James’ Story: Open Market Shared Equity Scheme

A graduate from art school, James Smith had been living in a private rented flat in Dundee for over 3 years.  To an outsider, the flat might appear to be perfectly suitable for anyone.  However, James suffers from anxiety and the flat was situated on a very busy road that created excessive noise and commotion. The location of the house and its surroundings were causing James’ mental health to suffer as a result. After an intruder broke into his home and stole various items from him, James became house bound from anxiety due to the incident.  He realized he needed a change in housing for his own well-being and began looking for options to buy a house in a quieter area.

For the last two years after graduation, James changed his entire lifestyle to save money with the intention of buying a house.  He checked on his credit score weekly and developed excellent savings and spending habits.  Despite his good money habits, he was rejected by his bank when he applied for a mortgage because of his income.  Realizing his situation required a bit more help than he originally thought, he turned to Housing Options Scotland (HOS) for specialist advice.

He contacted HOS at the end of January, heard back from a broker in four weeks with personalized options, was in touch with a financial advisor in two days, and had a house offer accepted within two weeks of submitting it.  After a total of only ten weeks, James had secured a house of his own in a more rural area using the LIFT scheme.  The LIFT scheme contributed 40% to the value of the house and he was responsible for the remaining 60%.  This enabled him to finally be able to buy his own home.

His new house is located on a quiet road in a rural village, but is still situated five minutes away from a larger village.  The house has a large garden for James’ two dogs, a studio space for his working on his art, and feels more secure than his previous home.  James now spends a majority of his time outside to explore the local country side or tend to his garden.  There are only 30 other houses in his village and he has been enjoying getting to know many of his neighbours.  The reduction in noise and vast green space has been beyond beneficial for James’ mental health.  James said he is “more than happy with [it]” and can see himself living there for the next 10 years or so.  To anyone thinking about using Housing Options Scotland’s services, James highly recommends it because of how essential it is “to have someone in your corner” when trying to navigate personal circumstances and the housing market.


Posted on

October 24, 2019