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A Family Connection For First-Time Buyer At Greenwich Development

Posted 11 April 2022 by Helen Christie

A first-time buyer purchases a home with a family connection at Royal Arsenal Riverside…

James Newton, a 28-year-old lawyer, bought his two-bedroom apartment using Help to Buy in early 2020. 

Speaking about his move to Barracks Court, part of Royal Arsenal Riverside, James says: “I took my time when searching for somewhere to buy. It’s a big decision and I wanted to be sure about the area before taking the plunge. A friend pointed me in the direction of Greenwich and when I looked around Royal Arsenal Riverside it blew everything else out of the water.”

“I love the heritage of the development” continues James, “especially as I have a family connection to the site with my grandfather serving in the Second World War and training at the Royal Arsenal. Finding a home in a converted building like Barracks Court was a dream come true. When I opened the gorgeous dark blue front door and saw the entrance with an old stone staircase up to a modern flat, I could immediately imagine myself there. I visited in the winter when there were fairy lights on No.1 street leading down to the waterfront and a stunning Christmas tree. I had never seen anything like it; it was so beautiful!”

James used to live in Shoreditch and was previously unconvinced about moving out of Zone One: “I love spending time at the theatre and visiting art galleries, and it is really important to me that I’m close to culture.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting to be blown away by Royal Arsenal Riverside, but when I walked around and saw the ballet school and Woolwich Works as well as the restaurants, pubs and cafes I could tell it was a really happening community. I’m especially excited about the brand new creative district [Woolwich Works], which is right on my doorstep. One of the permanent tenants is Punchdrunk, who are apparently fantastic – at least according to my clued-up arty friends. It will be great to invite friends over to my new home –grab a few drinks and something to eat at one of the nearby restaurants before going to a show at Woolwich Works – there’s so much to do here!”

James in his home at Royal Arsenal Riverside

Royal Arsenal Riverside has fantastic connections to central London too. The DLR and an onsite Thames Clipper service will be strengthened with a new Crossrail station, which has already been completed and is ready for the Elizabeth line to open in 2022. James continues: “I work long hours so an easy commute really was a must. I’ve been working from my spare bedroom for the past year but in normal times I would just jump on the DLR and be in the office in around half an hour. In fact, when Crossrail opens, I’ll be able to get to Liverpool Street in under 16 minutes which is great. I also cycle a lot and there’s a bike route into the City which takes me 45 minutes door to door, which is another good option to have.”

Additionally, residents at Royal Arsenal Riverside benefit from access to the Waterside Club – a state-of-the-art gym and pool that is one of the largest facilities of its kind among London’s residential developments. “Free access to a gym and 20m pool is a massive bonus. I’ve taken up swimming which has been a brilliant way to keep fit and unwind. Royal Arsenal Riverside is right on the Thames Path, so I go running by the river a lot too, and there’s a great park so you don’t have to compromise on access to green space either.”

Having moved in just before the first national lockdown in spring 2020, James has mainly been working from home while at the development. “Lockdown at Royal Arsenal Riverside was a lot easier than it would have been in my basement bedroom in the shared flat in Shoreditch. For a start, I’ve been able to use my second bedroom as an office and the development has excellent internet connection. Everything is so convenient here, there’s a café right on my doorstep which has fantastic coffee and pastries, plus a Tesco Express and an M&S minutes from my flat. With a couple of pubs also on site, everything you need truly is within easy reach.”

Royal Arsenal Riverside (Berkeley)

James used Help to Buy and paid around £525,000 for his home. He views the flat as a sound investment but also somewhere that he can make his own: “I knew I wanted to get on the property ladder, but I didn’t want to rush into anything. I don’t think you should buy somewhere just because it’s a good investment – you should choose somewhere you are genuinely happy to live, as well as knowing that you can make a profit when you come to sell. I love living at Royal Arsenal Riverside and, as I’m next to Woolwich Works and a future Crossrail station, it’s definitely a good investment too.”

“Berkeley did a great job of supporting me as a first-time buyer. It can be overwhelming and really nerve-wracking but the sales team ensured everything went smoothly for me.”

Prices at Royal Arsenal Riverside start at £470,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in the historic Building 10. 

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