Putting down roots in London thanks to Shared Ownership

Posted 22 July 2016 by Helen Christie

A family of four have moved into a spacious four-bedroom apartment near London Bridge thanks to Shared Ownership...

Tomomi and Joao had lived in Bermondsey for ten years and started their family there, but as the area became increasingly fashionable rents went up and the couple assumed they would be forced out.

Now they are settled into a brand new four-bedroom apartment by L&Q close to Elephant and Castle and London Bridge stations. Their Shared Ownership home is costing them less per month than they were paying when they were renting.

Joao, who is 35 and works as an architect, says: “It's still hard to believe today, I mean we never thought we would be able to afford to live in a place like this in London. We have two children, we were renting and it was expensive. The situation in London is quite precarious in terms of renting - rent can be upped at any time.”

Tomomi adds: “Every now and then in the evening we sit here alone together and we are like: ‘this our home!’ We can hardly believe that we can stay here.

“We’re living in a much better place, and are in a better financial position, so that's great.”

The couple have purchased a 25% share of a spacious four-bedroom apartment at Trafalgar Place. Tomomi says she appreciated the security of purchasing from a reliable and trustworthy seller, which she found reassuring when moving home with two small children: “I think it can be very stressful, especially with children” she says.  “I had a friend (who bought privately) who was about to get keys and it fell through. We knew that wasn’t going to happen to us. It was a great experience.”

Rio, who is five, and Maira, one, are enjoying everything that their new home has to offer. Their mum says: “For the children there are many small parks nearby as well as Burgess Park. There are plenty of good places around, and lots of playgroups for toddlers. There is even a mini nature reserve where they involve children in gardening and planting bulbs.”

The location works well for the grown-ups too. “The travel connections are absolutely amazing” says Tomomi. “Zone one has 26 bus routes and you are right next door to the Bakerloo line and the Northern line. We are a 10 minute cycle from the Southbank Centre or the river. We very much feel like we are living in London. And we are right next door to East Street market which is a low cost market, where I can actually do all the grocery shopping every day, with amazing fresh fish, vegetables, everything.”

As the family settle in their home and explore the local area they are also enjoying getting to know the neighbours and becoming part of a community; all adding to a sense of security about the future.

Tomomi says: “Because we are here to stay, we are all really friendly to each other. We want to develop good relationships with each other because we all bought here, and that's really nice.”

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