How we bought our first home: ‘Getting a traditional mortgage would have been difficult, shared ownership was the answer’

·2-min read
Sajini Kuruppu and Nisal Karunadhara bought a flat in Greenford through shared ownership  (Handout)
Sajini Kuruppu and Nisal Karunadhara bought a flat in Greenford through shared ownership (Handout)

As a newly engaged couple both living at home with parents, a flat of their own was high on Sajini Kuruppu and Nisal Karunadhara’s wish list.

After Kuruppu went to visit a friend in Greenford, west London, she decided it would be the ideal location to house hunt because not only is it close to both their families, but there is lots of nearby green space.

After looking at what was on offer the couple discovered SO Resi Greenford, a development of 84 shared-ownership flats overlooking the Grand Union Canal. Greenford Tube station is a six-minute walk away.

The SO Resi Greenford development (Handout)
The SO Resi Greenford development (Handout)

Kuruppu, 25, a clinical researcher at King’s College, and Karunadhara, 27, a fraud agent for a bank, decided to invest in a three-bedroom flat. Their 40 per cent share cost £213,000 and they raised a £30,000 deposit using savings put aside while living at home and with help from their families.

“We didn’t want to compromise on location and move somewhere very far out and we would have had to wait for years and years to save enough to buy a property of this value if we hadn’t opted for the shared ownership route,” explained Kuruppu.

They moved in April and now use their spare rooms to work from home.

My income can vary, it would have been difficult to get a mortgage to buy a property outright

“It is the ideal place for hybrid working, we have huge windows which flood the property with light,” said Karunadhara.

Their monthly costs include around £675 in mortgage repayments, rent of just over £470 and a service charge of £287 — a total of just over £1,400.

In the future the couple plan to up their stake in the flat. But right now they are just thrilled to have a toehold on the property ladder.

“I can’t believe we own this property; we have to pinch ourselves at times,” said Kuruppu. “We didn’t want to get into a rent trap and just throw away our money but I work on a contract basis so my income can vary from project to project... so it would have been difficult to get a mortgage to buy a property of this quality outright.”

The breakdown

  • Property price: £532,500

  • The couple’s 40% share: £213,000

  • Deposit: £30,000

  • Monthly mortgage: £675

  • Rent: £470

  • Service charge: £287

Prices at SO Resi Greenford start from £82,500 for a 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat.

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