First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023

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the Ultimate Guide to... GETTING ON THE LADDER, THE PROPERTY MARKET AND HELP TO BUY December 2022/ January 2023 £3.95 771758 973014 9 12> “Try to get as much information as you can about the homebuying process before you start” CHRISTMAS! ALL WRAPPED UP WIN! A YALE FLOODLIGHT CAMERA WITH PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION WORTH £368.99 GAME OF HOMES THE MINI-BUDGET UNRAVELLED ENERGY-SAVING PROPERTIES
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I don’t know if you all agree but this year seems to have flown by! It’s been an interesting one with Prime Ministers coming and going and a miniBudget which caused havoc within the financial markets. But we, at First Time Buyer, always remain upbeat and positive. We know many of you are desperate to get on the property ladder and we truly believe this is really still possible.

So, with Christmas just around the corner I hope you enjoy our festive features – we have suggestions for decorations, the best Christmas fayre from the supermarkets and some wonderful gift ideas for all the family including your favourite pet!

Also on the horizon is the World Cup – it has been quite controversial this time round but with so many avid football fans we thought you might like our fascinating feature on how many homes you could buy with the money spent on footballers’ transfers this summer – it’s quite astounding!! Do turn to pages 24-28 and find the team you support and check it out – we also highlight many affordable homes in the various cities with leading football teams.

Other very interesting features are what the effects of the mini-Budget will be for first time buyers (pages 86-87) and how to save on energy costs (pages 88-89).

I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.

I hope you enjoy this issue which is packed with information and help on buying your first home – enjoy!

Until next time, happy house hunting

firsttimebuyeronline @firsttimebuyer


The old saying “a week is a long time in politics” could be amended from a week to just a day.

Jonnie Irwin, Jonnie’s World, page 9

I would also recommend everyone to do lots of research, which can be quite overwhelming.

Ella Stewart, At home with, page14

I could picture us living in here immediately and planned out where everything was going to go.

Nate and Bianca, Real Life, page 70

We will spend as much time as we can getting to know the area.

Jivan Tankian, House Hunter, page 16

Get a good nancial adviser and solicitor who works with your housing association as this will speed things up.

Hellyn Fairbrother, 20 Questions, page 106

December 2022/January 2023 3
First Time Buyer

What’s in…


For sale – the best FTB properties


9 Words from Jonnie

TV presenter and property expert Jonnie Irwin gives his views on the housing market.

11 FTB loves…

A selection of our favourite hot buys for the Christmas season.

12 Living

Our round-up of the best Christmas decorations to help make your home sparkle this holiday season.

14 At home with… Ella Stewart

Baker and supporter of mental health awareness Ella Stewart has combined her two passions to create Bake Well Being. She talks to Lynda Clark about how it all began, buying her first home and gives some great advice for first time buyers.

16 House Hunter

We try to find a home for Jivan and Darron Tankian who are searching for a two bedroom property in south east London.

18 Developer’s doctor

Stuart Hensby, Associate Director of Sales and Marketing at Abri, answers your property question.


Nate and Bianca moved into their one bedroom apartment at Notting Hill Genesis’ Royal Albert Wharf. As first time buyers, the couple were drawn to the riverside development due to the spacious apartments, the opportunity to belong to a growing community and the easy transport connections into central London and beyond.


20 The View: Tayo Oguntonade

TV presenter Tayo Oguntonade can be seen presenting Great House Giveaway on Channel 4. He is also an experienced mortgage broker, property expert and influencer. He tells Lynda Clark about his fascinating life, the first property he bought and has some sound advice for first time buyers.

24 Football’s Coming Home

With the FIFA World Cup kicking off in Qatar, we are thinking all things football! Property developer Stripe Property Group

recently looked at the cash splashed by each Premier League team during the summer transfer window, the current average house price in each of their respective areas and how many homes they could purchase based on their summer transfer window spend. Debbie Clark looks at the findings and highlights some affordable homes.

30 Happy ever after!

Highlighting three happy first time buyers who have all bought their dream home using shared ownership through Be West.

Should I buy a resale or new build given the current costof-living crisis?

Urban Moves leads the market in shared ownership resales and looks at the options and the advantages and disadvantages.

CONTENTS 4 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 DECEMBER 2022/JANUARY 2023 / ISSUE 98 / FIRSTTIMEBUYERMAG.CO.UK
© Channel 4
Cover photo

Win a Yale floodlight camera with professional installation worth £368.99.

REGULARS 32 Hotspot We look at Greenwich as a place to live. 81 Inspector Gadget Highlighting some of the best kitchen gadgets on the market to help minimise the stress and labour of cooking this Christmas. 82 Money laundering checks

Bill Dhariwal, Solicitor and Managing Director of Lawcomm, explains what money laundering checks are required when buying your home.

84 Ask Emilia

Emilia is the Sales Director at Metro Finance. Here she gives her top tips when applying for a mortgage. 86 Finance

Kay Hill takes a look at the recent controversial mini-Budget and considers if it was good news or bad news for first time buyers.

88 Market

Ginetta Vedrickas highlights how first time buyers can protect themselves against rising energy costs. 90 Agony Agent All your property questions answered by our panel of experts.

93 Buyer’s Guide

Check out FTB’s Buyer’s Guide, which walks you through the property process.

98 Buying with friends and family

Coralie Phelan, Partner and Head of New Build Homes at Prince Evans Solicitors LLP, looks at the legal aspects and whether buying with friends and family is the right option for you. 100 Directory Where and how to contact your Help to Buy Agents or providers. 106 20 Questions

We ask 20 quick-fire questions to a property expert and in this issue

Hellyn Fairbrother, London and South East Regional Sales Manager for The Guinness Partnership is in the spotlight.

CONTENTS First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 5 TAYO OGUNTONADE, PAGE 20 20
Tayo Oguntonade 79 Competition
IT IS HARD TO GET ON THE LADDER BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE ARE PAYING RENT AND BILLS AND CANNOT SAVE FOR THEIR VERY IMPORTANT DEPOSIT 76 FTB’s Festive Fast Food Eat, drink and be merry! First time buyer has scoured the supermarkets to find the tastiest and best value Christmas food and drink to enjoy with friends and family this festive season.



I recently decided to start looking for a property to purchase for the first time. I’m really excited but I’m not sure where to start and want to make sure that I’m choosing the right area. Can you advise me of any particular things to look out for or avoid?   Holly Freeman

FTB says: One of the most important things to consider when looking for a property is location. A good first step when picking an area is considering how long your commute to work will be. Once you find the areas you like, you can narrow down which you prefer. Everyone has a different list of important criteria when looking at an area so decide what is important to you. Consider things like – are there nearby amenities? Are there good transport links? Is the area safe? Does it fit into your price range? Once you consider all these aspects you’ll have a much clearer idea and be well on the way to finding your new home.


I am buying my first home and I know I need to get insurance before I move in, however I don’t know very much about it and what needs to be covered. Could you please tell me which type of insurance I should get?

Michael Davidson


Please send us your questions, comments and suggestions concerning property, or the articles in First Time Buyer magazine.



I have heard that Stamp Duty thresholds are changing in England and Northern Ireland after the recent mini-Budget. What are these changes?

Jackson Wu

FTB says: Indeed, it was recently announced in the “mini-Budget” that new rates of Stamp Duty came into effect on 23 September 2022. This is being done to “support growth, increase confidence and help families aspiring to own their own home.” According to the announcement, no Stamp Duty will be paid on the first £250,000 of a property, and for first time buyers, the threshold will be £425,000. The value of the property where first time buyers can claim relief has been increased to £625,000. All these numbers have risen quite significantly, which is good news for first time buyers. Be aware that different rates apply in both Scotland and Wales.


Warm up this winter with this month’s star letter prize! This Herringbone hot water bottle from Lakeland, worth £18.99, will be sure to make the perfect snuggly companion to take the chill away on the long dark and dreary nights ahead.

FTB says: You are correct in saying you need insurance before you move in, as it is essential to protect your home and all your belongings. There are two types of insurance you should look at. Firstly, buildings insurance, which protects the building from damage such as fire, water and bad weather and secondly contents insurance. Contents insurance protects your possessions inside the home if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen. It is important that you look at all your items and make sure you aren’t under-insured. Insurance can give you piece of mind and provides reassurance if something does go wrong.

I live in England and want to take out a guarantor mortgage for my first home, but the person I’d like as my guarantor currently lives abroad. Can they still be my guarantor even if they do not live in the country?

Jenna Mansell

FTB says: It’s highly unlikely that a lender would allow someone who is based overseas, even if they are a British citizen, to act as a mortgage guarantor. A guarantor agrees to ensure the mortgage payments are made in full and on time. They also agree that they can be tracked for any outstanding money in the event of a loss on repossession. The point of a guarantor is to pay the mortgage

if you can’t. The lender needs to be able to implement this obligation, which could be incredibly difficult if the guarantor is situated overseas. The lender would have to deal with the laws and protocols of another country. This could present potential barriers if it had to attempt to take legal action in pursuit of payment. Also, the logistics involved in tracking the guarantor and arranging payment would make it difficult if the guarantor was situated anywhere but in the same country.


For everything you need to know about buying for the rst time, go to

LETTERS First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 7

TV presenter and property expert Jonnie Irwin gives his thoughts and views on first time buyers and the housing market

A week is a long time…

I like a bit of period drama. Not so much your Downton Abbey, although very pleasant and gentle Sunday viewing it was. Personally, I like a bit of darkness – some menace of the likes of Taboo, North Water or a bit of Peaky Blinders will stop me looking at my phone for an hour or so.

I’m not so keen on time travelling films, (A Christmas Carol and Back to the Future are obvious exceptions!). I find myself sitting on the sofa, settling in to watch my evening’s entertainment when suddenly a character pops through a wormhole to another dimension of reality. Now I’ve been plunged unwittingly into having to think. That takes effort and invariably involves me continually pressing the pause button and shouting “what?!”at the screen. I must have watched The Tenet three times now and am still none the wiser. Perhaps Christopher Nolan just requires more IQ from his audience than I have. I find myself asking questions like; which is the true reality? What is real? And then ultimately I wonder, what’s on the other channels? Click…

If you think time travel films move quickly, they appear at a glacial pace when compared to UK politics. The old saying used to be “a week is a long time in politics” well that could be amended from a week to just a day.

I appreciate some of my recent columns have included quite a bit of politics but that’s because it’s having such an impact on the property sector – to be fair it affects everything as we all know, but let’s stick to our area.

By the time you’re reading this article the fact that Kwasi Kwarteng was ever Chancellor will be distant memory or did we just dream it? Or was that another strange wormhole into an alternative universe?

Of course, our dire economic outlook was influenced by events that took place long before the ill thought-out mini-Budget, but the financial powers that be knew straight away that this wasn’t just the wrong direction, it was a further mistake that would have even harsher consequences. So, who is running the country? You could argue the financial institutions if their interventions can force the Government to turn around its policies like it did. You could argue that also changing tack and adopting some of Labour’s policies makes the shadow cabinet more than just an influence. At the very least, the newly installed Jeremy Hunt to Chancellor is arguably in

control from Number 11, but by the time you’re reading this, anybody could be residing at Downing Street.

Whatever happens now we can be sure that any Government decision will affect us immediately. Within hours of the Kamikaze Budget, money lenders had removed mortgage products from the shelves leaving buyers marooned. The effect it’s had on the first time buyer market is obvious, with the ability to buy suddenly taken from purchasers, putting further time between them and being able to fulfil their dream of buying their first property. Some buyers were only weeks away from completion, now who knows how long they’ll have to wait?

Even if more favourable mortgage products are once again offered back to the market, one thing for sure is that they will be at higher interest rates, which at the very least will have a negative impact on buyers’ ability to buy at the levels they were excitedly considering just weeks ago.

In order to gauge the mood of some experts in the first time buyer market I had a ring round and spoke to some mortgage brokers.

One, who I speak to quite regularly summed it up perfectly, “After the 2008 financial crisis, Brexit, Covid, Putin and now the Kamikaze budget I’m used to things being a bit sh!te.”

A bit of gallows humour, but slightly encouraging is the thought there will be a way forward sometime soon. I see the broker’s point but it also illustrates the one thing that can’t be extinguished with policy – and that’s desire.

