19 November

Elizabeth seizes chance to move back to childhood village

An affordable shared ownership home led to Elizabeth and her family relocating to a stunning new development in Pucklechurch
Elizabeth McCarthy

Elizabeth McCarthy is thrilled to have returned to the village that conjured such happy childhood memories.

The NHS administrator never dreamed she would be able to afford to move back to Pucklechurch where her family have been living for the last 30 years.

While renting in Emersons Green, north of Bristol, Elizabeth and husband Sam welcomed daughters Lyla, three, and Bonnie, two, into the world.

But buying a home looked a little way off until LiveWest, with support from South Gloucestershire Council, brought some shared ownership properties to the tranquil village.

Elizabeth, 25, explained: “I grew up in Pucklechurch but I didn’t think we would be able to move back there because of the prices of properties in the area.

“We were privately renting and couldn’t get on the property ladder.

“But we found out about these shared ownership homes, went on the LiveWest website and instantly applied for one of them.

“Even then you don’t think it is going to happen so we were so excited when we discovered we had been accepted for one of the properties.

“Pucklechurch is a lovely village with lots of nice walks, loads of open space and everything is so close.

“There is lots of history here with the World War Two links which I knew all about as I grew up here and there is a real community spirit in the village.

“My mum and dad and two sisters all live in the village and even though I tried living somewhere else for a while, I missed the place.”

The Moorings in Pucklechurch, South Gloucestershire, is a development of 11 rental and 27 shared ownership homes.

The scheme adjoins open space that includes tethering hooks for Second World War air balloon defences.

The McCarthy family was set to move into their new home in March before lockdown put a dent in their plans.

Yet Elizabeth was determined nothing would prevent her completing the full circle journey back to where it all began.

Elizabeth said: “We were desperate to get in, but we didn’t think it would be possible because of lockdown and, although it was delayed a little bit, we are now all settled in.

“It was a bit of a different moving in process because we weren’t allowed people to help us due to social distancing.

“So we couldn’t book a removal van and we did it all using our cars.

“We couldn’t ask our families to help us unpack so we did it all ourselves. But we got there and couldn’t be happier.” 

With property prices around 10 times more than the average salary across the South West, shared ownership is becoming increasingly popular as a means to buy a home.

LiveWest allow customers to secure a shared ownership home with as little as a five per cent deposit and they can buy between 25 and 75 per cent of the property.

Elizabeth and Sam were in a position buy a 25% chunk of their property and the aim is to buy the remaining 75% over the next five years.

Elizabeth added: “Shared ownership was the right way for us to buy a home because it means you don’t have to save up a monster deposit.

“It is much less daunting and it means you can staircase where you can buy up more of the home in the future.

“We have bought 25% and rent the rest. Our aim is to carry on saying so we can hopefully buy all of the property in the next four to five years.

“You just need that first step on the ladder and someone to give you the chance.

“LiveWest were brilliant throughout the whole process. Every time we phoned or emailed, our enquiry was answered straight away.

“We were updated every step of the way and they were really supportive.

“The home is amazing and built to a really high standard. We are really pleased with the way everything has gone.”

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