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Buyers Loving Their New Homes In Hackney

Posted 8 December 2021 by Keith Osborne

Buyers talk about their home purchase and what they love about life at Berkeley's Woodberry Down...

The major Woodberry Down development, transforming a huge area in north-east London, has been a continuing success for WhatHouse? Best Large Housebuilder Berkeley since its launch, and the wide variety of homes built there over the last few years have appealed to many different buyer wish lists and budgets.

Aside from their properties themselves, homeowners also enjoy a 24-hour concierge service which provides reassurance when they are travelling, and other amenities include a residents’ gym and swimming pool. For day-to-day living there is a Sainsbury’s Local within five minutes’ walk together with a range of friendly local shops, cafés and restaurants on site. In addition to the spectacular natural surroundings of Woodberry Down, there is plenty of green space in the area including nearby Finsbury Park and Walthamstow Wetlands.

Manor House Tube station in Zone 2 is just four minutes’ walk away. Piccadilly line services reach King’s Cross station in eight minutes or, for the West End, Green Park in 15 minutes. There is also an excellent bus network. 

Prices start from £518,000 for a one-bedroom apartment at Hawker House and from £647,500 for a two-bedroom apartment at Darter Apartments. Find out more about Woodberry Down from Berkeley. 

Some recent buyers talk about what they love about their homes and lifestyle at Woodberry Down.

Lily and Tom

Lily and Tom

Lily and Tom Dai, both 30, saved carefully to buy their first home by themselves. Their hard work – over an eight-year period since they finished studying and started working full time – has enabled them to purchase a one-bedroom apartment, moving into their new home in January 2021.

Lily said: “We’re both from China, and after studying and working in Singapore and Canada, we were ready to put down roots. We chose London because it’s a great place to live and the financial hub of Europe.

“When we moved to London, we were renting a one-bedroom apartment in Residence Tower at Woodberry Down and knew we wanted to stay in the neighbourhood because we love the area and being so close to nature. We had been saving hard for a long time, over eight years since our studies, to ensure we had a large deposit to go towards our first home. When we were ready to start looking, we discovered an apartment that was within our budget and took the plunge. It was a massive decision to make as we were using our lifetime savings.

“Our apartment cost £516,000 – we were able to put down quite a high deposit of 40% and took out a mortgage for the balance. Our monthly mortgage repayments are now slightly lower than our rent, which was another good reason for buying and another benefit of saving everything we were able to.”

Lily, an intern with a law firm in the City, and Tom, a programmer at Facebook, have both been working from home during lockdown. Their open-plan style apartment has a large living/kitchen/dining space which opens on to a balcony, giving plenty of room to work comfortably. Large floor-to-ceiling windows and a dual aspect provides lovely views across a reservoir on one side and gardens on the other. They

As they had already been renting at Woodberry Down, they were already very familiar with its spectacular natural surroundings. There are 15 acres of landscaped parkland and 42 acres of open water across two reservoirs teeming with wildlife; the East Reservoir is a dedicated nature reserve managed by the London Wildlife Trust, and the West Reservoir is open year-round for swimming, sailing and other sports.

Lily said: “It’s great to be able to go for a walk when we take a break from work – we love watching the ducks and other birds on the water. At weekends we also go for a picnic in Finsbury Park, just a few minutes away, and take our kitten with us!

“We couldn’t be happier here and are so glad we took the plunge and bought a home. Berkeley’s sales and customer service teams are amazing – we’re so grateful for how brilliantly they looked after us.”


Robin and Joao

Robin and Joao

After living for 20 years in a two-bedroom flat in a converted Victorian house in Highbury, Robin, 63, was becoming increasingly concerned about the service charges to cover the repair bills of his period property.  

The catalyst for moving came when he discovered Woodberry Down, Berkeley’s landmark waterside development in Finsbury Park, where he reserved a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment off-plan with his partner, Joao.

Robin, a retired lawyer, commented: “We weren’t planning to move at the time – we’d just renovated our converted flat – but the opportunity was too good to miss. Woodberry Down’s location is unbeatable and the thought of living in a new home, with far fewer maintenance issues, appealed to us. We also knew that the quality would be superb as Berkeley is one of the best developers in the South East.”

Robin and Joao’s new home was priced at £750,000. Robin sold his Highbury flat, which was mortgage-free, and put the proceeds towards the new apartment, topped up by £100,000 from savings.

The couple’s apartment is on the 11th floor of Skylark Point. It has panoramic views over the Woodberry Wetlands, a 27-acre nature reserve set around a reservoir, which attracts a dazzling array of birds and wildlife. A second reservoir is open year-round for sports including swimming and sailing. The vast expanses of open water are complemented by 15 acres of landscaped parklands.

Robin said: “The views from our apartment are fabulous – across open water to the London skyline beyond. We love going for walks and seeing the swans every day! Although we are in Zone 2, there’s a country feel to living here.”

Living in a new home has made day-to-day life easier and less stressful. Robin said: “It’s such a relief not to have to worry about the hassle and cost of repairs. Our home has double glazing and much better insulation than our last property which makes it more comfortable and keeps energy bills down too.”

The apartment is a similar size to their former home, but the use of space is far superior: “The layout is excellent, unlike my old flat. There’s a generous open-plan living/dining/kitchen space, which opens on to a balcony, and two large bedrooms. The main bedroom has a separate dressing area and an en suite shower room and the second bedroom has room for a double bed as well as a desk and bookcase, so it doubles as an office.”

Connectivity has been a great asset of living at Woodberry Down. Robin said: “It’s easy to get to the West End for days and nights out, and we travel abroad a lot so we can hop on the Piccadilly line and arrive at Terminal 5 about an hour later.”

He concluded: “We enjoy living at Woodberry Down immensely and are so pleased we changed from an old to a new property. We have had excellent service from Berkeley from start to finish – it’s clear that every detail is carefully thought through.”  


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