The will is there, let’s take five and see what the next few weeks bring and in the meantime, try not to be too consumed by the hourly political briefings. My only offering is for us to appreciate that we are indeed powerless when faced with the decisions of numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street, but take a bit of comfort in the fact that there was a body of people in the financial sector who took the toys from the clowns until they started to act more rationally. Not particularly democratic, but then the Prime Minister and Chancellor have no mandate, so if you can’t beat ‘em…

What we must continue to do, is to be politically engaged and informed. Everything that we face, good and bad, comes in consequence of policy made for, and voted for, by us, the electorate. I’m not here to tell you how to vote, just to be aware of what we are voting for, in detail, because in such a sensitive economy our lives are changed with an ‘X’.

OPINION First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 9
FTB LOVES First December 2022/January 2023 11 Let’s wrap things way. This month we select our For friends and family, little extra treats for stocking fillers and even the perfect present for our four-legged companions irst Time Buyer Roast on a string pet toy, £6, M&S William Morris at Home Canine Companion dog walker’s kit, £29.99, Dobbies Garden Centre PlayPud MegaBall, £14.99, Dobbies Garden Centre London edition folding skyline chess set, £95, John Lewis & Partners Christmas gingerbread Oh Snap socks, £2.49, New Look DIY Foccacia kit, £10; DIY fortune cookie kit, £10; DIY sushi set, £12, Primark Make your own gardener’s hamper, cost varies according to contents, Wilko Personalised leather bi-fold wallet, £35; personalised women’s rib beanie hat, £19.50; personalised women’s striped straight t T-shirt, £15, M&S CONTACTS » Dobbies » Hotel Chocolat » John Lewis & Partners » Marks & Spencer » New Look » Oliver Bonas » Primark » Wilko Quentin alphabet initial mini travel jewellery box, £14.50, Oliver Bonas The chocolate wreath box, £43.50, Hotel Chocolat


Turn your home into a Winter Wonderland with our exciting array of Christmas decorations and pieces to make your home sparkle this holiday season. You probably have the annual bunch of baubles stashed in the loft, but it is always exciting to add a few new pieces to the collection. Go ahead and treat your elf!

Homepage LIVING 12 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Rudolph oil burner, £5, George at Asda Holly Berry Christmas stocking, £19.50, Sophie Allport Christmas tree candle, £4.99, TK Maxx Pinecone candle, £3, PEP&CO at Poundland Disney Mickey Mouse Christmas serving platter, set of 2, £20, George at Asda Christmas Gingerbread Man pasta bowl, set of 4, £12, George at Asda Gonk, £1.50, PEP&CO at Poundland Osby star window light trio, £44.99; Crown light-up Christmas tree topper, £24.99; LED Christmas bauble trio, £12.99; TruGlow® LED pillar candle trio, £26.99, Lights4fun Christmas tree stocking, £14; Christmas tree duvet set, £30; Christmas tree cushion, £14, M&Co

Feather bauble, £2.50, B&M

Angel tree decoration, £1.50, PEP&CO at Poundland

Silver disco ball bauble, £1.50, PEP&CO at Poundland

Icicle band bauble, £3.99, Gisela Graham London

Glass bauble with gold London scene, £4.49, Gisela Graham London Glitter snow ake tree decoration, £1.50, PEP&CO at Poundland

Light up mushroom scene cloche, £20, Habitat

Frost ceramic lantern, £15; Frost metal snow ake wreath, £8; pair of metal stars, £12; Frost eucalyptus and berries garland, £9; Frost white tree, £20; Frost ower decoration, £2.50, Wilko

Geometric decorations, 3 pack, £2; globe decoration, £1.50; Champagne decoration, £1.50; spiral decorations, 8 pack, £2; gift Bag, £1; wrapping paper –assorted designs, £1; gift bow and ribbon pack £1, Poundland

Christmas Eve plate, £10, M&Co

Studley forest and reindeer silhouette Christmas window light, £29.99, Lights4fun

Ceramic House, £9.99, TK Maxx

Homepage LIVING First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 13
» B&M
» Gisela Graham
» Lights4fun
» Poundland
» Sophie
» TK
George at Asda

At home with: Ella Stewart

Ella Stewart has two great passions, one is baking and the other is supporting mental health awareness. She has combined them both and created Bake Well Being where she holds workshops, bake-alongs plus one-to-one and group coaching. She talks to Lynda Clark about how it all began, buying her first home and gives some great advice for first time


FTB: You are soon to buy your first home; can you tell us about it?

ES: I am very lucky and in a privileged position because I currently live between my parents’ and my boyfriend’s houses, and they don’t take any rent from me. This has enabled me to save and I now have quite a decent deposit. I have spoken to a mortgage adviser and I am actively searching on different websites like Zoopla for a possible home I can buy within my price range. I am hoping to buy and move in by next spring. It’s very exciting to think I will have bought my first home by the time I am 25.

FTB: When did you start baking?

ES: When I was little I used to spend time with my grandparents while my mum was at work. My grandmother used to bake with me, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and we used to make fairy cupcakes. When I was old enough, I got a Saturday job in a cake shop, which also sold equipment and supplies to professional bakers who would come into the shop and gave me the chance to talk to them, which really inspired me. I stayed at the shop for eight years and loved every moment of it.

FTB: What did you do after you left school?

ES: I have always been very interested in mental health. I went to university to study Events Management and in my third year I pitched my idea in the University of Greenwich Enterprise Challenge and won the Social category. With the funding I got from my prize I decided to train and completed my Mental Health First Aid training and became a qualified Wellness and Resilience Coach. It was during the

pandemic, so I had a lot of free time and apart from studying I spent time in the kitchen baking and practising different cake decorating skills. I also, with the help of my boyfriend, renovated a van and put in a kitchen and oven which can host around six people for workshops. It’s the Bake Well Being Mobile, her nickname is Van-essa, and it’s very exciting as I can take it to different places and do pop-up events and get out and about in the community. My boyfriend did most of the work but he did let me put a few screws in! It was a great project and we both had lots of fun while we remodelled it.

FTB: Tell us about Bake Well Being?

ES: At the moment, I run Bake Well Being as a Social Project missioning to get people baking for our wellbeing. I do this alongside having a full-time job as a PA at a school. I am lucky because I get long holidays and finish work at 4.30pm so I am home by 5pm and have plenty of time to focus on Bake Well Being initiatives in the evenings and school breaks. I run workshops and baking classes and host webinars in all the free time I have aiming to get every person talking, baking, and eating cake for their mental health. I’ve recently been working with Bromley Y, which supports young people with their mental health, and I run baking classes with a group of teenagers in conjunction with their mentoring programme encouraging them to use baking as a positive coping strategy.

FTB: Which cakes do you enjoy baking the most?

ES: During lockdown I spent so much time practicing every sort of cake and decoration

I could image. But, I love to make a good old classic cupcake – it’s simply sponge and buttercream and then I pipe and decorate it in all different creative ways. It’s reminiscent of when I first started making fairy cakes with my grandmother, so it’s a bake that’s close to my heart and makes me feel very nostalgic.

FTB: What advice have you got for first time buyers?

ES: Think ahead as it can be a long process. When I initially started my search, I thought it was a box ticking exercise and it would all be done in a few months. But, one thing leads to another and it can take a really long time. I would advise any first timer to think where you would like to be in three years’ time and follow that through with the choice of home you go for – consider location, size and what you really need and want. Don’t feel pressurised or rushed as it’s a huge decision. I would also recommend everyone to do lots of research, which can be quite overwhelming. When I started looking online I got about 30,000 web results so I had no idea where to start. I think you need to work smarter and not harder and only go to trusted first time buyer sites to gather your knowledge and information and of course First Time Buyer magazine has a wealth of really useful features that essentially does a lot of the work for you!

FTB: What are your plans for the future?

ES: My goal is for Bake Well Being to become a full-time social enterprise one day. I need to be careful though because I have got a mortgage based on my full-time job and I don’t want to mess that up. I see Bake Well Being as my passion project until I am financially stable, but I will continue to follow my dreams in any way I can. I have around 2,300 followers on Instagram and lots of YouTube tutorials which are very popular, so my aim is to grow that number and pass on my passion to as many people as possible.

Instagram: @bakewellbeing Website: Email:

Homepage LIVING 14 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023


This month FTB goes on the hunt with Jivan and Darron Tankian who are searching for a two bedroom property in south east London

What we found…



Brixton, south east London

FROM £155,000*

Sydenham Groves Sydenham, south east London

FROM £108,000*


Maximum budget £280,000

Requirements A two bedroom home in south east London with private outdoor space. Close to local amenities, including shops, eateries and entertainment options

What they wanted…

My partner Darron and I are looking for our rst proper home together. We currently live with my mum in Clapham, south west London, and although we’re so grateful for her generosity over the past two years, we are all feeling the need for our own space. Darron and I really want to stay in south London as it’s where we’re from and where we work. We’re happy to go a little further east, to say, Lewisham, and are looking at all the areas between Brixton and there. We’d love two bedrooms and some outdoor space – and as we like to eat out, it would be great to be close to a town centre, high street or other cool things such as food markets. We’ve paid minimal rent at my mum’s, which has allowed us to save, save, save! We have a healthy deposit of just under £30,000, and having spoken to a mortgage adviser, we have a budget of around £280,000.”

You’re never far from the buzz of Brixton at this stylish new collection of homes in south east London. The two bedroom apartments are just a few minutes’ walk from a great range of shops, bars, famous venues, markets, the POP Brixton container park with its bars and eateries and Brockwell Park – as well as fantastic tube, train and bus links. The contemporary homes are light and bright and feature plenty of storage space. Openplan living areas lead to private balconies, while some properties also have balconies from the main bedroom.

*Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £620,000

This new collection of one and two bedroom apartments and three bedroom townhouses has proven hugely popular since its recent release. With the high street and a choice of three rail and Overground stations within walking distance, this is a great spot for enjoying the local area and getting into central London. The properties are thoughtfully designed, with bright open-plan living areas that lead to outdoor space. There is onsite parking as well as play space for families. A great opportunity to buy in an increasingly popular part of London.

*Based on a 30% share of the full market value of £360,000

What they thought…

We love Brixton and have spent many days and evenings enjoying everything it has to offer – we love meeting up with friends here and there is always something good to see or do. These homes are really well located, not quite right in the centre of the town, but only a short walk to everything you need. It would be a really exciting place to live and I know our friends would love it too. The interiors are really chic – we just love those pastel kitchens and the parquet-style ooring.”

Darron works at a school in this area, so I’m sure he’d be happy to be closer to work. We also have friends nearby, so we know the surrounding towns pretty well. The apartments look beautiful – we love the styling and the layouts look pretty spacious. We particularly like how the development is set in a quiet cul-de-sac, but is also so close to the high street – I think you’d really feel like you could retreat back to your own peaceful space here after a long day at work.”

16 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 Homepage FIRST RUNG
Name Jivan Tankian, 27, and Darron Tankian, 34 Occupation Teacher, Programme manager

First choice!

Southmere Thamesmead, south east London

FROM £121,500*

Lazenby Square Bermondsey, south London

FROM £138,750*


No.1 Creekside Deptford, south east London

FROM £98,750*

Forming part of the ongoing, award-winning regeneration of Thamesmead, Southmere features a selection of two and three bedroom apartments – situated minutes from Abbey Wood station and its impressive new Elizabeth Line connections. Set around ve lakes and a central square, amenities include a library and community centre, with an arts and culture of ce, restaurants, cafes, shops, shared working spaces and pop-up markets all coming soon. Properties feature bright, open-plan living spaces and plenty of natural light, perfect for modern living.

*Based a 30% share of the full market value of £405,000

There’s lots we love about this development. There’s so much green space on the doorstep, a major plus point in terms of getting out and enjoying some fresh air. The travel links are great, too – we’d both easily be able to get to work if we’re not driving. Plus, the properties themselves are really attractive and in keeping with our taste. I have to admit we don’t know this area too well, and it is a little further east than we’d hoped to move – but it is very tempting indeed.”

