Meet Carol. At 68, she’s flying the flag for retirees to start their shared ownership journey. She calls her home a dream to live in, something only a few years ago she never thought was possible.
One of the myths surrounding shared ownership is that it’s purpose built for first time buyers; Carol also believed this to be true. Going through a divorce and now retired from a career in IT, she thought her only option was to move into a retirement apartment nearby.
"I was in a position where I was separating from my husband, so I had very little in terms of choice when looking to buy. It was a very strange and uncertain situation. I had a good career and lived in a four-bedroom detached house, but when your marriage fails - your home and status go with it."
Carol is an avid preacher at her local church in Heaton Moor, so finding somewhere within the vicinity was essential as she was keen to feel connected to the community.
"I’d been through the process of trying to buy a retirement apartment, and I was probably 7 months down the line and still had 15 outstanding queries. At the same time, I was moving out of my home. When I found out York House was available, I immediately decided not only did I want to live here, but I didn’t want to live in the retirement home - it would have just sucked the life out of me.
I called Stockport Homes and said I want this, and they said “You’ve not even seen it?” but I didn’t care, it’s such a beautiful space and setting. At this point, I’d just moved in with my daughter thinking I’d be living with her for 12 weeks at the very least… I got the key 5 weeks later. The application process was amazing."
Due to her age and status, Carol didn’t consider shared ownership to be an option. Her little knowledge of the scheme meant that Stockport Homes were on hand to guide her through the process.
"All of the process was absolutely amazing, and all of the Viaduct staff were lovely. This is my home for life now, it’s just home. I still feel like I’m really supported by Stockport Homes since moving in as they are just a phone call away."
It has been an effortless transition for Carol, as she explains the bond she’s built with her neighbours makes her feel like she belongs – despite the occasional 40-year age gap.
"My neighbours and I are always socialising. They’re in their 20’s and 40’s and I’m in my late 60’s and they really look out for me. If I need something changing or moving, I know that I can rely on them to help me out. We also have two WhatsApp groups for both the new builds at the back and the renovation, you really get that sense of community.
If you’re on your own and feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, this is the perfect opportunity. I see this apartment as mine, it is shared ownership, but I’ve made it my own and I’m so pleased with it."
Visit our help and information pages to find out more about Shared Ownership
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