Having first met in Bristol, Hannah and Dillon moved to Reading two years ago for Hannah’s new job in the emergency services. Renting in Caversham, a suburb of Reading, offered the couple some of the things that they wanted for their life together – a welcoming local area close to the river and within easy access of Reading centre. However, they were eager to set down more permanent roots and take a step onto the property ladder in the city they had come to call home.

As Hannah explains, “Moving to Reading had been an exciting step for us, but renting was not how we envisaged our future. It felt like throwing money away. I had always wanted to buy to have more stability, so we wouldn’t have to move with a month’s notice and would have the opportunity to properly decorate.”

When it came to property hunting in Reading, the couple used Zoopla to search for homes in their chosen areas. As Dillon explains, “We didn’t want to settle with any old property, so we were quite particular about which areas of Reading we looked in, but we found that lots of properties on the open market were out of our budget. That was until we started seeing adverts for new developments that offered homes through Shared Ownership, which we were aware of, but hadn’t properly considered as an option.”

Doing more research into Shared Ownership, Hannah and Dillon learnt that they would be able to purchase a percentage share of a property, with a lower deposit than they had initially imagined. They quickly discovered L&Q at Huntley Wharf, a brand-new development in the heart of Reading, which ticked lots of their priorities.

As Hannah recalls, “L&Q at Huntley Wharf was immediately appealing to us, as it was a modern development right in the centre of Reading, close to the station for Dillon to get to work in Bath, and a short walk to my work in the town centre. Plus, it was right on the river, within walking distance of the shops and with lots of nearby green spaces.”

Dillion says, “I think we were both expecting our property hunt to take longer, so when we went to the open day at L&Q at Huntley Wharf in January, we weren’t expecting to actually find a home – and yet, we ended up reserving on the day!”

Hannah and Dillion purchased a 25% share of a two-bedroom Shared Ownership Homes (FMV: £350,000) at L&Q at Huntley Wharf.

Speaking about their new home, Hannah says, “Whilst at the open event, one of the sales team was able to show us the actual apartment that we went onto reserve. We loved the show flat, but actually seeing our future home was a whole other story – it had a lovely open plan living space, with large windows and I could picture where we would put our furniture. Even though the apartment is slightly smaller than where we were previously renting, it doesn’t feel it – it’s been well-thought out with plenty of storage.”

Since moving into their new home in April, Dillion comments on how the experience has been so far. “The apartment has been perfect on the days I work from home. We have enough space for me to have an office, with a big window that our cat loves to look out of. Plus, we have communal gardens on-site that we can use.

For weekends, the location of our new home is ideal. We are less than a fifteen-minute walk to the town centre, meaning we can go out for food and drinks at all the different places near the Oracle Shopping Centre and don’t have to worry about getting home. Plus, we’ll soon have the Riverside Square which will mean we’ll have a café and shop right on the doorstep.”

With the opportunity to decorate, Hannah has enjoyed making the apartment their own, as she explains, “We’ve gone for really cosy colours which breaks up the clean white surfaces throughout the apartment – dark teal in the office and dark purple in our bedroom. It’s been really nice making it more homely and personal, something we never had the freedom to do whilst renting. Our apartment at L&Q at Huntley Wharf really feels like home already.”