Buying your first home? Here’s how shared ownership can get you there faster while saving money

The living area in L&Q's apartment at Beam Park in London.

L&Q offer a selection of stunning one and two-bedroom apartments at Barking Riverside and L&Q at Beam Park in London. - Credit: L&Q

With rising housing prices and the increasingly difficult task of securing a mortgage, it begs the question many young people are asking themselves: will I ever be able to afford my own home? 

Offering an affordable route onto the property ladder in East London, leading housing association L&Q is offering first-time buyers the chance to find a new shared ownership home at two pioneering new developments – Barking Riverside and L&Q at Beam Park. 

We speak to L&Q residents and new parents Jade Henry and Theo Jones about how shared ownership helped them buy their first home in Barking Riverside, and why it’s the best option if you’re looking to get onto the property ladder in London on a budget.

Q: What is shared ownership and why did you choose this option to buy your first home?

“Being pregnant felt like the perfect opportunity to try and get onto the property ladder, so we had a permanent home – but with the imminent arrival of Nyla, we didn’t have time to save,” Jade says. 

Speaking to friends about their options, the couple discovered an alternative route to buying on the open market, allowing them to remain in the capital and set down more permanent roots.

Spacious bedroom in L&Q's two-bedroom apartment at Beam Park in London with their shared ownership scheme

L&Q offer shared ownership schemes with lower deposits to help people get onto the property ladder. - Credit: L&Q at Beam Park

“I had spoken to a few friends who had used and recommended shared ownership. Once we researched it further, we realised it was the only financially viable way to meet our needs of location and our required budget,” Jade tells us.

Shared ownership is a government-backed, part-buy, part-rent scheme which helps first-time buyers  get onto the property ladder without a hefty deposit. Eligible buyers are able to purchase between a 25 and 75 percentage of the home, whilst paying rent on the remaining portion. 

Deposits are often as low as five per cent of the purchased share price, and buyers only require a mortgage for the purchased share. As and when buyers can afford to, they can purchase greater shares in their home through a process called ‘staircasing’, until they eventually own their home outright.

Q: What are the apartments like?

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“We have a two-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and ample space for our family to grow. The open-plan kitchen and living room is really practical, and is always filled with natural light thanks to the huge windows," Jade says.

“There is also a fantastic sense of community here,” she goes on to say. “It took us by surprise how much time people put into meeting their neighbours once they’ve become a property owner, compared to when they’re renting. It makes you feel even more safe and secure in your home.”

Beautiful one-bedroom apartment from L&Q with their shared ownership scheme at Beam Park in London.

The team at L&Q in London are on-hand to help you through the process of solicitors and understanding the legal elements of shared ownership. - Credit: L&Q at Beam Park

Q: What’s the area at Barking Riverside like?

Barking Riverside will deliver 10,000 new homes along a 2km stretch of the River Thames with improved transport connections, commercial and leisure facilities and new schools. The area is set to become one of the most dynamic communities for first-time buyers in the capital, alongside significant space for shopping outlets, restaurants and cafés, the development will benefit from an array of public facilities for residents to enjoy on-site.  

Jade says: “We’re very excited about Barking Riverside overground train station coming soon, and having Riverside Campus next door to our home is a huge plus for raising children, as we have pre-nursery through to sixth form right on the doorstep."


Couple with their baby in their new home through shared ownership with L&Q at Barking Riverside in London

Jade Henry and Theo Jones were able to buy their first home for their new-born through L&Q at Barking Riverside in London. - Credit: Hakan Yazici

Q: Would you recommend L&Q to other first-time buyers?

Jade and Theo found the Barking Riverside sales team to be very helpful throughout, ensuring their buying process was as smooth as possible.

“From our first appointment with L&Q, everything was made clear to us, from the finances we needed to have in place to talking to a solicitor and understanding the legal elements,” Jade says. “As we waited for completion, we were given bi-weekly updates from L&Q, so we never felt in the lurch.” 

“We couldn’t be happier to have bought our first home, and have started a family at Barking Riverside,” Jade says, “it’s a huge sense of achievement.”

Q: Are there any other areas available for flats under the scheme?

L&Q is also currently offering a collection of one and two-bedroom apartments at L&Q at Beam Park, Dagenham, where deposits start from £3,125 for a 25 per cent share (valued at £62,500). Residents will enjoy a proposed new public square, a medical centre, two schools, retail spaces, a gym, nursery, community facilities, and a multi-faith space, as well as a plethora of green spaces all on site. A new launch of three-bedroom homes will become available early this year.

For more information on L&Q’s shared ownership apartments available at Barking Riverside and L&Q at Beam Park, visit lqhomes.com.