After moving house on average every 18 months, the Hornsey family were sick of living out of boxes and ready to finally find somewhere they could call their own. However despite having a combined income of £35,000 and saving for a deposit for over five years, Damien, an Office Manager at a local electrical company, and his partner Kristy, a Care Worker, were not able to pull enough together to buy a home.
Their children, Lennon and Elsie now eleven and five, were fed up with having to share magnolia coloured rooms, and were desperate to have a space of their own that they could decorate to their own taste.
Damian Hornsey comments: “Despite saving for years we found that we just could not keep up with the house price growth in our area. It always felt like we were near the finish line, but every time we looked to buy we just didn’t have quite enough for a deposit.”
After googling options of affordable housing in their area, Damien and Kristy came across Rentplus’ affordable rent-to-buy model, applied to Cornerstone (the housing association partner managing the Rentplus homes in Cullompton) for one of the 10 available homes, and in June 2017 they moved into their new home in Saxon Fields, Cullompton. Through Rentplus they will have the opportunity to buy their new home in 5 years. In the meantime they will benefit from an affordable intermediate rent set at 80% of local private rented homes. The Hornsey Family will also have no maintenance costs or service charges to pay while they rent and will receive a 10% gifted deposit from Rentplus when they come to buy.
Damian Hornsey continues: “For us the Rentplus model is perfect, and it feels fantastic to be living somewhere which we will eventually own. Our new three bedroom house is a real upgrade from the two bedroom flat we were renting, yet we are saving an additional £30 a month, on top of what we are already setting aside, to put towards our deposit.
“The house itself is also great. We were previously living just off a very busy main road and I was always worried about letting the children play outside near so much traffic. However Saxon Heights feels like a really safe community, and the kids are able to go out and play with other kids on the street without us having to worry about them.”
Their new reduced rental and running costs means that Damian and his partner Kirsty are able to save more each month compared to the market rent they were paying before. These additional savings will be added towards the money they have already have set aside for their deposit and purchase costs, as well the 10% gifted deposit they will receive from Rentplus when they have the opportunity to buy their home.
Living in a Rentplus home also gives the Hornseys security of tenure – they won’t have to move again as they have a five year tenancy agreement with Cornerstone, who are also responsible for carrying out any repairs to the property until the Hornseys buy their home.