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Single mum Leanne finds her ‘forever home’ through shared ownership

Single mum Leanne Collins already owned her own home, but she needed more room to bring up her children aged 1, 8 and 11. It wasn’t possible to make room at their old two bedroom house as Leanne explains: “There was no scope for an extension to create another bedroom. Selling was my only option. We grew out of the space and needed more room.”

Thirty four year old Leanne, who works as a registrar at Brent Council, thought a four bedroom home in London was out of her reach on the open market. She then discovered one of Network Homes’ shared ownership properties in Brent: “I want to own a property but I can’t afford on the open market, as I’m a single mum with three children. I am working but I’m still not earning enough to buy a place that meets my needs. Shared ownership was the only way I could do that and it has been the best thing for me.”

From the sale of her two bedroom house, Leanne had a large £159,000 deposit. After visiting the Share to Buy website, she discovered Network Homes’ development in Brent and bought the minimum share of her £514,000 duplex, giving her small monthly mortgage payments. She plans to staircase in the future: “My ultimate aim would be to own my home outright within the next five to seven years.”

Leanne was already familiar with shared ownership: “I’m a second time shared ownership buyer. The first time was when I got on the property ladder. The money I made from that sale allowed me to raise a deposit to buy on the open market in 2005. I’ve come full circle back to shared ownership again.”

The move means that all of Leanne’s children now have their own bedroom: “I won’t have to think five years from now, when my daughter is older: where are we going to live? They’ve got their own rooms now and I’ve got that security.

As the family had previously lived in a house, Leanne was unsure of how the family would adjust to a duplex: “I’d only seen apartments, rather than duplexes, but we fell in love with it straight away.” Leanne’s new home boasts integrated Zanussi appliances, a washer dryer in the utility room and two spacious bathrooms: “The duplex was sold as future living. I know I can put a shower in downstairs. Everyone has space to grow.”

The family have been enjoying the summer on their terrace which runs the length of the property. And Leanne believes that her new home will open up new possibilities for her family: “We will never have to move again. This is my forever home. We have our own space to grow.”