Following years of renting privately, the couple decided that it was time to set down roots and find a place that they could really call home.
Time for change
Faced with yet another move at the end of a tenancy agreement, both Errol and Antonio agreed that they’d reached a point in their lives where owning their own home had to become a priority. However, they didn’t want to be pushed further out of London by property prices that were totally unaffordable.
When they realised that they were both ready to embark on their own home ownership journey, Errol and Antonio started to consider their options. They knew that a traditional purchase through the open market in London was out of the question, but when they heard about shared ownership there was a glimmer of hope. They found sharetobuy.com – an online, one-stop-shop which led them to discover Moat and the affordable homes on the Greenwich Peninsula.
“We liked the look of the apartments on the website so we decided to visit the area, given that we’d always lived in South West London and didn’t know Greenwich at all,” Antonio recalls. “When we walked out of North Greenwich tube station, we were instantly delighted by the high-tech environment. Once we’d seen the homes and got a feel for the community, we got really caught up in our Peninsula Dream!”
Totally smitten, Errol and Antonio made the decision to get the ball rolling. Errol remembers the shared ownership purchase process to be very straightforward “Everything was clearly explained and broken down into palatable steps, so we knew where we were throughout the process. The team at Moat was always available and willing to offer guidance and our financial advisor was extremely professional and knowledgeable.”
They reserved from-plan at the end of October 2015 and just over six weeks later, in mid-December, Errol and Antonio completed their purchase, moving in just in time for their first Christmas as home owners. “We feel like a weight was lifted from our shoulders,” Antonio says. “Our quality of life has definitely improved and we are more relaxed and optimistic about the future.”
Moat’s homes in Greenwich have been thoughtfully designed, inside and out. They come with balconies and a great specification, with features such as a video entry system and Zanussi appliances included in the price. The Peninsula itself is vibrant, active and welcoming, with plenty of great transport links into the City, event venues such as the O2, bars and restaurants. But it isn’t all hustle and bustle; Greenwich Peninsula also has plenty of protected, green spaces to escape into at times when city life gets a little too hectic.
“Our new home is amazing and we absolutely love it; we love being ‘Peninsula People’. We love the neighbourhood, our new neighbours – everything!” Errol enthuses. “It’s everything we could have ever wanted and more.”
After six years spent renting a two bedroom property in Charlton, South London, they knew it was time to set up a more secure future for their family.
Having both been born and raised in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Lee and Michelle wanted to remain in the local area familiar to them and weren’t keen to completely relocate. However, with the cost of buying a home in London continuing to rise, this wasn’t looking likely. “We weren’t in a position to get a full mortgage because we only had a small amount of savings for a deposit,” Lee remembers. “We wanted stability for our future and buying a home was a way of laying those much needed foundations; shared ownership seemed the best way to get onto the property ladder.”
Lee and Michelle’s rented home was very close to the Greenwich Peninsula and the uber-modern Greenwich Millennium Village (GMV). “We passed through the Peninsula and GMV on the way to work every day,” Michelle explains. “When we started looking into shared ownership, GMV was a natural first choice for us – especially since we wanted to stay close to our friends and family.”
With a plan forming, the couple went online to sharetobuy.com – the one-stop-shop for shared ownership sales. They spotted Moat’s apartments at GMV and decided to make some enquiries. “From the start we made it clear that we had a tight deadline due to the new baby’s arrival and our tenancy agreement ending,” says Lee. “The team at Moat were great; they were quick to respond to our queries which I think played a big part in being able to complete the whole purchase process within three months.”
For a decade GMV has been an established, sustainable community at the forefront of a monumental regeneration. The fantastic amenities situated locally such as The O2 Arena, along with a superb transport network including North Greenwich Station on the Jubilee line, have made GMV a thriving and developing community. GMV also has its own parkland, including the Ecology Park, and easy access to the landscaped Central Park running the length of the Peninsula.
Both Lee and Michelle love their new home. “We both work in central London and commute via the Jubilee Line at North Greenwich,” Michelle explains. “Now that we’ve moved our commute is not only ten minutes shorter, but the walk along the river to the station is much nicer than sitting on a bus in traffic!”
“Buying our home has given us the security we wanted,” Lee adds. “It’s a great feeling knowing that some of what we are now paying for our home is going into ownership. It has taken away the common concerns of renting such as rent increases, security of tenure and short term tenancies.”
“We love it here – it suits us perfectly,” Michelle proclaims. “Its very well designed, spacious and has lots of storage which is a great help. The views are lovely and having two balconies is a real bonus!”
On 13 June 2016, Lee and Michelle’s son, Zac, was born at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich. The whole family is now loving life in their new home at GMV.
Darren Porter moved into his 2 bedroom mid-terraced house at Mellow Purgess in July 2006. Darren purchased a 70% share of the £115,000 property through the shared ownership resale process and paid Moat a subsidised rent on the remaining 30%. Earlier this year Darren went on to purchase Moat’s 30% share and now owns the property outright!
** Why did he decide to buy through shared ownership & how did you find that process**
Darren was born in Basildon and has lived there all his life. He decided to buy through shared ownership with Moat because he could not afford to purchase anything more than a one bedroom flat in the area where he wanted to live. The home at Mellow Purgess is only a mile from where he works.
Darren found the purchase process really straight forward. He used a mortgage advisor and solicitor from the panel recommended by Moat which he felt took all the pain away.
** Living in the property as a shared owner **
Darren always felt like a home owner. Initially he was concerned that Moat would be intrusive but this couldn’t have been further from the truth! He enjoyed the freedom that this tenure provided him with.
** Why he decided to staircase **
Darren’s original intention was to live at Mellow Purgess for a few years and then move on. However, he fell in the love with his home and having spoken to his mortgage provider he was able to purchase it outright.
** What he liked about the staircasing process and people he dealt with **
Darren wanted to establish if, upon staircasing, he would own the freehold or if he would remain a leaseholder. Darren spoke to one our Home Ownership Officers, Bradley Scott, who was very helpful and able to advise him of the staircasing process and that on completion he would become the freeholder of his home.
**What could we have done differently**
Darren said that it would have been useful if Moat were able to recommend mortgage advisors and solicitors who deal with the staircasing process in the same way that they did when he purchased the property.
** Quote –**
Darren says “once I made the decision to staircase, from that point to completion, it was so easy and straight forward. After the surveyor came to my house to value the property, it only took 7 weeks to complete!”