“Our rent was suddenly due to go up from £1,400 to £1,500 a month,” says Faizal, who works as a healthcare assistant in a secure mental health unit. Nooraz was also working in healthcare, first at a care home and then at the secure unit. Although the couple would have loved to buy a home on the open market, it wasn’t possible. “We struggled financially because we are healthcare assistants and it was impossible to get a mortgage for £400,000 to buy a house,” says Faizal. “Although we had the deposit, the bank wouldn’t give us the mortgage because they said our wages were too low – even though the mortgage repayments would be so much less than we were paying in rent. That’s where shared ownership helped us – we bought a 50% share in a house and it was much easier to get a mortgage for £200,000. With the deposit and the legal fees we spent around £23,000 and each month we paid £900 on the mortgage and £300 on rent – compared with the £1,500 we were paying. What’s even better is that we knew we were benefiting from investing some of that money each month, as half of the house was ours.” The home that the couple fell in love with was a three-bedroom terraced house from BE WEST. “It was a good sized house for a family of five and it had a big garden – and Nooraza loves gardening,” Faizal said. “It’s in a good area, close to supermarkets and Feltham station, and with a big park nearby.” Five years after their initial purchase, the couple were ready to take the next step, and decided to staircase to 100%. “The equity we already had in the house acted as our deposit, but as the home had increased in value to £460.000 we now needed a mortgage for £350,000 to enable us to buy the other half. It was still a bit of a struggle because of our jobs, but the mortgage broker that BE WEST recommended was very helpful. “It feels good now knowing that the home is all our own, and we don’t have to ask anyone’s permission if we want to make changes. If anyone is thinking about shared ownership I would say go for it, especially if you have a modest income and can’t afford to buy a whole house. When you are renting you are not investing in the property at all, whereas even if you can only afford to buy 25 per cent of the home, you are still investing in your future.” BE WEST currently only has resale properties available in Feltham, starting from a deposit of £5,313 for a 25% share of a three-bedroom house in Vernon Road valued at £425,000.