Set around a stunning courtyard, the new homes at Lazenby Square offer a tranquil retreat from city life, which lies just on the doorstep. The one, two and three bedroom apartments are bright and spacious, with balconies, and en suites in the bigger properties. These Zone 2 apartments are just a 15-minute walk from Tower Bridge, the river front, Borough Market and everything those areas bring for round-the-clock entertainment. Bermondsey Spa Gardens can be reached in under a minute, with supermarkets, shops and cafes slightly further a eld.

*Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £555,000

We have always liked this area, as there’s a cool vibe and some of our favourite parts of London on the doorstep. The proximity to Borough Market and the river is great, but it’s also really close to Peckham, Brixton and Camberwell, so the choices for going out are second to none! The apartments are lovely and the central courtyard would be a bonus in the summer. The area has seen lots of development in recent years, so it’s exciting to see such positive growth.”

The one, two and three bedroom apartments at No.1 Creekside are housed within two buildings that are linked by raised communal gardens. The small development sits just moments from Deptford Bridge DLR and railway stations, as well as the creek and thriving market – making it a perfect location for lovers of all things London. Both Greenwich and New Cross are an easy walk away, while a good range of parks, shops and eateries lie just a stone’s throw from the front door.


*Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £395,000

“We are super interested in making No.1 Creekside our home. We will begin the application process, which involves speaking with the nancial team to ensure we’re suitable candidates and booking a second visit to view the development. We will spend as much time as we can getting to know the area a little better, too. We’re really excited about these homes!

What a lively and convenient location – so close to the station, the market, great pubs and the creek. It really does have it all. I know that this would be a really fun and interesting place to live, and it would be super exciting to have such great options for entertainment in Deptford, Greenwich or close by every day and night of the week. Greenwich Park – which we love – is also within walking distance. The local transport connections are good, too, meaning work and family are never far away. The building is stylish and in keeping with the area, and the interiors are smart and modern, which is what we appreciate. There’s lots to like here!”

Homepage FIRST RUNG First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 17

AWith most people feeling the pinch in one way or another, it’s understandable that those with their sights on homeownership are taking a moment to pause. Fortunately, there are still affordable ways to get on the ladder. Although the popular Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme is coming to an end, shared ownership, one of the market’s leading products, can still make homeownership a reality.

Shared ownership is when you buy an initial percentage of your home, usually between 10% and 75%, and pay a lowcost rent on the rest. You can then buy further shares of the property (known as staircasing) which will decrease the amount of rent you pay. For example, a 35% share of a two bedroom mid-terraced house at Abri Homes’ Violet Cross development in Dorset can be purchased for just £95,375, instead of the full market value of £272,500.

Shared ownership may be a good option if, due to the recent rise in inflation and the impact this has had on affordability criteria, you’ve found yourself priced out of the open market. Homes purchased with shared ownership are more affordable, as you’ll only need a mortgage for your share of the property. And with the option to staircase in increments as low as just 1%, you can move towards owning 100% of your home at a rate that works for you, all while paying towards your mortgage. Deposits start from 5% of the share you’re purchasing, meaning you may be able to step on to the ladder a lot sooner than you thought.

There could be a benefit to acting quickly, too. Interest rates are rising – and while we don’t have a crystal ball, there’s a possibility they could continue to do so, meaning it could be a good idea to lock in a mortgage

rate sooner than later. The recent Stamp Duty cuts also mean that there are big savings to be had, particularly for first time buyers who could save thousands.

As one of the south’s largest housing providers, Abri has a range of high-quality new homes that are available through shared ownership. Most of Abri’s shared ownership homes have a higher EPC rating, helping to reduce your energy usage and lower your bills as energy prices soar. Good for the environment and your bank balance!

Green credentials could also save you money on your mortgage. A growing number of lenders now offer “green mortgages” for homes with an EPC rating of A or B. These mortgages can come

Discover Shackleton Heights, a new collection of two, three and four bedroom houses and apartments in Lockleaze, available with shared ownership and on the open market. Bristol city centre is just a hop and a skip away, famous for its street art and hot air balloon festival. Unwind at Harbourside on the weekends, or take advantage of the city’s vibrant nightlife, the choice is yours.

with better interest rates, which have the potential to reduce the overall amount of money you pay back over the course of your borrowing.

At Abri, we believe home isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling. It’s feeling safe, secure, and happy. And because of that, buying a home will undoubtedly be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life – both financially and emotionally. That’s why we’ll make the process as easy as possible.

To find out more about our wide range of homes across the South and South West of England, and for top tips and resources including a mortgage affordability calculator, visit

Each home at Shackleton Heights bene ts from brand new appliances and neutral nishes throughout. So, you’ll be ready to start creating your new home as soon as you get the keys.

Shackleton Heights Lockleaze, Bristol

And with eco-friendly features such as wild ower gardens, electric vehicle charging points and low-carbon air source heat pump heating systems, these homes have been built with modern life in mind.

Prices are coming soon, with the next homes due to be released this winter. Register your interest now for information and to visit our show home.

Stuart Hensby, Associate Director Sales and Marketing at Abri, is passionate about helping customers on their homeownership journey. With over 16 years’ experience in the property industry, Stuart leads Abri’s sales and marketing across different tenures including shared ownership, resales and open market sales. Stuart champions an innovative way of marketing affordable homes, with his substantial experience in commercial markets, he advocates for an exciting and fresh approach that puts the customer at the heart of the process
I am a first time buyer and I would really like to take a step on the property ladder. But can I still afford to buy with the cost of living crisis?
December 2022/January 2023
FROM £TBC Stuart Hensby, Associate Director Sales and Marketing, Abri


Tayo Oguntonade is a TV presenter and can be seen presenting Great House Giveaway on Channel 4, which this year scored a hattrick, winning Best Daytime Programme at the BAFTAs, RTS and Broadcast Awards. He is also an experienced mortgage broker, property expert and influencer. He tells Lynda Clark about his fascinating life, the first property he bought at the age of 22 and has some great advice for first time buyers

20 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Photos © Channel 4
THE VIEW First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 21

Imet Tayo for our chat on a Zoom call, which is the norm nowadays, and even though we were talking through a screen I immediately knew he was passionate about property and helping others get on the ladder and that we were going to get on really well. Tayo was brought up in south east London and he describes the area as “tough”. His parents, who are originally from Nigeria, instilled in Tayo and his two brothers that getting a good education was very important and so he took his schooling very seriously.

“I loved maths as I am a numbers person. My parents moved to Catford and then further out to Orpington in Kent, which was a big change for me as all my friends were back in south east London and it was quite a long journey to go to see them. I eventually went to a sixth form college in Beckenham and many of my old friends went there too, which was great. It was rather strange though because we were surrounded by quite privileged people. For example, when they passed their driving test they would be given a brand new car straight out of the showroom and that was never going to be the situation for me or my friends. So, I realised if I wanted a car I would have to work and save. We all got jobs – I worked in Sainsbury’s – and I saved and saved and eventually bought a 12-year-old Ford Fiesta, which wasn’t new but it got me around and opened up my world.”

Tayo went on to study economics at university and explained, “My student loan didn’t cover what I needed for rent let alone living expenses. Again, I had to get a part-time job to help and I also managed to save again. I was crazy on cars at that time so it made me work really hard so I could save up to buy a new car. I worked for a telesales company and I even stayed there during the holidays, often working between 60 and 70 hours a week, so I could continue working and saving and I actually managed to change my car three times during the period I was studying because I was saving so hard.

"My interest in property started when I was in a house share and I got friendly with the landlord and as I am a numbers man I worked out how much he made from all the rents he took. After I left uni I went back home and lived with my parents who didn’t want me to pay any rent, which was very good of them. I got a job and managed to save about £1,100 a month and then I spent whatever was left over on myself. I did realise though that every time I bought a new car its value depreciated the minute I drove it away and it got me thinking that I needed to invest in something that actually went up in value.

"I was 22 and I decided to work out

what I could afford and looked around the Sittingbourne area. It was a bit of a gamble as I didn’t know the area but I realised it was up-and-coming so would be a good investment. I eventually bought my first house there, a three bedroom terraced home which I bought for £150,000. My mortgage was £500 a month and I thought back to what my landlord had told me and I rented out the big double bedroom for £500 a month and the single one for £400 a month, so my mortgage was taken care of and I made a profit as well! Sittingbourne is well placed for commuting and with my house share model I was very happy.”

He worked as a personal banker for Santander at the time and realised that to further his career he needed to become a mortgage adviser. He asked Santander if they would train him and they agreed but kept saying maybe next year, so Tayo decided to do it himself and paid for his training and to take the exams. He passed and immediately left his job and moved on to working for the biggest estate agent in Kent. He now lives in south east London with his wife and two young daughters in a four bedroom terraced house. He still has the house he originally bought in Sittingbourne, which has doubled in value.

"Then in late 2019 my wife and I started BrickzwithTipz, a property blogging platform, as we had started using social media to give advice on buying your first home. It has been a huge success and it was the perfect timing to launch it as we soon went into lockdown and people had a lot of time on their hands and generally the property world was booming. We have well over 70,000 followers and we really enjoy giving our expertise to help dispel the myths of buying a home.”

It was during the pandemic that Chwarel, a production company in North Wales, saw a YouTube video he had made and contacted him about presenting a show on Channel 4 called Great House Giveaway He was a great success and has just finished filming the third series. This year the show won Best Daytime Programme

at the BAFTAs, RTS and Broadcast Awards and Tayo was also nominated for Best Debut Presenter at the Edinburgh Television Festival.

He has also joined the presenting team on Channel 4 on a show called Key to a Fortune. The show reunites families with homes and relatives they didn’t know they had and he is thoroughly enjoying it. He is also a regular on Steph’s Packed Lunch, Rip Off Britain, Watchdog, the BBC News and Morning Live. Although he is a very busy he still has time to support and work with 2020 Change, a youth empowerment organisation renowned for helping young people realise their potential and cultivate the right mindset to engage with today’s changing society.

Tayo has some excellent advice for first time buyers and said, “Time in the market is better than timing the market. A good example of this is in January 2020; there were 95% mortgages available but many people didn’t take this up as they thought property prices would go down. But they were wrong as house prices have shot up and so have interest rates, so timing is very important. After the financial crash in 2008 it took seven years for prices to recover to the level they were before the crash so property is a long-term investment.

"But, for first time buyers your first home will not be your forever home. It is hard to get on the ladder because most people are paying rent and bills and cannot save for their very important deposit. It does look like an impossible goal but try to get as much knowledge and information about the homebuying process before you start as it will put you in a much better position.

In 2022 Tayo was selected to be in the Top 25 Entrepreneurs to Watch list, which is run by UK Black Business Week and sponsored by HSBC. I certainly think Tayo is one to watch and I think we will be seeing a great deal more of him in the years to come. IG:

THE VIEW 22 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Website: "TIME


With the FIFA World Cup kicking off in Qatar, we have football on the brain at First Time Buyer, but we always like to keep things closer to home. Property developer Stripe Property Group recently looked at the cash splashed by each Premier League team during the summer transfer window, the current average house price in each of their respective areas and how many homes they could purchase based on their summer transfer window spend. Debbie Clark takes a look at their findings, to find out which areas are topping the property league


First time buyer Emily has recently purchased her rst home – an apartment in Liverpool. Raised in Shef eld, where her family are still based, Emily moved to the city to study medicine but says, “I very much saw myself making my home in Liverpool, even after I graduate to be a doctor.” The impressive Tobacco Warehouse development, at Liverpool’s iconic Stanley Dock, wowed her with its double-height ceilings, unique architecture and luxury feel. Emily knew that this was de nitely the place she wanted to call "home".

While homeownership is a distant dream for most students, Emily was fortunate to have a deposit to purchase her rst home, thanks to her late grandparents and cautious parents. She explains, “My grandparents sadly died when I was quite young and left me a small legacy. My parents took responsibility for it, so no poor nancial decisions were made by me with the money when I was a teenager, which I am really grateful for, else I might not be in the position I am in now.”

