Michael’s StrideUp

Having rented in London for ten years, Michael was ready to become a homeowner. But like so many hard-working professionals in the capital, the limited mortgage options didn’t match his aspirations. Here’s how Michael worked with the StrideUp team, to start buying his dream Zone 2 London home. And there was even space for a garden terrace.

Buying a flat in Zone 2 London

Having rented in London for ten years, Michael was ready to become a homeowner. But like so many hard-working professionals in the capital, the limited mortgage options didn’t match his aspirations. Here’s how Michael worked with the StrideUp team, to start buying his dream Zone 2 London home. And there was even space for a garden terrace.

The challenge

When we first got to know Michael, he was working in the centre of London. He’d rented for ten years, whilst focusing on his career in advertising, the job that kept him close to the capital’s beating heart, along with the friends and network he’d built along the way.

The goal for Michael was to move onto the property ladder after a decade of renting, but the reality of finding a mortgage was hitting hard. Lots of people call deposit requirements unreasonable, but Michael was also stunned by the outdated approach and inflexibility at the core of the mortgage industry. He wasn’t so much being told ‘no’, as ‘yes, but only if you’re willing to give up your dream of x,y and z. And k.’

Living and working in London had taken Michael from strength-to-strength at work, but seemed now to prevent him from owning a home. He’d looked into government-funded schemes, but found he’d be compromising so much on location that he might as well move away from London altogether.

The dream

Pretty simple, really. Michael wanted a property that gave him an easy commute to work and kept him close to friends. That meant a flat in Zone 2 London, with decent transport links. In terms of the property itself, Michael was keen to avoid a new build, and loved the idea of the higher ceilings so many period London properties have retained.

“This is my home! I can be here for years to come, as long as it works for me. I’ve always wanted a garden terrace, but I’d never have bothered to work on one when renting. I couldn’t be sure I’d still be there in a year, and the uncertainty of it gets you down. Psychologically, owning a home is completely different.”

How StrideUp helped

Michael stumbled across StrideUp whilst looking into alternative options. Finally, he was reading about the kind of flexibility that seemed to be missing from traditional mortgage lenders. He set up a phone consultation with our team, and instead of focusing on compromise and limitations, found himself discussing his situation and goals, putting a plan in place to start buying his home.

Soon after our chat, and equipped with a budget that met his aspirations, Michael found the home he wanted to buy. We sent in our local property expert to give him a second opinion on the estate agent’s price, and quickly helped organise the survey. The team were at Michael’s side for each stage, from navigating the conveyancing process to the day he was ready to move in.

Stories

Where’s Michael now?

Right now, Michael’s putting the finishing touches into his garden terrace – all part of his London pipedream that has quickly become a reality, complete with high-ceilinged rooms and that all-important Zone 2 location.

But how does renting compare to ownership? For Michael, it’s infinitely better. As he says,

“This is my home! I can be here for years to come, as long as it works for me. I’ve always wanted a garden terrace, but I’d never have bothered to work on one when renting. I couldn’t be sure I’d still be there in a year, and the uncertainty of it gets you down. Psychologically, owning a home is completely different.”

Michael really has just one regret, which is that StrideUp weren’t around sooner to bring flexibility – and a healthy touch of reality – to his property journey. As it is, he’s full of praise for the team that helped him settle without settling.

We don’t see people like Michael as demanding or asking for too much. We recognise how hard you have to work to rent or buy, maintain a difficult commute and start making dreams a reality. Working in London should bring rewards, not penalties, and that’s where we start from, whether it’s on the phone with our customers, or taking a look at the property they’d like to buy. Because believe it or not, we still get excited, too.

Press Reviews

StrideUp...removes the traditional inefficiencies associated with shared ownership models.
…provide(s) an alternative to a mortgage, a form of financing that is increasingly out of reach for many.
…help young people across the country get a footing on the housing ladder.

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