“When we bought our first property in London, it was through the Shared Ownership scheme. We originally purchased a 50% share, but wanted to staircase in order to buy the property outright. We came across Teachers Building Society online and approached them to see whether we would be able to borrow the amount that we needed. Luckily, Teachers were able to help, which was great,” Struan says.
“A year later, we had our daughter, Margot, and were suddenly in a situation where we needed a lot more space. Our one bedroom flat wasn’t great for a growing family, and we started the process of looking for a new home,” he added.
Struan and his wife, Montserrat, who is a Spanish teacher for a girl’s school in South London, eventually found an ideal property, and they applied for a bigger mortgage.
Montserrat explains: “We spent a long time looking for the right place, and eventually found the one we’re in today. We spoke to Teachers Building Society to arrange more lending, and they were incredibly helpful.”
Struan said: “We really appreciate the approach that Teachers took. With Montserrat on maternity leave, our circumstances weren’t exactly conventional, but Teachers took the time to look at the whole picture. We were really, really happy and grateful.”
Struan was also impressed that throughout the process, he would always speak to the same few people: “I would always get through to Katie or to Jo, and it’s just amazing. It’s never happened with any other organisation I have approached. You can pick up the phone and know not only who you’re going to speak to, but that they’ll know your case study history.”
“It shows what a positive impression Teachers has made that I can remember the advisors by name!”
The larger flat provided Montserrat and Struan with the space they needed for their family, and the purchase was made possible by the individual approach taken by the Society. Struan summed up her experience: “They’re a team of individuals in Dorset who even recognise you by name and voice on the phone, and that’s really helpful because they know where you are in the process. For us, I think that’s the most valuable part of the service and something that isn’t really available in larger organisations.”
Montserrat and Struan are now settled in their new home, watching their daughter grow up South London, right next to the Thames. “We spend a lot of time walking down the river and taking in all that it has to offer,” Montserrat says. “Teachers Building Society enabled us to buy a property which we might have otherwise lost. The customer service we received was amazing. All in all, it’s been exceptional.”