A huge £2.01bn was spent during this summer’s transfer window, enough to snap up a massive 6,605 homes based on the current average house price across England and Wales. However, Stripe Property Group has revealed that Newcastle United topped the Premier League table when it comes to the ability to buy the most homes surrounding their home ground with their estimated spend of £122.4m – an impressive 652, given the current average house price of £187,871. Managing Director of Stripe Property Group, James Forrester, commented, “Although Newcastle may not have spent the most this summer, the fact they sit top of the table when it comes to the ability to purchase the most homes is quite fitting given the changes the city is currently undergoing. Not only is it a very exciting time for the city with respect to the team itself, but we’re also seeing Newcastle benefit from a high level of regeneration. The rejuvenation of the Quayside area is just one ongoing project that is breathing new life into the city, with a focus not only on its social offering, but also as a place to

Nottingham Forest (424). At an estimated £251.09m, Chelsea spent the most this summer. However, they just scrape in to the top 10 of this table as Hammersmith and Fulham, home to both Stamford Bridge and Craven Cottage, is also home to the highest average house price of all Premier League stadiums (£772,447). As a result, Chelsea’s summer transfer window spend is enough to see them purchase just 325 homes. The club are in good company however, with West Ham, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton also between 250 and 400 homes.

At the other end of the table, with a meagre £15.3m spent, Leicester could afford to purchase just 67 properties around their stadium. Arsenal, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Fulham and Bournemouth didn’t fare much better, all close to bottom of the league, with the buying power for under 100 homes.

legacy. My parents took responsibility for it, so

Emily started the search for her rst home in early 2020, not long before the rst Covid-19 national lockdown, and the Tobacco Warehouse instantly caught her eye. Having waited patiently for restrictions to ease, Emily nally went to see the development in October 2020. A second viewing followed, this time with her parents in tow, and the location, build quality and size of the apartment made it a clear winner in everyone’s eyes. She quickly placed a reservation fee!

work, study and live.”

Meanwhile, Wolverhampton Wanderers sit second in the table, with their summer spend of £122.94m enough to buy 627 homes around Molineux, closely followed by Manchester United (591), Manchester City

(558), Liverpool (458), Everton (442), Leeds United (426), and

Thankfully, even if your budget is more Leicester than Chelsea, you will be able to find the perfect property close to your club. Or maybe even move to Wembley so you’re nice and local when the boys follow the Lionesses home with the World Cup!

PREMIER LEAGUE HOMES 24 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023

Team Location Stadium

Newcastle United Newcastle

Current average house price

Est transfer expenditure summer window (season 22/23)

Est number of homes purchased with transfer window spend

St James' Park £187,871 £122,400,000 652

Wolverhampton Wanderers Wolverhampton Molineux Stadium £195,980 £122,940,000 627

Manchester United Trafford Old Trafford £362,475 £214,220,000 591

Manchester City Manchester Etihad Stadium £225,113 £125,550,000 558

Liverpool Liverpool An eld £177,602 £81,270,000 458

Everton Liverpool Goodison Park £177,602 £78,480,000 442

Leeds United Leeds Elland Road £232,909 £99,130,000 426

Nottingham Forest Rushcliffe The City Ground £343,396 £145,760,000 424

West Ham United Newham London Stadium £414,586 £163,800,000 395

Chelsea Hammersmith and Fulham Stamford Bridge £772,447 £251,090,000 325

Aston Villa Birmingham Villa Park £225,561 £63,000,000 279

Tottenham Hotspur Haringey

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium £577,614 £152,910,000 265

Southampton Southampton St Mary's Stadium £238,869 £59,760,000 250

Arsenal Islington Emirates Stadium £717,487 £118,860,000 166

Brentford Hounslow Brentford Community Stadium £441,269 £45,450,000 103

Brighton & Hove Albion Brighton and Hove

Amex Stadium £438,264 £43,020,000 98

Crystal Palace Croydon Selhurst Park £416,641 £31,140,000 75

Fulham Hammersmith and Fulham Craven Cottage £772,447 £55,260,000 72

Bournemouth Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Vitality Stadium £347,436 £24,210,000 70

Leicester City Leicester

King Power Stadium £227,144 £15,300,000 67

Overall £304,867 £2,013,550,000 6,605


The Finches at Hilton Grange

The three bedroom Letchworth and Warwick homes at The Finches are some of the homebuilder’s most popular house styles for rst time buyers, enjoying a high speci cation as standard. With Redrow’s online tool, My Redrow, buyers can choose from a wide selection of options and upgrades too. Both styles of home come with their own garden and access through wide patio doors from the kitchen. The homes are built to be energy ef cient, and those who work from home will appreciate bre to the properties, allowing for faster broadband services. nches 0151 391 7310

LIVERPOOL Tobacco Warehouse

FROM £304,995 FROM £260,000

The largest brick-built warehouse in the world, and Liverpool’s largest listed building, is being converted into super-sized apartments. The spacious warehouse homes are at the heart of Merseyside’s historic docks, with phase one now complete and ready to move into. This stunning collection of luxury loft apartments is at the centre of the city’s most ambitious regeneration programme, an area being transformed into a thriving new creative neighbourhood. 0151 920 2404


NHS worker Danny’s family of ve have found the perfect home at Hyde New Homes’ Amberdown development in the popular residential area of Hove.

As Brighton house prices continued to rocket post-pandemic, the family faced the prospect of leaving the vibrant south coast city they called home as the goal of owning a three bedroom home with a garden seemed unobtainable. However, after discovering shared ownership at Amberdown, Danny realised that their dream could become a reality. He says, “Our main goal was to nd a family home in the Brighton area, and we’d never even considered shared ownership as an option. When we discovered that Amberdown offered the scheme, however, we decided to investigate.”

Danny visited the stunning development of three bedroom mews houses, situated near the popular Poets Corner area, on its launch day and returned the very next day to put in an offer. “We were hugely impressed, not only with the look and feel of Amberdown but also the commitment to sustainability,” says Danny. “All of the homes come with solar panels as well as electric car charging points. This was excellent news to us as we are looking to purchase an electric car in the near future.”

The three storey Shelley design the family chose boasts three good-sized bedrooms, with an en suite to the principal bedroom, as well as a family bathroom and ground oor cloakroom. The open-plan living/dining room opening on to the rear garden makes this a fantastically sociable home. Residents also bene t from a short 20-minute walk to the beach with its restaurants, cafes and watersports facilities.

Danny said, “We hadn’t considered shared ownership initially, but the scheme has allowed us to buy in the area which we love. And in time, we plan to staircase and progress from there.”

PREMIER LEAGUE HOMES First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 25


Coming soon, Sycamore Grove is an exclusive development situated in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, offering a collection of two, three, four and ve bedroom homes surrounded by green open space and mature trees.

The high-quality homes are perfect for those looking to get on to the property ladder or looking for more space for the family to grow. There is a range of local amenities close by and Walkergate Metro is a short walk away, as well as Newcastle Central station which is less than four miles from the development, offering national and local rail services.

Or, why not take a trip to the coast with Tynemouth just seven miles away?

CROYDON 8 Croham Valley Road

This stylish development, located in the heart of South Croydon (with Crystal Palace just ve miles away), features a detailed brick facade which complements neighbouring properties on the street and large feature windows that ll each apartment with natural light. The nine premium two and three bedroom apartments are designed to offer spacious open-plan layouts with modern ttings and high-quality appliances throughout, generously sized private balconies or terraces and access to landscaped communal grounds and cycle storage.

Residents can reach London Bridge in less than 20 minutes from South Croydon station, making it an ideal location for London commuters. 0173 275 7158



This fantastic development of more than 800 homes transformed the historic old Boleyn Ground in Upton Park, which was the former stadium for West Ham FC, and is set to complete in spring 2023. On-site amenities include a residents’ gym, concierge service, car club, landscaped grounds and family play areas, as well as a proposed cafe and community space. This thriving new east London community is just a six-minute walk from Upton Park underground station in Zone 3, with fast connections to central London in under 15 minutes, making this an ideal location for professionals and families. 0330 057 6666


St Arthur Homes is offering a range of impeccably designed two and three bedroom apartments and houses at Whiteley Meadows. Set in a market town location just nine miles from the vibrant city of Southampton and surrounded by countryside, making it an attractive and sustainable place to live, this exclusive collection of contemporary shared ownership homes offers the ideal combination of style and affordability. The multi-phase development will deliver more than 3,000 new homes alongside new schools, a care home, community centre, green spaces and shops. 020 3859 7017

Joanne, 37, has recently bought a 35% share of a new home in Royton, Oldham, for herself and her two children.

Having previously been on the property ladder, Joanne’s relationship broke down and she felt her best option was to sell and move closer to family. However, the home Joanne was renting was not a long-term solution for the family. She says, “I was renting in Chadderton. My little girl’s bedroom would only t a toddler bed in and she was rapidly outgrowing it so I knew I had to move soon to accommodate her. And I was dealing with problems in the property. On rainy days it was raining more inside than it was outside!”

Having been renting for some time, Joanne happened to notice a Plumlife board when she was out for a walk one day, advertising shared ownership and affordable homes. This caught her attention and when she got home, she began researching and spoke to family and friends about it. Joanne recalls, “After understanding more about shared ownership I kept going on the website to look for developments in the area.”

Joanne soon found Carding Gardens and arranged to view the show home with her children. The location was perfect, with a park just a ve-minute walk away, and a turfed back garden for her football-loving son. “I told them not to get their hopes up and it was something I was trying to achieve,” she says, “as I didn’t believe myself I could own one of these beautiful homes. But – we did it – I secured a property at Carding Gardens, and I didn’t realise how easy it would be!”

Joanne found the whole process very smooth and is already making memories in her family’s forever home, with plans to staircase in future to make it all theirs. “Being on the property ladder is a dream come true,” she says. “I was devastated to have to sell my previous home after the relationship breakdown – it felt like I was taking a step backwards, but with the help of Plumlife I’ve managed to do it on my own this time. And my little girl has her big girl bed that she can stretch her legs out in! I would 100% recommend shared ownership. I’m a homeowner again which I never thought possible being a single mum of two.”

PREMIER LEAGUE HOMES 26 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
FROM £TBC FROM £381,000 FROM £144,000* FROM £485,000
*Based on a 45% share of the full market value of £320,000


The Bellevue, Lampton Parkside

Notting Hill Genesis is launching its rst phase of shared ownership homes at Lampton Parkside, located just minutes from Hounslow Central underground station, complementing the mix of private sale homes already available at the development. Each home in this collection of stylish two bedroom apartments comes with a private balcony, integrated appliances and open-plan living spaces, with touches of luxury throughout, including matt- nish handleless units in the kitchen, built-in mirrored wardrobes and energy-ef cient under oor heating. With connections into central London in just 30 minutes and the open green space of the 40-acre Lampton Park on the doorstep, the development places the city and nature in perfect harmony. 020 3733 3571


SO Resi Solihull, Oakhurst Village

SO Resi Solihull is a new shared ownership development, forming part of the wider Oakhurst Village scheme, in the small town of Shirley. This collection of two bedroom apartments is just a couple of miles from vibrant Solihull, boasting speedy transport links into the centre of Birmingham, and a HS2 promise of a commute of less than an hour to central London. Every home has private outdoor space – turfed gardens in the case of the houses, and balconies or terraces to the apartments –extending the living space into the open. nd-a-property/solihull


Vernon Gardens

Plumlife is delighted to introduce a brand new selection of properties at Vernon Gardens in Royton. The Byron is a three bedroom family home with parking and a generous sized private garden. Homes include a spacious living room to the front, with a modern tted kitchen diner to the rear, leading out on to the garden. 0161 447 5050


Home X is a fresh development forming part of a new neighbourhood in Lewes Road, Brighton. The 369 new homes in the seaside city are part of the wider £150m regeneration masterplan of the former Preston Barracks site. Over multiple phases, 124 homes including a selection of studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments will be available through open market sale. A further 194 shared ownership homes are also available to rst time buyers, including family-sized triplexes.



