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From Hackney To Walthamstow, From Renting To Buying

Posted 8 June 2022 by Keith Osborne

Clara saved hard and used Help to Buy to purchase a brand new one-bedroom apartment at Blackhorse View...

Clara Ramsdale, 32, rented for over 10 years in London before being in position to buy her first home at Barratt London and Transport for London’s (TfL) joint venture development, Blackhorse View in Walthamstow, east London.

Getting on the property ladder was only made possible for Clara, who is an accountant for consumer group Which?, thanks to the government’s 40% London Help to Buy loan combined with over a decade of savings.

Before buying, her most recent house share was in Clapton, Hackney, where she lived with three housemates and paid a monthly rent of £820 and knew she would need to venture slightly further afield to be able to buy.

“I love London, having lived here since I was 21,” she said. “I love the area around Clapton and Stoke Newington with its fun shops and pub scene, but it’s far too expensive to actually buy there. I knew I wanted to stay as close I could. Blackhorse Road is further up the canal, but still close enough, and most importantly still by the wetlands. I am really looking forward to a summer by the water, and my apartment couldn’t be closer – the views from the reservoirs are unbelievable. You can see over the wetlands to Canary Wharf on one side and the Shard on the other.”

Clara purchased a one-bedroom apartment for £390,000 at Blackhorse View, which sits directly opposite Blackhorse Road station on the Victoria line and London Overground (with connections to King's Cross in just 12 minutes), whilst on the doorstop of the tranquil Walthamstow Wetlands. With the 40% Help to Buy loan to assist with her deposit, her monthly mortgage payments are now just £526 – 36% less than the rent she previously paid.

“What is most noticeable is the bills,” said Clara. “My council tax is higher living on my own, and there’s the service charge that comes with a block of flats, but other savings compensate for this. I barely have the heating on because the flat is so warm. Mortgage payments are considerably cheaper than my rent was, despite always flat sharing. I was lucky enough to apply for my mortgage when interest rates were really low, too.

“London rents are forever increasing, often in period properties with higher bills, squeezing our generation further into the rent trap. I previously rented in a Victorian conversion which looked incredible, but issues kept cropping up. At one stage we had water dripping from the ceiling. Our heating bills were high in the winter. Saving was one of the biggest hurdles without the bank of Mum and Dad to help. But when you get there, it is so rewarding. My outgoings are so much lower, and not only that, I have a place that is just mine; a place to call home.”

Blackhorse ViewBlackhorse View

Clara, who saved every penny of her deposit herself, says because she works in finance, she has more of an intrinsic understanding of the importance of money and how to save.

“Naturally,” she added, “I think about money a lot, so from the second I had a job I was putting away what I could in a direct debit and saving bonuses where possible. In my 20s, I deliberately lived in places where the rent was cheap and tried to be sensible as much as possible. I have never gone into my overdraft or savings, always living well within my means.”

Clara found purchasing a new build a surprisingly easy process. She commented: “Barratt London were great. They put me in touch with their recommended mortgage brokers and solicitors so that part was easy. New build helped me get on the ladder – I couldn’t have afforded anything else. You move in and it’s ready to go – there’s no gutting the kitchen. When it’s your first property, it’s such a good way to go in. I would definitely buy new build again.”

Clara is now a few months into living in her new apartment and starting to really settle in. She said: “I have no plans to leave London. I have moved around eight times in 11 years, so I just want to stay in one place now. The area keeps surprising me. I discovered a place called Yonda the other day, a co-working hub come climbing wall come yoga space – it is very cool! If you are a member, they do a free social climbing session. There’s a great new wine bar called Renegade, which has relocated from Bethnal Green. The atmosphere around Blackhorse Road is exciting, with new things opening all the time.”

Part of a £200million transformation of the area, Barratt London and TfL’s Blackhorse View is the housebuilder’s fastest-selling London development to date. When complete, the 350 new homes will be complemented by communal landscaped gardens, a rooftop terrace, and a proposed new café and shops along the development frontage.

Prices at the scheme now start from £406,000. Find out more about Blackhorse View from Barratt London.


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