"Discovering Shared Ownership was a lightbulb moment"
Ashleigh Boxall and her partner Paul, both in their 20s, had been renting in central Chichester for some time, but when noisy neighbours scuppered their long-term plans to stay put and save, they decided that a move was on the cards sooner rather than later. The couple started looking into ways to buy earlier, and quickly discovered Shared Ownership.
The savvy pair realised the affordable home ownership scheme was their ticket onto the property ladder with far less savings, and became doubly excited when they discovered Priors Orchard, a new development near the West Sussex city.
Ashleigh explains: “Paul and I had been renting in and around Chichester for the last few years, and loved the flat we were living in, with plans to stay put for a while. Six months in, however, and we got new neighbours, who were awful to live under. We wanted out but didn’t want to rent again; even though it was far sooner than we’d originally intended, we began looking into buying. Discovering Shared Ownership was a lightbulb moment, which meant we could purchase a home of our own with far less savings than on the open market.
“We started looking into the scheme more and came across Priors Orchard. I recognised the name and investigated: the joinery company I work for supplied the kitchens for the homes there. Knowing the quality of our product made us both feel confident in the build and specification of the homes, even off-plan, so we decided to take a look.”
Visiting the site back in February, we fell in love instantly – we didn’t even look at any other homes after that.
We reserved the following day, but the pandemic put a halt to our progress soon after. Abri were brilliant all the way through, keeping us regularly updated which removed so much uncertainty. Finally, in July we completed with a 50% share of our two-bedroom house, and we couldn’t be any happier.
“The house is on a corner which gives us plenty of space around us, it has a small garden and a car parking space which is nice after so long in a city centre without either! The location is ideal: I grew up in a village similar and I’d always planned on moving back to one as I love the community that comes with it – and here is no different. Even better, we’re only 10 minutes’ walk to the beach, which was lovely during the hot weather this summer.
“The finish of the home is pristine; Abri has done an amazing job. Working in the job I do means I see a lot of internal fixtures and fittings in homes, but the attention to detail here is amazing. We eventually plan to redecorate but the specification is so lovely that we really don’t feel the need to right away. Paul and I want to staircase to buy the home outright, and have no plans to ever move again: this is our forever home.”