Octavia presents a collection of 32 one and two bedroom apartments, and one exclusive three bedroom apartment coming soon to Zone 4. Each of the shared ownership apartments will bene t from a spacious open-plan kitchen living area, stylish modern bathroom and a balcony or terrace. Located just a ve-minute walk from Wembley Park underground station, trains to central London take just 12 minutes. nexus_wembley_ha9_0nl 020 8354 5500


Belle Vue Place

Plumlife Homes is proud to introduce Belle Vue Place, part of a wider Countryside Homes development, offering great transport links to the city centre. There are 17 terraced and semi-detached "Arun" homes available. The Arun is a two bedroom family home with parking and a generously sized private garden. Homes include a spacious open-plan living area and modern tted kitchen and bathroom, and an integrated fridge-freezer is included with each property. 0161 447 5050

PREMIER LEAGUE HOMES 28 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
FROM £105,625* FROM £75,000* FROM £68,125* FROM £78,750* FROM £75,250* FROM £257,000** FROM £95,000* *Based
*Based on a 30% share of the full market value of £250,000 *Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £272,500 *Based on a 35% share of the full market value of £225,000 **Outright market sales
*Based on a 35% share of the full market value
on a 25% share of the full market value of £422,500
*Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £380,000
of £215,000



Nearly 40% of London-based first time buyers were forced to leave the capital last year to find a home they could afford¹ – and with first home prices rising by £24 a day², many more find themselves stuck in a cycle of being unable to make progress saving for a deposit while paying high rents.

But not everyone wants to flee to the suburbs or beyond in order to buy a home –some are Londoners through and through, like 30-year-old Alex Williams. He had no intention of giving up the dream of a place of his own in his home town, and is delighted to have just moved into a two bedroom apartment at Aw4ken, a shared ownership development in Chiswick from Be West.

“I grew up in the Richmond area and had rented four or five properties after leaving home, the latest in Wimbledon, so not too far away from my family. I work in Fulham, and I’m not at the point in my career where I want to work remotely full-time, so I needed to be within easy reach of the office. I certainly never wanted to consider moving out of London.”

Alex, who is a PR Account Director, had been saving hard towards a first home, and carefully considered all his options before opting for shared ownership. “The prices on the open market were a bit too high for my liking,” he said. “I looked at Help to Buy, but because the Government contribution is quite limited and prices are rising, I couldn’t buy the kind of home I really wanted.”

When he started to view shared ownership homes in the area he was initially put off by the thought of highrise living – but then he visited Aw4ken, a development of just 12 one and two bedroom apartments over three storeys, in a quiet residential area.

“It’s a safe, leafy neighbourhood, surrounded by nice houses, and I was really taken by one of the properties on the second floor,” he said. “I visited some 12-floor tower blocks in Acton and Kew and wasn’t sure about them. Here I don’t feel like I’m towering over people – the development fits in rather than sticking out.”

In addition to the location and type of building, Alex was also instantly impressed with the internal layout of his new home, which was quite different from others he’d seen. “So many places I looked at elsewhere

had completely open-plan living rooms, with the kitchen in one corner so you can see the sink from the sofa – I really didn’t like that.

“Here, the kitchen and living room are separated by a half-wall so you don’t have to see any of your cooking mess! I also love the super-large open balcony, which has already been put to good use. Everyone who visits comments on how light it is inside; I have huge windows letting in the sun so that it’s bright inside from dawn to dusk.”

Aw4ken, in W4, is a short walk from three Zone 3 London Underground stations. Chiswick Park is the nearest, with District Line services to King’s Cross taking 48 minutes, while Gunnersbury, around a 20-minute walk, has Overground services to Stratford in less than an hour. Alex’s trip to work is 45 minutes door-to-door, a far cry from the commute endured by those moving to the suburbs.

Alex was able to buy a 40% share in the home, which had a full market value of £740,000, putting down a good-sized deposit

and borrowing the rest with a five-year fixed rate mortgage from Santander. He also plans to staircase in the future.

“My day-to-day costs are similar, as the mortgage plus rent works out much the same as what I was paying before just to rent. I would absolutely recommend shared ownership; the scheme is designed specifically to help people on to the housing ladder and in my opinion it’s a sensible approach to acquiring a home on a stepby-step basis – having an asset is really important. Rather than waiting another five years to try to afford a two bedroom home on the open market in the area, I have got myself on to the property ladder now, and I have a genuine asset in the share I own.”

There are no homes available at Aw4ken but for other developments visit



FIRST HOMES 30 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Buying your first home is a dream come true. Here we highlight three first time buyers who have taken that first step on the property ladder using shared ownership through Be West –their stories are inspirational!


House shares can be fun when you’re young, but the novelty can soon wear off, especially if you work anti-social hours and have to try to sleep when your flatmates are awake. That’s exactly the scenario that 32-year-old Cosmin Sabau found himself in before he was finally able to move into a home of his own at The Apex in Fulham.

“I was living in a shared house in West Acton, it was in a lovely area, very clean and green. But when you are in a shared house you do end up living with a real mix of people. I was working long hours and needed my privacy, plus I really like things to be clean and tidy. It was becoming difficult and stressful, especially as I was working shifts and other people were making a noise and enjoying a drink when I was trying to sleep. All of that was driving me to really want my own property.”

Cosmin works in property management for luxury developments in central London, after moving to the UK from a Romanian seaside town six years ago. The luxury homes he looks after mainly belong to foreign investors and even royalty – but it made him despair of ever managing to buy a place of his own.

“Prices in London are crazy and simply not affordable for ordinary people,” he says. “A lot of investors are coming from overseas and purchasing properties as an investment and pushing prices up unrealistically high. Fortunately, shared ownership provides an affordable way to buy a property.”

Cosmin had been saving hard for several years, and when he joined forces with his brother Flavius they were able to purchase


When Sara Ponne phoned her mother to say she was about to buy a home in London, she was met with astonishment that it was even possible. Yet thanks to looking a little further afield and using the Government-backed shared ownership scheme, the 38-year-old analyst for a drinks company is now settling down in a home of her own at Be West’s Waterside Heights development in West Drayton.

Sara, who is originally from Brazil, had been living in Hammersmith in a shared flat with two others. “London is so expensive; I used to live by myself in Brazil but couldn’t afford to do that here, so I’ve been sharing for three years. Even though it’s nice to have flatmates it’s not common in Brazil so I was not used to it. I liked it in Hammersmith, but I didn’t earn enough to afford to buy around here, so I started looking at ways it might be possible for me to buy – including shared ownership. I started to look at different areas of London and I was looking further and further afield until I suddenly found West Drayton. I really liked the look of the homes at Waterside Heights as they are right next to the station as well as being close by the Grand Union Canal and its lovely bridge.”

Sara does hybrid working, with two or three days in the office at Chiswick Park and the rest at home, so having good public transport was important to her.

a 25% share of a two bedroom apartment at The Apex with a full market value of £612,500. “It wasn’t a sudden decision, I had been putting my money away for six years, working like crazy, with no days off, to save up a large deposit. I knew what I wanted and that kept me going and I never gave up,” he says.

The first thing on Cosmin’s wish list for his new home was to be a little nearer to his job. “All my work was in central London and I cycle everywhere as I don’t have a car. I was feeling exhausted cycling from West Acton over to Green Park or Kensington every evening, so I wanted something closer to my work. When this development came up I was really excited by the location, and when I visited it seemed ideal for me.”

There are no homes currently available at The Apex, but resale shared ownership homes are available in nearby Shepherds Bush with prices starting from £95,000 for a 25% share.

For more information visit

made some calls and managed to get it changed to 25% just for me.”

Despite loving the apartment, Sara still had some questions. “After I left I realised I still didn’t know how much the deposit would be, and I was terrified it was going to be £20,000 or £30,000 and I would never be able to afford it. I sent an email to Charlotte and when she replied that it was only around £4,000, which was something that I could afford, I was so excited and started the process straight away.” Sara was able to buy a 25% share, worth £74,000. “I had been saving up for six months and I didn’t spend hardly any money during that time, so I was able to find the deposit and the legal fees.

When she first went to view Waterside Heights she had intended to only look at the cheapest property, but in the end she viewed several different possibilities and particularly liked a one bedroom apartment on the second floor – with the stylish decor really convincing Sara, who has a background in design, that it was the place for her. “It was north facing but it didn’t bother me that I didn’t get the direct sun because it’s super light inside – but what I really liked was that the kitchen units and the flooring were a lovely cream colour. The problem was it was advertised as a 35% minimum share which I couldn’t afford, but Charlotte the sales adviser

“My advice to anyone stuck in shared accommodation is to take a good look at shared ownership and just do it – if I can, anyone can! Do a spreadsheet, work out how much you can save and then go for it. If I were spending the same amount of money a month renting a whole place for myself in Zone 2 I would only be able to afford one of those awful old studios where the shower and cooker are next to the bed! Instead, I have a lovely spacious open-plan living area, with a great balcony, and it’s perfect for me. I’m so glad I have taken this first step. I want to staircase next year, as soon as I can.”

There are no homes available at Waterside Heights but for more information on other homes around the capital visit

FIRST HOMES First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 31

Greenwich HOTspot

One of South London’s most desirable places to live, Greenwich needs little in the way of introduction. However, there is more to this distinctive market town than its rich culture and incredible architecture, and it is more affordable than you might imagine


Boat rides down the Thames

The laid-back atmosphere

Great schools for all ages

Awesome shows at the O2 arena

IKEA – especially the meatballs!

Just six miles south east of central London, Greenwich is located in the historic county of Kent and the ceremonial county of Greater London. Famous for the Royal Museums, Sir Christopher Wren’s Old Royal Naval College and the Cutty Sark, and boasting an abundance of parkland and a riverside location, it’s really no surprise that this is such a popular part of town!

Greenwich gives its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and has been home to royalty since the Palace of Placentia was built in the 15th century. The palace was later replaced by the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor, which later became the Royal Naval College. These historic buildings are now owned by the Greenwich Foundation. The maritime connections continue through the Cutty Sark on the river front, and the National Maritime Museum.

The town is exceptionally well connected, with Greenwich and Cutty Sark stations offering DLR services to Canary Wharf and beyond. There are also regular trains from Greenwich and Maze Hill to London Bridge, Blackfriars and Cannon Street. Greenwich connections are mostly Zone 2, with Maze Hill in Zone 3. There are excellent local bus services or take an Uber Boat (by Thames Clippers) as far as Putney to the west and Barking Riverside to the east, with services calling

at 24 piers across London, or the IFS Cloud Cable Car across the river to the Royal Docks.

For cyclists, a National Cycle Route stretches along the Thames Path and if you drive, the M25 South is around 15 minutes away, and the M25 North around 35 minutes. The Blackwall tunnel links the Greenwich Peninsula with the Isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf.

The appeal for commuters is obvious, but Greenwich is also exceptionally appealing to families. Many of the local state schools have been rated Outstanding by Ofsted, and there is also Greenwich Steiner School, which promises an artistic and creative curriculum for students at primary and secondary level, plus a number of independent schools in neighbouring Blackheath.


You will be spoilt for choice for things to do but should start by exploring the numerous cultural landmarks right on your doorstep. The Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum can be found in the 183-acre Greenwich Park, which also has a flower garden, deer park and cafe, or head to Greenwich Palace and Queen’s House, the Cutty Sark, or the Royal Naval College.

Greenwich is also a shopper’s dream. IKEA (opened in 2019, the first in inner London) and B&Q will be useful as you settle into your new home, but the real treats can be found around the medieval town square, which is home to far more exciting independent shops and boutiques including Pickwick Papers and Fabrics – perfect for picking up some bespoke wallpaper or soft furnishings – and Made in Greenwich which sells locally made gifts.

town square, which is home to far more


West Greenwich is pricey, and home to the most coveted period properties. You will also pay a premium for views of Greenwich Park or over the Thames. However, there is plenty of affordable housing in East Greenwich, including both older character properties and new developments –Greenwich Peninsula boasts a particularly impressive collection of new homes. The borough also offers some of the cheapest council tax prices in London.

Greenwich Market is open daily with stalls packed with everything from art to fashion to antiques, plus a food court with an abundance of international street food. The

Greenwich Vintage Market is open Friday to Sunday and offers an eclectic mix of books, jewellery, music, antiques and homeware.

