Shared Ownership meant Anna could buy her first home in Zone 2 at Leaside Lock

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Anna relocated to London seven years ago from Latvia and moved straight into accommodation provided by her company. Living on the opposite side of the city from all her friends and keen to find a place of her own, Anna started saving to get on the property ladder.

“My company had a house in Richmond, and I lived there for several years. When covid happened, the company got rid of the office and the house, so I suddenly needed to find somewhere to live quite quickly” she says. “I considered all my options – either renting or possibly even moving to another country – however some of my friends are homeowners and they suggested I speak to a mortgage broker and explore my options.”

Unaware of alternative home ownership options, Anna’s mortgage broker suggested she considered Shared Ownership as a viable way to get onto the property ladder.

Anna comments: “I had no idea that Shared Ownership even existed. My mortgage broker advised that this could be suitable because I didn’t have enough saved to buy fully outright and Help to Buy just wasn’t quite right for me. I did some calculations regarding my monthly payments and realised that Shared Ownership would be a much better option than renting.”

Anna began looking for a Shared Ownership property in 2021, and quickly came across Leaside Lock by Guinness Homes, where she purchased a 25% share of a 1-bedroom apartment.

“I went to view the property with a friend and we both immediately fell in love. I liked the area straight away – my goal was to move east because all my friends are there, and I got tired of travelling to and from Richmond. I love that the development is so well connected as well – the station is literally across the road, and the District Line is very convenient. You’re also very close to the Jubilee Line, and Stratford has everything, so that’s great.”

“The apartment has huge windows, which I think is quite unusual for the UK, so the whole place is very bright and airy. Everything is totally brand new, so I don’t have to concern myself with any renovations ever, and there is so much storage.”

Having spent years living alongside the Thames in Richmond, finding a new home close to water was high on Anna’s priority list. She says: “It was very important to me to live near water. I like to go on walks and runs, and it’s much nicer to follow a river or canal path. It was something I really got used to in Richmond, so that was a big thing for me when looking at Leaside Lock – it’s right on the River Lea.”

Speaking about the home buying process, Anna found everything very smooth with support from Guinness’ sales team.

“The Guinness team were very helpful. Emmanuel from Guinness Homes was always giving me updates regarding the sales process and was happy to answer all of my questions.”

Now all moved in, Anna is loving the new community at Leaside Lock and is excited for everything that is still yet to come.

Anna comments: “It’s amazing here, like a little neighbourhood. I have met some of my neighbours and they all seem lovely. It’s a really diverse community, and there are lots of people my age, which is great. One of my favourite parts of the development is the roof terrace – it’s brilliant. I can’t wait for the weather to get better so I can take my morning coffee and a magazine up there and get a little bit of sun.”

“I’m very excited for what’s to come. The journey to the station will be even quicker when they open the connecting footpath, and we’re expecting a gym and a coffee shop later down the line.”

Looking to the future, Anna is planning on staying put at Leaside Lock. She says: “I am definitely planning to buy more shares. I’ll have to see how my salary progresses, but as soon as I’m able to I want to increase my 25% through staircasing.”

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