Menu ×

Case Study Emma and David McGuire

Emma and David McGuire
Emma and David McGuire
40 to 45
Tyseley, Birmingham
Renting for 7 years
    Emma and David have 2 children, both with additional needs and wanted a home providing long term security for their family.
    Emma and David had grown tired of renting having had to move 3 times over a period of 7 years costing over £1,000 on each occasion.
HomeNow: We’d like to get to know you better. Please tell us about your family/home situation that caused you to look for an alternative to traditional home buying/rental.
Emma and David: Both our children have additional needs. We only discovered this in 2014, on moving to our first rental in Solihull. This news floored us completely and changed plans really. We took the children on some nice holidays to try and have some treasured time together. We spent money in getting the children diagnosed as NHS services would not help or support. I became so busy advocating for the children that I didn’t always think prudently about saving money or our financial future. Life with children with additional needs is often focused on getting through each day. We sought mortgage advice and were told that we needed to lower our standards, that no one would lend to us etc. etc. It just became another battle and I think we gave up hope for a while. David spotted HomeNow and he got it all going.
HomeNow: Please provide more information regarding your previous rental properties - were they in good condition? Would you have preferred to be choosing from the “for sale” stock rather than the “for rent” stock? If so, why? Please add any other details you think are relevant.
Emma and David: The properties were substandard and because of this the rent was cheaper. We chose the properties for the areas so the children could access good schools, which was vital given their additional needs. The houses seemed uncared for and a bit shabby. One house had central heating that was faulty and many of the rooms were cold.

We would have much preferred to choose from the ‘for sale’ stock.
HomeNow: Have you ever felt the properties you rented were your “home”?
Emma and David: The landlord lived away and left us alone. The price of this was that repairs were slow to be actioned but after moving from a tiny, terraced house, this first house in Solihull did feel like home. The children had friends nearby, it seemed friendly at first and we felt settled.
HomeNow: If you have been asked to move from a property before you were ready to, please let us know the impact this had on your family. Were you always conscious you may be asked to move on at the end of your tenancy? Were you ever able to get a feeling of long-term security while renting? Please feel free to also include how this affected your family on an emotional level.
Emma and David: The house that felt like home was very sudden in us needing to move. By that point, we no longer felt happy in the house or the area as the neighbours disliked the noise the children made. I felt we were treated differently because we rented and by the end of the tenancy, this really got me down. When the landlord gave us notice to move of about 6 months, we moved within 3 as it was unsettling knowing that we had to move. We had previously felt secure here though. It caused the family great anxiety having to move.

The second property we rented was a max 2 year tenancy. The landlord lived abroad and it was her intention to move back after this time. This meant that it never felt like home or ours. The landlord ‘micro-managed’ more in this property. Her parents would visit with little if any notice and just walk into the room where I was, on one occasion even though I had the curtains closed because I was trying to avoid them. There was no consideration for us at all. We were told off for not maintaining the garden to a sufficient standard and was also told at one point that once we moved out of the property we were unlikely to stay in touch. It was an incredibly cold, transactional relationship and affected my mental health significantly. The property was placed on rightmove without our knowledge and 3 estate agent visits were planned that day whilst both children were home. My daughter refused to let them in her room. We were not able to forget that we were the tenants.
HomeNow: What were your own biggest challenges to being able to save enough for a house deposit?
Emma and David: Saving while paying expensive and rising property costs (meaning the required deposit was increasing over time)
HomeNow: What first attracted you to the HomeNow proposition?
Emma and David: In order of importance:

1. The opportunity to own the property you are living in after 5 years
2. Security of a 5-year tenancy
3. Sharing in the house price increase
4. Choosing my own home
5. Financial security of 5-year fixed rent
6. Rent no longer dead money
HomeNow: Given your experience of HomeNow to date, how can we improve the experience of helping you (or others) to rent then buy your own home?
Emma and David: I think a breakdown of costs would be beneficial, i.e. Property price, any extras, costs you have had to pay possibly. Due to Covid- the process took several months and at times it was difficult to remember what had been agreed. Not sure if there will be annual statements etc.

The HomeNow team has been fantastic. I feel we have got to know Tim over the last few months and he has never been short or abrupt with me- even when I could tell he was shocked when I said we had given notice to move! He has been very human- caring, considerate, polite and courteous throughout. This has been so different to what we have been used to. When he offered to let us choose the carpets, I thought this was a lovely touch. HomeNow gave us tips about moving into a new build, let us keep the welcome box from Persimmon and even bought new home gifts for us.

Choosing our own fixtures and furnishings, knowing that no one else has lived here before feels like a treat and honestly for the first couple of weeks I didn’t feel like I deserved it but now I know we do.

We will always be grateful to Tim and HomeNow and love our beautiful home. Thank you.