From ten years of renting to enough space for a disco room in a storage cupboard
Having moved to London from Essex ten years ago, Lily had experienced her fair share of different living set-ups, from flat shares and staying with friends to a year in a converted church.
Believing that home ownership in the capital was out of reach on her single income, it was through her best friends that Lily became aware of Shared Ownership – a government-backed scheme which would allow her to take her first step onto the property ladder.
As she explains, “I spent my twenties in London spending a crazy amount of money on renting. I was desperate to find a place of my own, but the financial requirements just seemed an impossible hurdle. However, when my best friends got onto the property ladder through Shared Ownership, they told me that even as a single buyer, the scheme could work for me. They now own 100% of their home, so it really motivated me to find out whether I could do the same.”
Using the Share to Buy portal to browse for homes online, Lily began her property hunt at the start of 2022. Commenting on the process, she says, “I spent a lot of time searching for different properties online in the North London neighbourhoods where I was interested in living. I found some developers quite unhelpful and upon viewing different options in the likes of Hackney Wick and Bethnal Green, something just wasn’t quite right.”
Expanding her search radius, Lily discovered a new collection of one- and two-bedroom apartments at L&Q at Blackhorse View in Walthamstow and decided to arrange a viewing.
“I spoke to Mona and Teo from the sales team at L&Q at Blackhorse View, who were really helpful in answering all of my questions about the eligibility process and the homes they had available. Luckily, I was able to use Talk 24, an independent financial advisor recommended by L&Q, who worked the numbers for me – suddenly a one-bedroom apartment of my own was on the cards!”
Lily went on to purchase a 25% share of a one-bedroom apartment at L&Q at Blackhorse View (Full Market Value: £555,000).
Speaking about what made her realise she had found the perfect apartment, Lily says, “I was completely open-minded about what sort of home I would have, but when I walked into the apartments at L&Q at Blackhorse View, I was blown away. The balconies are huge and the open-plan kitchen/living room makes it feel so spacious.
Plus, there’s more storage than I know what to do with. My friend pointed out that I no longer need to give things away like I usually do, because I now have dedicated storage cupboards to keep everything. There’s so much space, I could turn one of the cupboards into a disco room with a disco ball!”
Since moving into her new home on 12th June, Lily reflects on how she’s found living in Walthamstow so far. “I didn’t previously know the Walthamstow area, but since my first viewing I knew that the area would give me the ideal blend of city living and nearby green spaces that I was looking for. We have so many amenities on the doorstep including local breweries and Crate St. James, a collection of food and retail outlets, as well as the Wetlands which are a short walk away.
Plus, the development is incredibly well-connected to the rest of London. Blackhorse Road station is just across the road, from which I can get the Victoria Line into Oxford Street in just 17 minutes.”
Describing her experience as a first-time buyer with L&Q, Lily says, “I had always thought that getting onto the property ladder in London was a fantasy for me, but Shared Ownership meant that I could finally leave behind a decade of renting and have my own space.
The day I moved into L&Q at Blackhorse View I laid on the floor with my best friend crying because I was so happy – I’ve been on cloud nine ever since I moved in. Buying through Shared Ownership has been the best thing I’ve ever done – now I just need to buy new furniture as the blow-up sofa is losing its charm!”