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Couple Find A Place To Call Home At Upton Gardens

Posted 6 December 2021 by Helen Christie

Chris and Ralf Schmidt may have travelled the world, but found that East London was the place they wanted to call home...

Now settling in at Barratt London’s Upton Gardens development in Newham, the pair are delighted with their spacious duplex apartment and the vibrant surrounding area.

Ralf, 56, was born in Germany, and Chris, 41, is originally from the Philippines, but they met and fell in love in Singapore, where both were living and working at the time. Unable to get married in Singapore, they returned to Germany to tie the knot, then decided to settle down in London, renting a one-bedroom flat near Canary Wharf while they both worked hard building their careers and saving for a deposit.

“We wanted to settle down and were looking for a home to start our married life, but initially we had to prioritise our careers and save up a deposit,” says Chris, who is a practising psychologist and psychology teacher. “I was already window shopping though, and kept looking online, searching for the right place.” When they saw Barratt London’s huge regeneration project at Upton Gardens, on the site of the old West Ham football ground, they decided to look more closely. “We had lived in flats for 10 years and we were tired of them, but we saw at Upton Gardens there were duplex maisonettes, that seemed like the perfect combination of a flat and a house.”

By making full use of Help to Buy London, the couple were able to afford a £533,000 duplex which has its own front door and takes up the ground and first floor of a four-storey building. “It enabled us to buy a three-bedroom home at a two-bedroom price, and as it has two floors, we feel we have our own house,” says Ralf, who is a professional hotel manager. The third member of the family, toy poodle Amo, is also delighted with the move. Having accompanied the pair since their days in Singapore, he is thoroughly enjoying having access to a private garden for the first time, as well as enjoying lots of walks in nearby parks.

Chris and Ralf couldn’t be happier with both their new home and the location. “We love the high ceilings, and we didn’t really realise how big the space was until we got here and started unpacking,” says Chris. As the couple have been working from home since getting the keys in June, the extra bedroom is proving very useful. “The main reason we wanted three bedrooms was so we could have the main bedroom, a guest room and an office space for all our files. We also like the space in the lounge very much, and we didn’t have to buy anything for the kitchen as everything was fitted,” says Ralf.

“We are very settled; Westfield is nearby for shopping, and we go to the O2 a lot in North Greenwich. It’s an up-and-coming area, especially as Crossrail is coming, and we are close to Stratford so the connectivity is amazing,” he adds. “There’s a gym downstairs, a Tesco nearby and a bus stop just across the street. The concierge team is very helpful, and the area is quiet and safe, so we don’t have to worry about anything and can just be ourselves.”

Chris is full of praise for the Barratt staff: “We have had a wonderful experience; they have assisted us from day one and have really focused on making everything run as smoothly as possible. Sales advisors Dawn and Lesley were really attentive and made us feel special, and the aftercare and customer service has been excellent.” 

Homes currently available at Upton Gardens start from £355,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. 


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