Shared Ownership case study – meet Alfonzina


22 March 2021

IMAGE: Alfonzina who describes her journey to finding a Shared Ownership home with OptivoOn her teacher’s salary, Alfonzina didn’t know if she’d ever be able to afford her own home.
She’d always privately rented since moving to this country from Italy around 10 years ago.

Now, she’s finally on the property ladder, living in a stunning one-bedroom apartment in the prestigious Belmont area in Sutton, London.
And it’s all thanks to Shared Ownership with Optivo.
Alfonzina, who is a secondary school teacher, explained: "This apartment is so spacious for one person. To have this amount of room in London is absolutely amazing! The bedroom is a decent size, the bathroom is practical and smart, and the kitchen is modern. There’s plenty of storage space and there’s even a balcony. It’s been very cleverly designed and is in a favourable location."
Alfonzina says she feels a real "sense of freedom" living in this particular part of the capital. There’s vast greenery and parks to enjoy, with the impressive Belmont Park less than two miles from her home.
She often walks into the town centre which boasts a mile-long high street. And she’s a short distance from Belmont train station where it’s just a 45 minute journey to get to London Victoria.
Having rented in Sutton before, Alfonzina was extremely keen to lay down some roots in the area. Despite not knowing a lot about Shared Ownership, it soon became clear it was a very desirable option.
Alfonzina said: "A teacher’s salary is, I’d say, an average £30K to £35K a year. So it’s difficult to buy in London. I looked into Help to Buy but with this scheme you needed a bigger deposit. Shared Ownership was the only way. I didn’t know anything about purchasing a home through Shared Ownership, but Annette (Sales Officer, Optivo) was there to explain everything step by step, very clearly. It was a totally new experience for me, so it was important to know what was going to happen next. Annette was a great support - we were side by side and worked together."
Having saved as much as she could for ten years, Alfonzina purchased a 45% share in her home and now pays a subsidised rent on the remaining. With a share of 25%, she’d have been looking at a deposit of around £6,750 on a one-bedroom apartment. She’s also found her combined monthly mortgage/rent payment is lower than what she was paying in the private rent sector.
The 42-year-old moved into her beautiful home on 31 December last year and has no regrets about the choice she made.
Alfonzina explained: "The mortgage is like a saving and you’re only paying a percentage of the rent. I’m so happy to be here!"
* To find out more about Shared Ownership with Optivo click here.