Help to Buy South has helped hundreds of people to purchase or rent their new home.  Here are just a few of the success stories:

Young engaged couple take first step onto the property ladder with Shared Ownership

Young engaged couple take first step onto the property ladder with Shared Ownership

Young engaged couple Freya Jones-Griffiths (20) and William Wysocki (23) thought the only way they'd ever be able to move in together was to rent in the private sector. Then Freya saw an advert on Facebook for shared ownership properties at Sovereign Living's Hanham Hall development, just outside Bristol. The couple decided to take the plunge, and they're now proud owners of a two-bedroom semi-detached coach house at this exciting new sustainable, zero-carbon development.

"We noticed that Hanham Hall was right in the middle between my parents' house and William's mum's house," recalls Freya, who works nights as a supervisor at a major supermarket, where William also works. "We'd been looking at renting, but it was going to cost us seven or eight hundred pounds a month - and then there are bills on top of that. Shared ownership was going to be a lot more realistic for us, and would help us get on the property ladder, too."

They registered their interest in the property, and went from there: "After applying we were contacted by Melanie Stone, the Sovereign Living sales consultant, who explained what we'd need to do next. We picked a financial advisor, went through the financial assessments and passed. Suddenly it was all go!"

The couple then hit a snag - they were turned down for a mortgage. "The financial advisor fought for us and they changed their mind initially, but then pulled out later," says Freya. "We could have lost the house. At the same time our financial advisor moved job, which made it a stressful time. Luckily we got a really helpful new advisor who found us a new lender and it's definitely been worth it."

After paying a 5% deposit of a £78,000 share of the house, Freya and her fiance pay monthly mortgage payments of £415 and rent of £98.50. She says: "It's so much cheaper than renting! This time last year we couldn't have imagined we'd own a house. We really wanted to, but we thought it was never going to be possible - it would have taken us forever to save enough for a deposit."

As they lived so close to Hanham Hall the couple were able to watch the development being completed. "The site manager pointed out which house was going to be ours, and we went along every two weeks to see how it was developing." They immediately loved the location. "It's five minutes to our work, and two minutes to our parents'," continues Freya. "Right next door there's a huge park, which is great if we decide to have dogs or children!"

Moving day arrived at the end of March 2015, and the couple are currently busy making things homely. "The wooden floor has been put down, and we'll eventually decorate," says Freya. "It's great to be able to do what we want with it. We love how light it is in the house - there are skylights in the roof - and the fact that it's on a corner plot which means it's secluded and there's room to have chairs and a table outside."

The homes at Hanham Hall have unique eco-friendly features designed to make them energy efficient, something Freya loves. "One of the great things about living here is the solar panels, and rainwater harvesting for the toilet, which keeps our bills low," she explains. "There's a smart meter which shows how much energy we're using; it's sunny today, I'm looking at the meter..we have the washing machine and TV on and it says we're using nothing! All the energy is coming from the solar panels."

The couple are also enjoying the community they're a part of. "It's got such a nice feel," Freya says. "A Facebook group has been set up and as people move in they get a welcome note. Everyone is friendly and nice, and says hello".

"There's so much here for people..ochards, allotments, greenhouses and even beehives, and the kids' play area will be open soon too. We will eventually have kids, but first we're doing careers. So it'll probably be a puppy first. Although William thinks maybe we should go for a Playstation first!"