“We staircased to full ownership in just two years”

When Jenny Erisman and John O’Shea moved into their shared ownership home ago in east London in 2015 they were just happy to be on the property ladder in an area that they loved.

Fast forward two years, the couple now own their dream home outright having staircased from part ownership to full ownership.

Jenny, 33, said: “I had been renting in London for around ten years and then prior to buying our home we lived with John’s parents for around seven months.” 

She added: “We wanted to live in east London, and ideally wanted a three-bedroom home with a view to starting a family. But we knew we’d never be able to afford all of this on the private market as the prices are just depressing.

Jenny, a nurse, had £25,000 in savings available thanks to a long-term bond investment and, with the help from his family, John was able to match the amount. With a sizable deposit behind them, the couple paid £167,000 for a 35 per cent share of a three-bedroom home (with a full market value of £475,000) at Clarion Housing’s Aubers Ridge Court scheme, in Bow.

Although the couple had always hoped to be able to staircase in the future, it happened quicker than they had expected. Jenny said: “We were able to do it after my father gave me my inheritance money early and John also had a pay rise at work, which helped us to get a bigger mortgage.”

“It feels amazing to say that we own our home and we found the whole staircasing process very straightforward - it was much easier than friends had warned us it might be,” she said. But her top tip for other would be staircasers would be to ensure rent payments are cancelled in advance of completion.” 

Jenny now champions shared ownership whenever the subject of home ownership crops up. “I recommend it to every person that I see. Whenever we show people our home they cant believe what we have managed to get for our money. I think anyone who owns a property in London is in a good place, and has a good chance of making some money from the investment.”