First-Time Buyers Secure Their First Homes In London

Posted 25 March 2021 by Keith Osborne

New homes in London are still very much in demand from buyers who want to move from renting to owning their property...

While the past 12 months has seen increasing interest from people living in London in moving out of the capital, there’s still a great demand for new homes in London, especially in some of the areas undergoing regeneration.

Younger buyers in particular will be making the most of the everything the city has to offer as lockdown eases, attracted to a home there due to the proximity to places to work and have fun, and exceptional transport links.

The London Help to Buy scheme, requiring just a 5% deposit and 55% mortgage, is an added benefit for some first-time buyers, and the government-backed equity loan initiative assisted Sharmin Aktar, 26, and Gergo Vajda, 33, to being the first residents to move in at Bellway London’s Beckton Parkside development, after receiving the keys to their new two-bedroom apartment last December.

The couple had been renting a two-bedroom house just two miles away from the development for the past three years, and began looking for a place they could call their own around 18 months ago.

Sharmin, a facilities co-ordinator for an asset management company in Canning Town, and Gergo, a security officer based in Canary Wharf, were keen to stay as close as possible to London for work – but thought they would have to look further afield in order to find a home within their budget.

Sharmin said: “Initially we were looking at purchasing a property in Grays, Basildon or Chafford Hundred just because we thought we would only be able to afford a home that was further away from London.

“The Help to Buy scheme changed our outlook when looking for a home and made us realise that we could afford a home in London, which is really helpful and convenient for both of us.

“It was only when we looked around Beckton Parkside that we were sure of what we wanted – it ticked all the boxes. There was also something about owning a new build home that was really attractive to us.

“The first thing that made Beckton Parkside stand out was the park that is now right on our doorstep. There is also a communal garden that we have a great view of from our balcony. The location is really convenient because work for me is only a 10-minute drive away, and only a 15-minute drive for Gergo. There is also a Lidl, Sainsbury’s and Tesco all close by. It only takes five minutes to drive to multiple food outlets, shops and a gym.”

Describing how their lives have changed since moving into their new apartment, Sharmin said: “I think the main thing is how happy we are. Having our own space was a really big thing for us and we feel much more content now that we have achieved it.

“The customer service we received was amazing. I have already recommended Bellway to my friends and family who are also looking to purchase their first property soon.”

There is currently a range of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments available at Beckton Parkside, with prices starting from £230,000. Find out more from Bellway.

Sophie, Arthur and BriocheSophie, Arthur and Brioche

A couple of first-time buyers have found lockdown life easier after moving into a spacious apartment at a new development in Greenwich. Sophie Schmitt, 28, an account manager for a telecommunications company and Arthur Orts, 31, a financial services manager, have purchased a three-bedroom property at Bellway London’s The River Gardens development and moved in in September 2020.

The couple have both been working from home throughout the pandemic, so the move from their rented one-bedroom flat to a spacious three-bedroom apartment in September has made home-working a lot simpler.

Sophie said: “We lived together in our rented apartment in Elephant and Castle for three years and since the first lockdown we have both had to work from home. Our jobs keep us both very busy and in our old home we would mostly work in the lounge, but we would have to run into another room if we needed to make a call so we would not disturb each other.

“The three-bedroom apartment we have now has changed our lives and it is a big step-up. Now we both have separate spaces where we can work comfortably at home – it is so much easier.”

Moving away from Elephant and Castle, Sophie and Arthur are much happier in their new surroundings of Greenwich.

Arthur said: “The location is what made the development stand out the most for us. The River Gardens is in a very calm and nice area, it is very peaceful here. Greenwich feels authentic and it is a place that has heart. We are a two-minute drive from the centre of Greenwich and there is a park located about 15 minutes away by walking – which is great for our rescue dog, Brioche.

“We both work in London, so having the train station ten minutes away is helpful. We have access to the city while also having nice, calm surroundings.”

Sophie said: “Everyone we have met who have also bought here are all very nice. We have made quite a few friends for us and the dog. This has been a big change from where we were renting. We use the park to go on socially distanced dog walks with other residents and have set up playdates, abiding by all the current rules, to try and tire out the dogs in the half-an-hour we spend together. We are looking forward to being able to invite them round after lockdown is over.”

Arthur continued: “This is something that also links back to the safety of the neighbourhood. Now, I am completely at ease when Sophie takes the dog out for walks at night. I really appreciate that we feel safe here.”

Now with their own, new three-bedroom apartment in a location they love, Sophie and Arthur agree that it has made a positive impact on their lives.

Sophie said: “We are much happier now and much less stressed. We have a wonderful terrace and so many windows that let in a lot of natural light – the kitchen is entirely glass. The brightness that we get from the windows has a great impact on our moods.”

Arthur added: “Having a new-build home has given us great peace of mind. The build is high-quality and there have been no hidden issues that you might get with an older home.”

Sophie said: “We have been very happy with the customer service – it has felt like the staff have our best interests at heart. Any snags we have had have been sorted very quickly and the customer manager has been exceptional. We would absolutely recommend Bellway to friends and family.”

Bellway is currently building a selection of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at The River Gardens.


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