LOCATION 32 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023

Average property price in Greenwich (August

2022) – £447,445

Property breakdown*

Detached – £945,312

Semi-detached – £674,966

Terraced – £505,172

Flat – £375,879



Actress Dame Vanessa Redgrave

Singer Boy George

Comedian and actor Jim Davidson

Musician Jools Holland

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss

If you really want to celebrate the area’s heritage, head to Goddard’s for pie and mash. This family run restaurant has been serving Greenwich since 1890! Other favourites include the Turkish restaurant Midpoint, and Zaibatsu’s sushi. Socialising in Greenwich has a laid-back feel and there is a strong Sunday lunch scene. Try The Trafalgar Tavern for river views, or The Plume of Feathers by the park. Greenwich is also known for its breweries, such as the Meantime Brewing Company.

If you love the big screen, you will appreciate having both the Odeon IMAX at North Greenwich and Cineworld locally at the O2. But the real gem is the Greenwich Picturehouse which, in addition to blockbusters, shows vintage films, arts screenings and dedicated baby, toddler and children’s screenings. Greenwich Theatre is another local benefit. The 02 Arena at Peninsula Square is a short bus ride away and hosts live music and sporting performances. By day at the O2, you can enjoy VR experiences, iFLY indoor skydiving or even climb over the iconic dome.

Other active local experiences include Oxygen free-jumping, Hollywood Bowl and the Greenwich Peninsula Driving Range. Keen rowers are in the right place for The Trafalgar Rowing Centre, clubhouse of the Curlew and Globe rowing clubs. The town is also great for runners, with the Thames Path and Greenwich Park offering picturesque training grounds and the London Marathon a local challenge to work towards. Or, if this is sounding a bit full-on, simply take a stroll around town, take it all in, and enjoy the impressive views of London’s iconic skyline.


Kidbrooke Square

Notting Hill Genesis is bringing shared ownership to SE3 with a brand new collection of one and two bedroom apartments at Kidbrooke Square in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, launching from early 2023.

Through shared ownership, buyers part-own and part-rent their home by purchasing a percentage share of the property, and paying rent on the remainder. This share can then be increased over time, allowing buyers to own 100% of the property. Guide prices for one bedroom apartments at Kidbrooke Square start from £90,625 for a 25% share, and for two bedroom apartments from £111,875 for a 25% share.

Sustainability runs through the heart of Kidbrooke Square, with renewable energy embraced throughout, including solar panels and energy-ef cient appliances. Homes feature spacious open-plan living areas, builtin wardrobes and integrated appliances in kitchens, and all enjoy private outdoor space, as well as access to residents' podium gardens. There is also a dedicated concierge service to meet residents’ needs and a forthcoming gym.

Set to build upon this vibrant new community for south east London, a cafe and shops are planned for later stages of the development, which will centre around a village square. Award-winning Cator Park is adjacent to Kidbrooke Square, with its grassland, meadows and wetlands, while residents also bene t from Greenwich’s superb transport links – direct access to the new train station at Kidbrooke enables residents to reach London Bridge in 16 minutes.

Customers will soon be able to enjoy Kidbrooke Square’s state-of-the-art marketing suite, where they can experience a rst-class show home, innovative virtual technology, and be taken through the homebuying journey with Notting Hill Genesis’ expert sales team.

*According to the Land Registry House Price Index *Based on a 25% share with a full market value of £362,500

LOCATION First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 33
For further information visit or speak to the sales team on 020 3733 3571 £90,625* (GUIDE PRICE)


While the allure of a brand new property is appealing, given the cost of living crisis and stagnating prices many are switching their search to resales. You pay anything up to 10% on top of the full market value as a new build premium, so in a climate of stagnating prices, there’s a real risk of going into negative equity where the value of your home is less than your mortgage. Buying a new build property is a long-term investment as selling a year or two after you purchase can mean the property has lost value as other new build developments in the area may now command the premium.

A recent survey from YouGov indicated that less than one in five people would like to live in a newly built home. The poll found that just 18% of adults said they would “prefer to live in” a house that was built in the last 10 years. This compares with 24% who wanted to live in a house built between 10 and 50 years ago, 23% in a home built between 50 and 100 years ago and 17% in an older home. The survey did not ask why people wanted to live in an older home, but some of the country’s biggest housebuilders have hit the headlines in recent years for constructing poorly finished properties.

Another benefit of buying a resale shared ownership property is that rents are usually cheaper as they are ordinarily based on 2.75% of the unpurchased share on an annual basis at the point the property is first sold. In model leases this increases annually at RPI+0.5% which recently has been lower than property price increases. We asked industry experts for their opinion.

Bobby Stewart from Arrange My Mortgage

“It is no secret that over the last 12 months the mortgage market has been a changing world. Inflation, mortgage rates and the cost of living have all increased. As mortgage interest rates have increased, monthly mortgage repayments are higher than 12 months ago. However, there are still many mortgage products available, especially on

shared ownership.

“The benefit of getting a mortgage on a resale shared ownership property over a new build is that you tend to have more lender options available. Most of the competitive high street lenders require you to have a bigger deposit when purchasing a new build, so this may also mean that resale properties are more affordable for you.”

Duncan Hall from Taylor Rose MW

“Buying a property enables stable and long-term ownership with the potential for the capital that you hold in the property to increase over time. In this challenging financial environment, shared ownership can allow you to get on the property ladder where you might otherwise be priced out.

“Crucially, as shared ownership purchase prices are lower than those of full market properties, so too will be the deposit and the monthly mortgage commitments. And even with the current increases in mortgage rates, the monthly repayments are still likely to be lower than on private rental properties. What’s more, when a return to lower mortgage rates occurs, your improved financial situation may enable you to then increase your share of ownership by staircasing. Once a property has been staircased to 100% you would own it outright like any other leasehold property.”

Adrian Muttitt from Maxim Financial

“Home prices have seen some large gains in the past couple of years, leaving homebuyers wondering if they should move forward with a home purchase. Property is still in high demand and buyers may need to move quickly to snag their dream home.

“To compound the urgency, interest rates that have remained relatively low are on the move, with experts predicting that rates are set to rise by the end of the year. However, it’s not all bad news, even with a predicted interest rate increase, mortgages may still remain affordable. For buyers

with a healthy deposit, there are still very favourable terms to be had and there are lenders that offer 5% deposit schemes.

“On 23 September 2022, the Government raised the threshold for paying Stamp Duty from £125,000 to £250,000. For first time buyers, this increased from £300,000 to £425,000. So, it is an ideal time to take advantage of this. “Home price increases may rise slowly, but there are indications that mortgage costs will not sustain current low rates. It may be wise for buyers to bite the bullet and move forward with a home purchase before the end of the year, while the cost of borrowing remains low.”

Pros of buying a resale

More affordable – lower values and lower rents making properties more affordable. Character – older properties can have more character and period features. Community – a resale is more likely to have an established community. View the property – new build properties may be sold off-plan. With a resale you can view the actual home personally. Potential – a resale may need cosmetic work which gives you the chance to make it your own, and potentially increase its value.

Cons of buying a resale

Onward chains – a resale is likely to be in a chain which can add delays to a sale. Energy efficiency – homes over 10 years old are unlikely to be as energy efficient as a new build meaning higher energy bills. Renovations – you may want to redecorate or install new kitchens and bathrooms which add costs onto your ownership. Maintenance – there may be maintenance required from day one of moving in.

Pros of buying a new build

Ready to live in – a new home is a blank canvas so there will be little to do. Incentives – some housing providers can offer incentives to sell new build units. Lower energy usage – new build homes are far more energy efficient. Chain-free – meaning fewer complications.

Cons of buying new build

New home premium – there’s a risk of the price falling and you losing money if you are selling in the short term. Snagging – there will always be some snags. Delays – Move in dates can be put back for new builds incurring rent and storage costs and the risk of your mortgage offer expiring.

Given the current climate the wiser investment may be a resale property. Just make sure you have all the information before you exchange contracts.

RESALES 34 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023


24 Wharf Road, London N1 7GQ

A spacious and well-presented apartment on the ground floor of this modern, conveniently located development. The reception room has attractive wood flooring and is semi open-plan to the kitchen. There is a generously entrance hallway with storage cupboard, a stylish, high-spec bathroom and the bedroom features a built-in wardrobe. Modern insulation, high performance glazing and a communal heating/ hot water system give it a very good energyefficiency rating. The Saddler Building has an attractive courtyard and a roof terrace with good views. Angel and Old Street stations are a short walk away. The apartment benefits from secure parking and cycle storage.


Francis Harvey Way, London SE8 4DA

This stylishly presented, second floor apartment features a near 23ft reception room with an open-plan kitchen and a door to a south west-facing balcony. There is a large bedroom with en suite, plus a second double bedroom and an attractive main bathroom. The entrance hallway includes useful built-in cupboards and modern insulation, glazing and gas central heating make for a very good energy efficiency. St Johns is the nearest station and provides a frequent service into London Bridge/Cannon Street. New Cross and Deptford Bridge are within walking distance for London Overground and DLR. Deptford railway station provides additional Thameslink services.


Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 7FX

A smartly presented, raised ground floor flat which is rear (south west) facing with a Juliette balcony in the reception/dining room. Improvements to the property include attractive tiled splashbacks and metal shelving in the kitchen and new flooring in the bathroom. The main bedroom has an en suite, plus there is a smaller second bedroom/study. Modern double glazing and well insulated walls make for a good energy-efficiency rating. Viridian Square is only a short walk from Aylesbury town centre, with its mix of the charming historic architecture and modern facilities. Aylesbury railway station is also within easy reach. The flat comes with use of a parking space.


This modern, two-storey family house enjoys an end-terrace position with several rooms having dual aspect. Inside, there’s a generous entrance hall, a reception room with attractive flooring, a central cloakroom and a kitchen/diner opening to the garden. On the first floor is an 18ft main bedroom with built-in wardrobe, plus a second large bedroom, a third double bedroom and a naturally lit bathroom with large format tiles. Good insulation and high-performance glazing contribute towards a very good energy efficiency rating. The house has a parking space and is within easy walking distance of East Malling and West Malling stations.


This recently constructed, elegant house has an integral garage which has been divided to create an extra room while retaining useful external storage. The ground floor also includes a stylish kitchen, WC and full-width reception/ dining room with attractive herringbone flooring. Patio doors open on to a rear garden with lawn and decked seating area. On the first floor is a large main bedroom with en suite shower room, plus two further double bedrooms and a smart, naturally lit bathroom. The energy efficiency rating is very good, thanks to well insulated walls and high performance glazing. A driveway allows for off-street parking.


Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 0ZJ

This beautifully presented house has an entrance hallway with large-format floor tiles and understairs cloakroom, an attractive kitchen/diner with white units and integrated appliances and a reception room that opens onto a good-sized rear garden. On the first floor is a main bedroom with dressing area and en suite plus two further double bedrooms and a naturally lit bathroom. The house was built quite recently, and the energy efficiency rating is very good, thanks to good insulation, high performance glazing and a modern gas central heating system. There is an integral garage plus driveway and front lawn.

RESALES First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 35
East Malling, Kent ME19 6FX Seamer, Scarborough, N Yorks YO12 4NL
DEPOSIT £16,250 DEPOSIT £14,000 DEPOSIT £11,875 DEPOSIT £12,500 DEPOSIT £5,375 DEPOSIT £6,875 FMV £650,000 FMV £350,000 FMV £475,000 FMV £250,000 FMV £215,000 FMV £275,000 RESALE PROPERTIES AROUND THE COUNTRY RESALE PROPERTIES IN LONDON


A recent report from Knight Frank reveals a huge surge in demand for waterfront properties since the pandemic, with buyers aspiring to secure a home near a canal, lake or river. Often commanding a significant price premium, these desirable waterside homes are increasingly unattainable for London’s first time buyers

Giving first time buyers the opportunity to purchase a chic Zone 2 apartment near highly desirable blue space, Guinness Homes is currently marketing its flagship development, Leaside Lock, on the banks of the River Lea. Located in Bromley-by-Bow in east London, Leaside Lock will ultimately deliver 965 stylish studios, one, two and three bedroom homes – with a mix of shared ownership and outright sale homes available.

An unrivalled waterside location, Leaside Lock is set on the banks of the River Lea, meaning residents are within easy reach of east London’s bustling canal network. Stratford and the Olympic Park can be reached by walking east along the towpath, where you’ll find stretches of outdoor space alongside the world-famous London Aquatics Centre and Westfield Stratford. Alternatively, hop on your bike to travel along the Cycle Superhighway or use the towpath where you can make it all the way along the water’s edge to Canary Wharf.

