Originally from India, Varun and Ankita relocated to the UK two years ago for Varun’s work, having spent 3 years living in Finland. The couple had always planned to move back to Finland, however after their son Avyukt was born, their mindset changed towards finding themselves a more permanent base in England.

As Varun explains, “We were renting a house in Redhill in Surrey near Gatwick which was convenient for my work, but after Avyukt arrived, I decided to switch jobs to a UK-based company. We were eager to feel settled and find somewhere more long-term in the country where our son was born.

“When our landlord informed us of a monthly increase in our rent which would make our home more unaffordable, it cemented our decision.”

Turning their attention to finding properties within their budget, it was Varun’s brother who suggested that they consider Shared Ownership.

“My brother had recently moved to Slough from Manchester for their daughter to go to a better school in Reading,” Varun recalls. “Their family actually went to visit the new apartments at L&Q at Huntley Wharf first, but they weren’t eligible for the scheme. He suggested we think about a move to Reading – pointing out that if we were living miles from our home country, we may as well live near to each other!”

Varun and Ankita arranged a viewing of the two-bedroom apartments on offer at L&Q at Huntley Wharf, a new riverside development in the heart of Reading town.

Varun comments on what initially drew them to the homes. “The location of the development was really what sold it to us at first”, he comments. “There are several good schools nearby which was a priority for us for when Avyukt is older. Plus, there’s a nursery just three apartments down – it couldn’t be closer! We also loved that that the homes were newbuild properties, with integrated appliances, and wouldn’t need any DIY – we didn’t want an old house with lots of problems, so it clicked! The fact that our home also came with a 2-year guarantee from L&Q as well as parking was the cherry on the cake.”

Following the viewing, Varun and Ankita began the Shared Ownership process for their two-bedroom duplex apartment, for which they bought a 40% share for £278,000.

Reflecting on their buying experience, Varun says, “We had a really good experience with L&Q. The Sales representative Mike was really helpful, especially when it came to dealing with the solicitors. We didn’t want to be paying extra, unnecessary rent on our old home, and he made sure our sale got over the line quickly – the process only took about six weeks in total, and we were able to get the keys and move straight in.”

Since moving into their new apartment at L&Q at Huntley Wharf in May 2023, Varun and Ankita have had time to adjust to their new life and explore Reading.

“The location of the development is amazing,” Varun comments. “We’re a short walk from the train station, which is perfect for when I commute into London, and even further to Cardiff and Brighton. There’s a 25-minute service which runs direct into Paddington which is ideal.

“L&Q at Huntley Wharf is also really close to the centre which has lots of shops and restaurants. There’s a big Asian community and we have lots of good places to eat out. Plus, we’ll have new amenities which are coming soon to the development which will include a local shop and a main riverside square. We’re looking forward to what life has to offer us here, and the proximity to my brother and his family – it’s really brought us together!”