 2021 – but the delays turned out to be a good thing, because it gave me more time to save for furniture!”
Now settled into her new home at Saxon Reach, Laura reveals what she loves about the house and the development;
“The houses at Saxon Reach are very pretty. L&Q offers a really high-quality specification throughout all the homes, which was a real draw – I have an ensuite attached to my bedroom now, and it’s like waking up in a hotel every day! My home feels really spacious; I have a place for guests to stay, which I’ve never had before and I have a lovely big garden!
“My son is a teenager so spends most of his time in bed or out with friends – but he’s happy at Saxon Reach too. He can still get to a lot of places easily, and he can still go to the same school and see his friends, so it works well for both of us.
“Saxon Reach has a really nice community feel. There’s a community Facebook group, and I’ve got to know my neighbours already. In fact, my next-door neighbour is a mobile hairdresser so I’ve booked in to have my hair done!”
Looking to the future, Laura sees herself staying at Saxon Reach long term; “I hopefully want to stay here for the long term. I’ll see where life takes me, but I’m definitely happy here!”
For more information about Shared Ownership homes at Saxon Reach, please visit lqhomes.com/saxonreach.
Share to Buy is a one stop shop for affordable homes. On our website, you can search for properties, compare mortgages and find out all you need to know about alternative home buying schemes such as Shared Ownership and Help to Buy.