With the Government's housing strategy, outlining the need to provide more affordable houses, schemes such as shared ownership are vital in the attempt to help first-time buyers purchase their own home. For Katrin-Anne Romero (29) and her partner (34) shared ownership has freed them from 'generation rent' and has secured their spot on the housing ladder at Royal Dock Gardens in Custom House, by East Thames, part of The L&Q Group.
Katrin-Anne, an education administrator for a hospital school in Newham, and her partner were previously renting a two-bedroom home in Plaistow, but keen to purchase a home of their own, the couple attended the First-Time Buyer Home Show in 2016 and went on to buy at Royal Dock Gardens.
Katrin-Anne comments: "When I was 18 I moved out of my parents' home and have been renting ever since. We are really excited now to have a property of our own, after over 10 years of paying the rising cost of rent in London. Shared Ownership was definitely the best option for us; buying a smaller percentage of a home has been a great stepping stone for us onto the property ladder."
Royal Dock Gardens comprises a selection of 18 one and two-bedroom shared ownership apartments in Custom House which is benefiting from a £3.7 billion regeneration project. With Crossrail expected in 2018, the area has recently seen an investment into transport services and facilities, as well as new homes to replace poor-quality housing, which is changing Custom House physically, socially and economically, including the creation of more jobs, better quality streets and open spaces.
Katrin-Anne explains: "I have lived previously in Custom House so am looking forward to moving back to the area as the amenities and schooling are excellent, which was a priority for us. The transport links at Custom House are very good and this will be improved even more by the Crossrail coming in 2018."
All homes at Royal Dock Gardens have a focus on attention to detail and boast a high specification. The apartments feature open plan living and dining areas with integrated kitchen appliances as well as offering views of the communal gardens from many of the homes. Residents will also enjoy a private balcony or terrace, with several apartments benefiting from additional Juliette balconies or oriel windows, providing natural light and space. There is also bicycle storage, a telephone entry system and parking is available on a selection of homes.
Katrin-Anne continues: "We were keen to buy a house as soon as possible, so opting for a new build made the process a lot quicker as there was no chain for us to deal with. Our new home is fresh, modern and the living space is all open plan which is what attracted us to this plot in particular."
Transport connections in Custom House are excellent, including a bus route to West Ham and Canary Wharf only five minutes away and the Emirates Air Line cable car, which can take residents across to the Greenwich Peninsula. The development is also only a four-minute walk away from Prince Regent DLR train station for fast connections into the centre of the capital. City Airport is also only a five minutes' drive away and it's easy to connect to other parts of the country by road via the A13, which connects to the North Circular and the A12. Custom House will also the opening of a new Crossrail station in 2018.
Katrin-Anne concludes: "I heard about East Thames initially through the Share to Buy website. The process was smooth throughout and I found the sales team really helpful. I would recommend East Thames to anyone who was looking on getting on the property ladder through shared ownership."
For more information about the L&Q Group shared ownership developments, please visit www.lqpricedin.co.uk or call 0300 456 9997.