Constantin and his wife, Andreea, had been living in Crawley in West Sussex for almost a decade. They weren’t keen on the area and knew that when it came to finding their forever home, they would need to look further afield for a different location.

Constantin comments: “We were renting in Crawley for 9 years – 9 years longer than planned! Our apartment was right on a really noisy main road – lots of cars and lots of shouting from people on nights out. At times it didn’t feel very secure and the area just wasn’t right for us. When it came to buying a property, we knew we wanted somewhere more peaceful.”

“We were on a weekend getaway and were driving back home via Reading in Berkshire. My wife’s company have an office in Reading, so we thought we’d drop in and check out the area and see where all of her colleagues were living. We arrived in Reading and thought, ‘Wow. This is not Crawley!’. We loved it straight away.”

“The lease on our rental property was ending in a few months, so the timings were perfect. Andreea did a lot of research on Zoopla for apartments in the area, and the first one we found was a Shared Ownership apartment at L&Q at Bankside Gardens. It was the first property we went to view, and it was a bullseye.”

Constantin and Andreea have recently purchased a 25% share of a 2-bedroom apartment at L&Q at Bankside Gardens in Reading, for £96,414 (full market value £387,500).

Explaining how they knew the development was right for them, Constantin continues: “My first impression of L&Q at Bankside Gardens was the lovely, secluded location. It’s so quiet and calm.”

“We were also really impressed with the development’s amenities – it’s got a brand-new gym, a concierge service and a private cinema room, plus there is so much green space around.”

“The apartment itself is wonderful. I’d always wanted a home with my own outdoor space – I had an image in my head of myself sitting on a balcony in summer with a glass of scotch in my hand. When we walked into the show home, I immediately clocked the balcony, which looks out over the skyline of Bankside Gardens, and I was sold. That’s my happy place now.”

Speaking about the process of buying a Shared Ownership home with L&Q, Constantin explains: “I can’t speak more highly of L&Q’s team. Customer service is a very tough field to excel in, but everyone at L&Q could not do more to please you. If there’s something that can be done, they will do it. I cannot brag more about everyone’s attentiveness and efficiency.”

“In particular, Coralie from L&Q at Bankside Gardens’ sales team was lovely from day one. The poor lady put up with a lot from us, and I would give her an award if I could. The whole process was lengthy, but L&Q gave us their full support throughout the whole thing.”

Now all moved in, Constantin explains how he and Andreaa are settling into L&Q at Bankside Gardens, and the wider Reading area. He says:

“It’s really like a tiny community here at Bankside Gardens. We’ve met quite a few of our neighbours already, and once or twice a month we get together with all the other residents to meet with the management team. They have a lot of exciting events and activities coming up in the future, so that’s something to look forward to!”

“As well as all the amenities on-site, there’s so much to do in Reading. Since moving in, we’ve been discovering local restaurants, coffee shops and supermarkets. The variety of things here is so much more than we expected!”

He continues: “We feel like we’ve upgraded on every level. The apartment is lovely, the development is great and the local area is much nicer and more welcoming than Crawley town centre. This is more like home for us.”

Looking to the future, Constantin reflects: “We definitely see ourselves being at L&Q at Bankside Gardens long-term. If things continue the way they have been, then we have made a very good decision and will be here for a very long time.”