Dream come true

At one time, the Baldwin family could only dream of owning their own home in Milton Keynes. Four years after living in a bpha rent-to-buy property, they have placed their feet firmly on that elusive property ladder.

Debs Baldwin and her husband, Chris, moved into a bpha rent-to-buy property the same month as they found out they were expecting their second child. Four years later, the family of four have just purchased a 30 per cent share of their home as part of bpha’s shared ownership scheme.

‘I’ve recommend the shared ownership scheme left, right and centre!’ Debs enthuses. ‘It was a simple process and has enabled us to get onto the property ladder, which we just hadn’t been able to do before.’

Debs, Chris, and children, Dain, 12, and Breanna, 3, live in Milton Keynes. Four years ago, they were living in a small two-bed terrace, rented through a private landlord. Needing more room, and finding the landlord reluctant to carry out repairs, they applied for a bpha home, and were overjoyed when they were offered a three-bed house in Oakridge Park.

‘There’s no way we could have afforded a home like this through a private rent,’ Debs says. ‘This is so much bigger and is in such a good condition, especially compared to what we had before.’

Debs and Chris’ aim was to own their own home, so with the rent-to-buy scheme*, they were able to put a little aside each month for a deposit.

When they were eventually able to buy shares in their home it was simple, Debs explains: ‘It was an easy process and the asset sales team at the bpha bent over backwards to help – they supported us with lots of things, from the initial valuation through to sorting out direct debit for the rent we still pay. They were flexible too – I can’t fault them.’

Over time, you can increase the share of your home that you own – a process called staircasing, which Debs and Chris want to do in the future.

For now, they are enjoying the space their home offers, and the security that being a shared owner brings. ‘Without this chance, we wouldn’t have been able to get onto the property ladder,’ Debs says. ‘I know that as long as we pay our bills, it’s ours. ’

*Although Rent to Buy is no longer available, there are alternative options. To find out more, contact bpha’s sales team on 0845 456 6757.