Shared ownership: ‘There was no way we could have bought otherwise’

Roopa and Indika realised shared ownership was their best bet when it came to buying in Wandsworth

After renting in Wandsworth for 13 years, self-employed graphic designer Roopa Rajapaksha, and her husband Indika, an entrepreneur, were keen to get themselves on the property ladder.

Prioritising location and an all-important second bedroom which could double up as a home studio, they soon realised that shared ownership was the most viable route to buying and made an appointment to view the show home at L&Q’s Wandsworth Exchange development, opposite the central Southside shopping centre.

‘We couldn’t say goodbye to Wandsworth because it’s our home, and having a second bedroom was a non-negotiable,’ says Roopa.

Do the maths: Why shared ownership is worth it

Price (for a two-bed at Deptford Landings): £495,000

25% share: £123,750

Minimum deposit: £12,375

Mortgage: approx. £500pcm

Rent: £696pcm

Service charge: £232

Total monthly spend: approx. £1,428

‘However there was no way we could afford a two-bed apartment in the area if we bought on the open market. Shared ownership seemed the perfect alternative.’

The couple were initially unsure if they would qualify, as Roopa explains. ‘We had first looked into shared ownership 15 years earlier, but were told we weren’t eligible as we had been self-employed for less than three years.

However, we were so happy to find out this wasn’t a problem at Wandsworth Exchange, though with the onset of the pandemic soon after reserving the flat, securing our mortgage took a little longer than expected.’

They bought a 25% share in a two-bed apartment, which they reserved off-plan after being blown away by the show home.

‘We were stunned at the spec,’ she says. ‘It was leaps above competitors. We couldn’t believe this was all included as standard in a shared ownership home.’

Shared ownership flats are still available at Deptford Landings

Now settled in, they’ve fallen in love with their apartment and the second bedroom has proved even more useful than anticipated.

‘My new home studio is perfect,’ Roopa says. ‘It’s a really inviting space to work in, and just what I need from a home office. There’s ample space for all my equipment, alongside a bed for when guests come to stay. Shared ownership made this dream a possibility.

‘I would definitely recommend the scheme to friends. It was the only way we could get on the ladder in London, and buy the high-quality, spacious home of our dreams. We hope to staircase until we own our home outright.’

Wandsworth Exchange has sold out but L&Q is offering shared ownership homes across London and beyond, including at Deptford Landings, also in Zone 2 and only five minutes’ walk from the Thames.

Situated next to Deptford Park, which offers 28 acres of green open space, the development comprises a mix of two, three and four-bed apartments, all with a private balcony or terrace and starting from £123,750 for a 25%share of £495,000.

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MORE : Everything you need to know about buying a home through shared ownership

MORE : Shared ownership: How to get on the ladder for less – according to people who’ve done it

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