Dr. Faisal Shaikh was somewhat of an expert on mortgages when it came to taking the plunge and buying his first home. After some 15 years renting, he both knew the area he wanted to live and had researched home finance strategies on a regular basis to keep on top of the products that suited his needs. In the end, the driving force behind his home purchase was a sense of security for his growing family. He explains:
“I’d been wanting to buy a house for quite a long time. There were many reasons why we wanted to buy: for financial stability; an investment of sorts; but the most important reason was the arrival of the children. We really wanted to settle down and have a place of our own and not have to worry about the uncertainty of landlords.”
Finding the perfect home
From their time renting, the Shaikh family had a pretty clear idea of their dream home. Town-life had been too chaotic while country-living was too quiet. Also, crucially they needed access to a mosque. So their search centered on the outskirts of Oxford where the family would benefit from proximity to the town while being out of the hustle and bustle.
With two small boys Dr. Shaikh wanted a garden where they could run around and where he could teach them the basics of composting, potting and gardening. They wanted a three-bedroom house and to have parking out front after a tricky period in rental accommodation where they were forced to string the charging cables of their electric car across the footpath.
After a short search, they found a home that worked for them. Now they just needed the finance that met their requirements.
Dr. Shaikh says "every two years I’d research the halal mortgage market and that’s something that I’ve been doing for 10-15 years. Last year StrideUp came up in search for the first time.”
His goal was to find a home finance provider that balanced Shariah compliant products with practicality and a customer-focused approach. The Home Purchase Plan route was one he was familiar with so he set up a call with a StrideUp advisor. He says:
“I drilled the first person I spoke to about Shariah compliance and she satisfied my concerns about what I was buying into…I can’t fault the StrideUp team in terms of their sincerity and their sheer compassion. You can tell that they really care.”
Halal home finance that’s catered to today’s home buyer
Dr. Shaikh found StrideUp’s Home Purchase Plans more flexible than other Shariah compliant home financing options that he had researched. He says
“The good thing about StrideUp was that it seemed to have a fairly good balance between the ethical principles of Shariah compliance and a practical organisation.”
Competitor products had restrictions around the share of ownership and buy-out options that didn’t suit his needs. “There’s a lot more flexibility with StrideUp to how much you put in. You can choose the buyout share and the equity share so that you don’t get caught out 10-15 years down the line.”
Relief over elation
With home and finance arrangements in place, the Shaikh family secured their Oxford home, spent a week making alterations and moved in. After their extended period renting, waiting for the right time, property and finance, Dr. Shaikh and his wife felt more relief than elation on moving in. He says
“There was a prevailing sense of calm which is something that we both cherish. We talk still about how much calmer we are, how less stressed we are and how happier the kids look in general. When your little ones explore a new area and as they get used to it, there’s a very happy, content feeling.”
They’ve wasted no time introducing themselves to the neighbours, visiting and gifting traditional sweets. They’re looking forward to Spring when they can get out and explore the area more and make greater use of their shed and garden. Dr. Shaikh concludes “What you’re doing is a good thing for the community”.
Looking for practical Halal home finance?
If you are looking for Islamic home finance, you can learn about StrideUp’s Iman product range by calling one of our friendly advisers on 020 3875 3585.