Hellyn Fairbrother, London and South East Regional Sales Manager at Guinness Homes, comments, “We’re thrilled to be able to offer shared ownership on all our homes at Leaside Lock, providing the next generation of homeowners the chance to enjoy canalside living at an affordable price. With a host of amenities, restaurants and green space nearby, while offering a quick commute into the city, Leaside Lock encompasses the very best of east London in one neighbourhood.”

Leaside Lock has been designed with modern convenience in mind, so everything that residents need is right on their doorsteps. Creating a lively new community-focused neighbourhood, there will be a broad range of unbeatable amenities on-site, including plans for a health and fitness studio, a cafe, a gym, a convenience store and co-working space.

Apartments are finished to a high specification throughout. Perfect for whipping up a delicious feast, contemporary kitchens come complete

with integrated Bosch appliances. Bathrooms and en suites are finished with sleek sanitaryware and underfloor electric heating is fitted in all apartments. Recognising the importance of outdoor space in London, private balconies offer spectacular London views, and this space allows residents to create their own outdoor oasis as an extension of their living space.

David, a recent buyer at Leaside Lock, was impressed by his experience of purchasing through shared ownership and comments, “I did a lot of research around shared ownership, and found that I was able to afford somewhere that otherwise would never have been in my price range, with amazing views of the city skyline and the tube right on my doorstep.

“Without the scheme I’d be looking really far outside of London, but with shared

ownership I could afford somewhere in Zone 2.” David continues, “There’s so much already on my doorstep at Leaside Lock. The roof terrace with views overlooking the Olympic Park is amazing in the warmer weather, and I’m really looking forward to the co-working space and coffee shop coming soon. Being so close to the canal, and having that nature on your doorstep, as well as the hustle and bustle of the city, is a rare balance in London.”

Shared ownership prices start from £87,500 for a 25% share of a one bedroom apartment (full market value: £350,000) and £113,125 for a 25% share of a two bedroom apartment (full market value: £452,500).*

*Shared ownership terms and conditions apply

AFFORDABLE HOMES 36 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Recent buyer, David


With the average solo first time buyer deposit sitting at an eye-watering £74,000¹, the average asking price of a property coming to market rising to £367,760² and uncertainty around mortgages, homeownership is increasingly perceived as out of reach. Now, more than ever, affordable alternatives to traditional homeownership must be brought to the forefront of homebuying discussions

Having launched four decades ago, shared ownership has stood the test of time, proving to be an invaluable pillar within the property market during periods of economic challenge. It has provided buyers, especially those entering the market for the first time, the power to take control of their homeownership journey. While extortionate deposits are currently unattainable for many, the average deposit paid in London by a SO Resi buyer is nearly a third of that paid by those buying outright, reducing the initial block faced by those looking to settle down immediately.

This drive for smaller deposits has been reflected in market uptake at our sites, as we have seen strong demand for shared ownership following the launch of our two highly anticipated developments in Bracknell and Welwyn Garden City.

Instead of renting with no possibility of owning the property at the end of tenancy, shared ownership provides an opportunity for people to invest their monthly payments into their property. Likewise, once in their home, residents can invest payments with the goal of eventually owning 100% of the property through a process known as staircasing. From professionals wanting apartments in central locations such as Ealing to families looking for larger homes outside the capital, including Stanfordle-Hope, our new homes demonstrate that there is no limitation to what can be purchased through shared ownership.

SO Resi Welwyn Garden City, our latest development on the site of the former Shredded Wheat factory, saw almost 1,000 enquiries in the first three weeks of its launch. Situated in landscaped gardens in the “utopia of Hertfordshire”, this development delivers what buyers want most – bridging city and country thanks to a 126-acre park, yet remaining a 29-minute train journey from London King’s Cross.

All apartments benefit from private balconies and terraces overlooking the picturesque surrounds, and are available through shared ownership, with prices starting from £68,750 for a 25% share

[full market value: £275,000]. Residents then have the opportunity to purchase more shares through a process known as “staircasing”, which enables them to eventually own 100% of the property.

Likewise, all apartments in phase one at SO Resi Bracknell were reserved on the launch weekend. According to research carried out by 331 local authorities into areas that performed well in previous recessions, Bracknell in Berkshire has been highlighted as an “ultra-resilient property hotspot”.³ SO Resi Bracknell provides a collection of one and two bedroom apartments in an area which is seeing investment of almost a billion pounds into its local community, supporting leisure and education ventures for residents including The Lexicon shopping and leisure centre and a £30m upgrade of Princess Square. Prices start from £71,250 for a 30% share in a one bedroom apartment [full market value: £237,500] with a 5% deposit starting at £3,563.

Both locations are key commuter hotspots, allowing buyers to get on to the property ladder at an accessible cost and maintain a comfortable hybrid work-life balance. With this combination, we expect to continue to see interest from young

professionals, especially those who are first time buyers, wanting to get the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.

It is important that we continue to create awareness of the product to ensure those who would like to get on the property ladder feel educated to make that move towards homeownership, quicker than they first thought.

To find out more about shared ownership or the new homes with SO Resi, visit

1 2 home-jumped-230100592.html


SHARED OWNERSHIP 38 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
SO Resi Bracknell SO Resi Welwyn Garden City


Just imagine living about 20 minutes from central London but surrounded by beautiful parks, abundant green spaces and overlooking a picturesque pond – yes it sounds like the ideal lifestyle. Lynda Clark discovers Beck Gardens, part of the larger Langley Court development from Optivo, and is truly impressed

During the pandemic and endless lockdowns, everyone wanted open air and green space. Now, even though we are through those dark days, many first time buyers are looking for an affordable home that offers the best of both worlds and is still within easy commuting distance to central London.

Beck Gardens ticks all the boxes and when I recently visited the development I was quite overwhelmed by the setting but also with the quality of the apartments. The rooms are spacious with large windows letting in lots of natural light. The contemporary kitchens come with Electrolux and Zanussi appliances and there are built-in wardrobes in the main bedroom. One thing I always look for is ample storage and I wasn’t disappointed as there are cupboards galore! Each home also comes with an allocated parking space included in the price and a balcony or terrace – ideal to enjoy a morning coffee or a sundowner at the end of a busy day. For those who prefer to travel around on two wheels there is secure cycle storage too.

The second phase has just been released and Trevi House will offer one, two and three bedroom apartments overlooking

a pretty pond. These shared ownership homes are not only affordable, they offer a unique lifestyle with the perfect balance of urban and rural.


There are plenty of green spaces to explore nearby including Harvington Park, Beckenham Place Park which is one of the few remaining areas in greater London with ancient woodland, nearby Croydon Road Recreation Ground and the very scenic Kelsey Park, which is a birdwatcher’s dream! Beckenham high street offers a range of boutique shops, independent stores plus several supermarkets and you will be amazed at the selection of bars, restaurants and cafes to suit every taste and budget. If you are looking for a bigger selection of shops, then Bromley is nearby. Sports lovers will be spoilt for choice with golf, tennis and a David Lloyd health club and gym all on the doorstep.


There are two stations within easy reach of Beck Gardens so the commute to central

London is an easy one. From Eden Park, you can reach London Bridge in just 25 minutes and London Charing Cross in 35 minutes. Alternatively, from Beckenham Junction station you can get to London Victoria in 23 minutes, Bromley South in six minutes and London Bridge in 26 minutes. Also from Beckenham Junction station you can pick up the tram, where in 23 minutes you will be in East Croydon and you can reach Wimbledon in 49 minutes.

I live very near this stunning development and so I have watched with great interest how it has progressed. I love the way it has embraced the natural surroundings and creates a very peaceful haven where I am sure the residents will enjoy the perfect lifestyle in a home of their dreams.

The apartments have not sacrificed on quality or style and if you are jumping on the first rung of the property ladder I would really recommend you consider Beck Gardens – it’s something else!

Prices at Beck Garden start from £85,625 for a 25% share of a one bedroom apartment with a full market value of £342,500.

AFFORDABLE HOMES 40 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023


The west London town of Hayes, where every Beatles album from Please Please Me right through to Let It Be was mastered and manufactured, is proud of its rich musical history. With the town centre undergoing a major transformation, driven by the Elizabeth Line and by the extensive Old Vinyl Factory redevelopment, this is an exciting time for buyers looking to get the best out of Hayes, now and in the future. Aspiring homebuyers looking for the chance to be part of the area’s bright future should look to Network Homes’ new collection of 43 shared ownership apartments launching at The Beat, this autumn

Blending style, comfort and space, the one and two bedroom apartments at The Beat have been masterfully crafted. Open-plan living maximises light and versatility, while creating a harmonious flow throughout.

Every home benefits from a sleek fully fitted bathroom, high-quality integrated kitchen appliances and a private balcony. Complete with neutral decor, residents can easily showcase their own unique style. Available through shared ownership, buyers can purchase a share of at least 25%, paying a subsidised rent on the remaining share, along with a service charge. You may have the option to “staircase” and buy additional shares of the property in the future if you can afford to.

Less than a 20-minute walk from The Beat, The Old Vinyl Factory is bringing 18 acres of office buildings, homes, innovation hubs, education hubs, shops and restaurants to the centre of Hayes, as well as a gym, cinema and live music venue. Already on the radar of those keen to benefit from the major regeneration work taking place, Hayes blends urban convenience with pretty parkland and easy access to London.

Kalumba Musambachime, Head of Sales and Build to Rent at Network Homes, comments, “We’re at an exciting point in Hayes’ regeneration. The arrival of the Elizabeth Line saw improvement work at Hayes & Harlington station, which included a spacious new ticket hall, a redeveloped entrance and facade, a new footbridge, new waiting rooms, extended platform canopies and lifts to every platform. There are also major improvement works underway elsewhere in the town – there’s a real buzz about the future and what it means for local residents.”

Perfect for those hoping to embrace the rhythms of their new lifestyle, local life in Hayes comes with plenty of attractions. Swimming enthusiasts can enjoy the heated 50m outdoor pool at Hillingdon’s 1930s art deco lido, while the brand new

Nest indoor climbing centre is perfect for when the weather doesn’t support outdoor activity. Meanwhile, for those who prefer a spot of culture to a workout, Beck Theatre hosts an extensive range of entertainment, with everything from musical theatre and dance spectaculars to comedy shows and film screenings.

For those looking to adopt a slower tempo, it is an easy walk from The Beat to the lush greenery of the 36-hectare Minet Country Park. Hosting the tranquil River Crane and Yeading Brook, the park is also home to a children’s playground, cycle circuit, picnic areas and plenty of opportunities for immersion in nature. Providing further options to explore, Lake Farm Country Park is also nearby, while Barra Hall Park and Stockley Park Golf Club are only a little further afield.

Buyers are just an eight-minute walk


commute. The M4 is also just a mile away, while the M25 is four miles away and Heathrow airport only five miles, making not only London but Europe and beyond easily accessible.

Priority at The Beat will be given to those currently living or working within the London Borough of Hillingdon. Prices start from £76,250 for a 25% share of a one bedroom home with a full market value of £305,000. Service charge is £128.88 and rent £524.22 each month.

For more information, please visit the-beat-hayes/ or contact Network Homes on or 020 3376 6455

AFFORDABLE HOMES 42 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Hayes & Harlington station, from where London Paddington can be reached in as little as 21 minutes, ideal for those looking to beat the stress of a lengthy


It’s such an exciting feeling, the prospect of buying your first home. You’ve saved enough money for a deposit and you’re unsure whether to buy a new or an older property. The great news is, when buying a new build property with Weston Homes, first time buyers could combat the rising cost of living with lower household bills through sustainable living


Housing accounts for 40% of the UK’s energy usage so it is important that this energy is used efficiently. Weston Homes is passionately committed to sustainability and builds Fabric First properties to keep energy bills low and comfort high. So, what is Fabric First? It is the very body of a home – the walls, roof, floors, windows and doors - which must be highly insulated and fit together tightly to cut heat loss which in turn cuts energy use and carbon emissions. You may have heard the term on the TV series Grand Designs, or seen it in architectural articles on the web or in specialist magazines. In the past, self-build projects and one-off architect-designed homes have led the way with this technology, until now.


