Grand Union Living offer homes to market let or homes for sale through shared ownership – a truly affordable route into home ownership.We enable people to have choices, realise their aspirations and build successful lives by renting or buying a home from an established housing provider.As part of Grand Union Housing Group, a provider of housing since 1994, we are passionate about building more homes, stronger communities and better lives across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire.Together we are investing in homes and local communities for the long term and are building 1,900 new homes in the coming years.
Ivel Road – Shefford, Bedfordshire
2 and 3 bedroom homes
* For a 35% share with a full market value of £300,000
Ivel Road is a stunning new development located in Shefford, Bedfordshire and is due for completion in 2022. It will consist of eight two bedrooms, nine three bedroom houses and eight three bedroom detached houses. Prices are a guide until confirmation later in 2021 but you can register your interest now on the website.
Gatehouse Mews – Bedford
2 bedroom apartments
* For a 35% share with a full market value of £200,000
Gatehouse Mews consists of 16 exclusive two bed stylish apartments available for shared ownership located just minutes from the town centre and embankment with plenty of places to eat, drink and play. The development is incredibly well connected however you travel, with links to the A421 and M1 as well as regular bus services and Bedford station being on the Midland main line to London St Pancras. Properties benefit from flooring throughout, fitted kitchen units complete with integrated appliances, an allocated parking space and a £500 incentive available towards legal fees when instructing one of Grand Union’s panel of shared ownership solicitors to act for you.
Jonathan and Nichola Houghton had been renting for many years, trying their best to save to buy a house of their own. Through Grand Union’s shared ownership scheme, they were able to do just that – ensuring the couple and their two children, Isla, eight, and Harry, four, and beloved dog Bruno, have the space they need to enjoy family life
Jonathan, 39, said, “We moved into our brand-new home in Cranfield in June 2020, and have never looked back. Nichola and I were both born and bred in Cranfield so it’s great that our kids are growing up in the same area. The estate is lovely and our house picturesque. It looks like a pretty, English countryside cottage – a two up, two down classic property with beautiful features.
“Nichola and I had been renting since we moved in together in our early twenties. We’d been saving for ages and looking at buying a property, but it always seemed like a distant dream.
“What’s more, at the age of 25, I was diagnosed with Lupus. It’s a condition which affects me everywhere, from my joints and muscles, to my blood and organs. I’ve been in and out of hospital with complications including ulcerated colitis and even suffered a small stroke during my twenties. Because of this, I was unable to continue work running a cleaning company and as a salesman, meaning it was even harder for Nichola and I to save money.”
It was in the beginning of February 2020 that the couple first heard about the Cranfield shared ownership development. They’d been renting a garage from Grand Union and when they saw the opportunity advertised in a newsletter, they immediately put their names down.
“We were blown away by the proposed building plans and knew a local builder involved in the project – we had no idea a shared ownership home could look so beautiful. To our surprise, our offer was accepted, and we couldn’t wait for the property to be finished.
“Sadly, because of the coronavirus pandemic, some of the building work had to be put on hold. Nevertheless, Grand Union’s New Homes Officer, Andrea Fisher, was always on hand to help and we even had a sneaky peak of the development during lockdown, through safety glass and at a safe distance of course.
“The pandemic made moving house even more stressful than it usually is – not least because I was shielding due to my long-term health conditions. Andrea made it so much easier and even helped advise us when our mortgage offer was pulled out last minute and we had to liaise with a new bank. Everyone at Grand Union was really helpful and understanding.
“Once we moved in, we were so happy. It’s wonderful to live in the village we’d called home for most of our lives, on a lovely estate. The house is much bigger than our last place, and it makes all the difference.
“Harry no longer sleeps in a cupboard-sized room, that could simply fit a single bed, a bookcase and very little else. His room is three times bigger and Isla’s room is larger too. Downstairs, we’ve got so much more space and can’t wait to replace our furniture in the near future. Everything seems so much smaller now we’re in a bigger house!
“Nichola’s also excited to do some interior decorating after we’ve been here for some time. It already looks fantastic and contemporary, but she always likes to put her own stamp on things and let her creative juices flow. She runs a beauty salon, which she’s owned for more than a decade, so she’s very artistic.
“Going forward, we plan to buy more shares so eventually we own 100% of the property – which is known as staircasing. Due to my ill health, it’s a relief to know we have somewhere secure to live; when we were renting we were never sure about what was coming round the corner and feared we may have to move out at the drop of a hat. Now, the security we feel is invaluable and we can begin to plan ahead.
“The kids have thoroughly enjoyed the garden during lockdown and the summer holidays; we installed a trampoline, built in the ground, which brings them so much joy. Our beloved chocolate Labrador, Bruno, also approves of the bigger garden!
“We’re enormously grateful for Grand Union’s support. Without the shared ownership scheme, and guidance from staff members, it would have been very hard for us to get on the property ladder. The house has made such a difference to our lives and we’re looking forward to a happy future here.”