With rental costs in London currently at a 10-year high, according to research by Hometrack, Shared Ownership is a fantastic option for those keen to escape the cycle of renting and take their first step onto the property ladder. Having recently purchased a two-bedroom apartment at L&Q’s Harvard Gardens development in Elephant and Castle, Saidhbh Dunphy (30) is one of many young professionals in the capital to taking advantage of Shared Ownership.
Saidhbh, an Asset Manager, says: “I moved to London from Ireland around five years ago, and had most recently been renting a room in a house share in Clapham. A few friends of mine had bought homes through Shared Ownership, which is how I was originally introduced to the scheme. Knowing that they had all been really happy with their decision to purchase through the scheme, I started seriously thinking about buying my own home the same way around three years ago. Once I’d read up on it, and had a look at some of the affordability calculators available online, I decided it was definitely the easiest way for me to purchase a home by myself.”
“I’d been for a few viewings around other Shared Ownership apartments before I went to see Harvard Gardens. I already knew the area quite well as I am a member of a gymnastics club in Southwark, and I fell in love with it after just one viewing, reserving a two-bedroom apartment almost immediately. From there, the process was so smooth; I went for my first viewing on Easter Sunday this year, and completed on the 25th of May, so it all took less than six weeks to organise!”
“I’m thrilled I was able to afford somewhere with two bedrooms that is also so central“
She continues: “L&Q couldn’t have been more helpful. The sales team were always available to answer any questions I had, no matter how small, and were more than happy for me to spend 40 minutes having a look around on my second viewing. I was also put in touch with a financial adviser, who explained really clearly how everything would work financially, and really put my mind at ease affordability-wise.”
Offering a contemporary collection of one and two-bedroom apartments and four-bedroom duplexes, Harvard Gardens is the much-anticipated third and final phase of Albany Place, L&Q’s award-winning development of modern and stylish homes. Situated within easy walking distance of Elephant and Castle’s Zone 1 travel links and a fantastic variety of local amenities, the development appeals to professionals and families alike.
Saidhbh comments: “Since moving in, I’ve fallen in love with the area. Part of the reason is a lot of the people who live here are around my age, and everyone is really keen to get to know one another which is lovely. In fact, I’ve met lots of neighbours in the lift; one even gave me a list of the best local restaurants he’s eaten in recently, which was really thoughtful!”
Saidhbh adds: “The location of Harvard Gardens is absolutely brilliant, I’m thrilled I was able to afford somewhere with two bedrooms that is also so central. There are lots of shops and supermarkets nearby, and Burgess Park is about a five-minute walk away, which has a lake, tennis courts, and a 5km parkrun every Sunday. Elephant and Castle Underground Station is about a 15-minute walk from my new home, which means my commute to work in the City is really quick and easy. The regeneration in the area is really exciting too, it’s changing so much all the time and there’s a real buzz.”
Harvard Gardens is located less than a mile from Elephant and Castle station, with services including the Northern and Bakerloo underground lines, offering easy journeys to Waterloo (four minutes) and Bank (six minutes), as well as City Thameslink trains to Blackfriars, Farringdon and St Pancras International. There are also 33 bus routes within a five-minute walk of the station, eight of which are night buses. Currently undergoing a £3billion regeneration programme, Elephant and Castle will soon boast a newly-designed town centre, green spaces, market square and upgraded transport hub.
For more information about L&Q and their shared ownership developments, please visit www.lqpricedin.co.uk or call 0300 456 9997.