By fine-tuning this Fabric First approach to construction, new builds by Weston Homes achieve a minimum B rating on their Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) compared to 2.2% of existing properties, according to Government Energy Performance Certificate research and data. First introduced in 2013, EPCs are graded from A – the highest – down to G, and are required by law when property that uses energy is built, sold or rented. The Home Builders Federation* recently reported that with a new build property, you

could save an average of just over £2,000 each year, with the average annual running costs for a new build home totalling £1,500 compared to an average of £3,750 for an older property. With better insulation and airtightness, buyers of a new Weston Homes property are making the most of the energy savings offered by buying new and are doing their bit to help the planet.


According to the Energy Saving Trust, around one-fifth of the UK’s total carbon emissions come from our homes – mainly from our heating, lighting and household appliances. Weston Homes’ properties all have high performance thermally insulated windows and patio doors, helping to reduce heat loss and preserve natural warmth from solar gain. The thermal windows and doors are double glazed, so unlike in older properties, they don’t need heavy curtains to add insulation and block out draughts. Large amounts of natural daylight decrease the need for artificial lighting which helps to save on electricity bills.

All new Weston Homes properties benefit from their market leading fully-

inclusive specification which includes A-rated, energy efficient integrated appliances in the kitchens and quartz stone worktops. State-of-the-art bathrooms have Smart technology and integrated storage, and open-plan living areas are bright and spacious. Luxurious flooring is fitted throughout and you can choose from a wide range of choices at no extra cost and design your new home to your personal style.


Many lenders offer green mortgages to encourage buyers to purchase energy efficient, environmentally friendly homes because they typically cost less to run than an older property. If you buy a new property from Weston Homes, you could benefit from lower mortgage interest rates or other incentives from the lender.

Weston Homes is an award-winning developer building new and converted one to four bedroom luxurious homes across London and the south east from £199,000.

For more information contact Weston Homes on 01279 873 300, or visit for development specific information. Marketing Suites and Show Homes are open daily from 10am to 5pm

*Source: HBF Watt A Save Report October 2022

NEW HOMES 44 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023


Rosewood Housing is proud to have launched a new affordable collection of beautiful homes at its Wilton Park development in Buckinghamshire. Nestled in the charming town of Old Beaconsfield, these attractive new homes are now available off-plan through shared ownership. The initial release of a single two bedroom coach house and five two bedroom family homes

Life at Wilton Park promises contemporary living in an attractive parkland setting, with two hectares of parkland and wildflower meadows to enjoy. The development is surrounded by an abundance of woodland and countryside, including the rolling Chiltern Hills where residents can enjoy their weekends walking, cycling, and exploring.

The Government-backed shared ownership scheme allows prospective buyers who match specified criteria to purchase a percentage share of a property, from 25% to 75%. Buyers then pay a mortgage, the sum of which depends on the size of the share purchased, while rent will then be payable on the remaining share of the property owned by Rosewood. A year after the initial share purchase date, buyers can “staircase”, meaning they can purchase a larger share of their home, or buy the remaining share so that they own their home outright.

When larger shares are purchased, the amount retained by Rosewood is reduced, and rent is therefore lessened accordingly. This scheme means that buyers can achieve homeownership gradually, and do not have

the large financial outgoings faced when purchasing a property upfront.

Vicki Noon, Sales & Marketing Director at Rosewood Housing, comments, “We are delighted to have launched our new collection of affordable homes at Wilton Park. Shared ownership offers an excellent opportunity for prospective buyers to get on the property ladder and we would advise all interested parties to register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”

Properties in this new phase of 21 affordable homes at Wilton Park all come with a high specification and beautiful finishes throughout, for which Rosewood is renowned. The contemporary, open-plan apartment kitchens feature stylish slimline quartz worktops, handleless kitchen units and a range of integrated appliances. All bathrooms benefit from sleek white sanitaryware with chrome accessories, as well as Porcelanosa wall tiling, fully recessed mirrors, and vanity units. Every property in this new collection also benefits from fully fitted wardrobes to the main bedroom, ensuring the best of comfort and modern convenience for residents. Two allocated

parking spaces also complement each of these beautiful homes.

Wilton Park provides residents with a whole host of leisure facilities and amenities including an on-site community cafe and nursery. Despite the tranquillity of its rural setting, residents remain well connected to amenities including easy access to all the high street stores, restaurants, and independent boutiques that Beaconsfield has to offer.

Beaconsfield is a commuter belt town that is situated just outside of the M25, around 25 miles west of central London. The town’s railway station is in Zone 6 and provides regular direct services to London Marylebone in just over 30 minutes. Road links are also excellent, with junctions of the M25, M40 and M1 nearby leading to the wider motorway network. Heathrow airport, a gateway to domestic and international travel, is only 20 minutes away by car.

Contact the sales team today to register your interest in one of these brand new homes at Wilton Park: 01494 762 450, or visit

AFFORDABLE HOMES 46 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
forms part of the 21 brand new homes being sold through the shared ownership scheme


This substantial regeneration project is led by the London Borough of Haringey and the Greater London Authority with over a thousand new homes, commercial opportunities, new retail and public open spaces. With prices in the area now more affordable than 80%1 of London’s Zone 3, there is no better time to consider Tottenham Hale as a place to call home.

Being built on the site of a former garage, this exciting transformation into a 22-storey residential tower will be one of the first developments to be delivered as part of the Tottenham Hale dynamic masterplan. At the same time, Newlon Living is currently offering a second development adjacent to its headquarters, named Hale Works, in partnership with Anthology.

Millstream Tower is a new collection of attractively designed one, two and three bedroom apartments comprising 117 shared ownership and 11 private sale homes, with a priority to buyers who live or work in Haringey. The new homes are light, with spacious open-plan living areas. The kitchens are modern and well equipped with high-spec appliances included, while the bathrooms are fully tiled and have stylish chrome brassware.

Standing in this new tower’s shadow is Station Square – a unique island site which will be a renewed focal point of the new Tottenham Hale District Centre and the central point in a new complex linking these residential developments. The square will create a social hub for the local community, including plans for a new cinema, restaurants, coffee shops, retail and office space.

Tottenham Hale station provides access to the Victoria Line taking you to King’s Cross in just 10 minutes* or Oxford Street in 15 minutes* and is part of the night tube network. Furthermore, the station is served by National Rail. The station is transforming into a significant piece of this central zone’s regeneration, providing direct travel to London Stansted airport via the Stansted Express. Or head to trendy east London via Greater Anglia trains where you can reach Westfield Stratford in just 12 minutes*.

This developing neighbourhood is a wellconnected part of London with a significant outlay currently being invested in this interchange. Crossrail 2 is planned, further enhancing this location’s growing reputation as a desirable place to live. There is also a bus station opposite with a variety of routes to surrounding areas and beyond.

Tottenham Hale is already home to

many parks and wetlands for those who like to explore the great outdoors. The nearby Walthamstow Wetlands is within walking distance, offering everything from fishing to bird watching, with a well-established cafe in a 19th century listed building. You will find a strong presence of local independent businesses set in the vibrant locale. An array of markets, coffee shops, trendy bars, breweries and a thriving nightlife scene has cemented its reputation as one of the pioneering influences behind the contemporary pop-up scene.

Prices for a one bedroom apartment start from £88,750 for a 25% share, with a full market value of £355,000

For further information about the range of homes contact the Newlon Living Sales Team on 0800 058 2544 or visit the Newlon Living website –

1As reported by City AM.

*Travel times research from

Tottenham Hale is rapidly developing into one of London’s new property hotspots, particularly for buyers looking for new homes within easy reach of central London
48 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023


The year 2022 is almost over and it’s safe to say it has been one to remember. But with plenty to look back on and 2023 right around the corner, we wanted to share our top picks of exciting new Peabody homes to look out for in the new year…


Preparing to hit the market in 2023 is Frankham Walk – a collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments available through private sale and shared ownership. Fancy brunch with friends, an afternoon coffee with family, or looking for a cosy spot for an impromptu date night? Frankham Walk is a short stroll from the bustling Deptford Market Yard. Homes at Frankham Walk could not be better placed to enjoy all the restaurants, bars and trendy cafes that the local area has to offer. With Deptford Bridge DLR station and Deptford station both close by, London commuters can be whisked to London Bridge, Canary Wharf and the City in a matter of minutes.


Showcasing the best of west London living, White City is an unmissable destination for 2023, positioning you at the heart of this popular location with a choice of commuting connections, a rich array of retailers and eateries in Westfield shopping centre and easy access to the tranquillity of Hammersmith Park, perfect for getting those 10,000 steps in! Providing buyers with the opportunity to purchase a shared ownership home in an area rich in culture, Peabody is excitedly anticipating the launch of Macfarlane Place in the autumn. Forming

part of the renowned Television Centre redevelopment, Macfarlane Place will offer a stylish collection of charming one and two bedroom apartments that effortlessly offers contemporary interiors within this community. Apartments feature sleek kitchens, private outdoor space as well as the added benefit of a residents’ landscaped podium garden; Macfarlane Place ticks all the boxes.


For those who don’t want to wait for the new year to begin their homeownership journey, Three Waters development at Bow Creek sits within the city’s fastest growing area. Offering a vibrant waterside setting and plenty of things to do locally, homes here enjoy a 24-hour concierge and state-of-the-art screening room. Crafted with wellbeing in mind, raised gardens, a roof terrace and private balconies enjoy direct views across the water and the City. With Three Waters winning both the Best Shared Ownership Home and Best Shared Ownership Development awards at the 2022 Evening Standard Awards in September, buyers can rest assured that these homes are among the best on the market.

Find your place with Peabody and visit:

Details correct at time of print

AFFORDABLE HOMES 50 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Three Waters, Bow Creek Typical Peabody interior Moments from Macfarlane Place


village living, Greenwich Millennium Village

capital’s most popular addresses, allowing

property ladder in a sought-after location. Ideally located within a mile of North Greenwich station, from where you can be in Canary Wharf in just one stop, Greenwich Millennium Village combines green space, swift transport connections and a plethora of local amenities



With buyers looking to settle down in a location offering the best of both worlds, Greenwich Millennium Village’s tranquil setting offers a village-like lifestyle in the heart of London. Perched on the edge of the city’s thriving commercial and business scene, residents can easily enjoy everything the capital has to offer.

Catering for its growing community, Greenwich Millennium Village is home to a fantastic array of everyday amenities, while for those looking to connect with nature, the on-site four-acre Ecology Park hosts a diverse range of wildlife, with the addition of Southern Park offering an abundance of green space to enjoy. Here, the multitude of lakes, ponds, marshland, meadows and woodland provide a peaceful oasis for residents to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Adding to its appeal, Greenwich Millennium Village is located just a short walk from North Greenwich tube station, making it one of the best-connected developments in London. Perfect for commuters, culture enthusiasts and those craving vibrant nightlife and London living, its excellent transport connections mean Canary Wharf, Stratford and London Bridge are all easily accessible by tube within 10 minutes thanks to the Jubilee Line.


Boasting a prime position within the development, The Galleria is the latest phase to launch at this landmark address. Once complete, it will comprise a selection of 104 one, two and three bedroom homes and a proposed cafe and nursery within the building.

Many homes within The Galleria will enjoy picturesque views over Southern Park and the city while others within this phase will also overlook a central podium garden. Exclusive to residents of The Galleria, this skilfully landscaped podium garden will be planted with a variety of wildlife-friendly flora and will act as a peaceful retreat for residents to escape the demands of everyday life.


Thoughtfully designed to capitalise on the development’s prime position, each new home at Greenwich Millennium Village boasts bright and airy interiors, effortlessly combining style and comfort with convenience to enjoy the ease of modernday living.

With a superior specification included with each home, buyers can expect a luxurious lifestyle here. Features include open-plan layouts – ideal for flexible working or entertaining friends – quality stone worktops and fully integrated Bosch

Looking slightly further afield? Then, Countryside’s newly launched development Edge, a collection of fantastic, high specification one to three bedroom apartments in Hainault, is an ideal place to call home. Positioned less than a mile to the Central Line at both Hainault and Grange Hill stations, with connections to central London in under 30 minutes, Edge is also close to two country parks. Prices from £284,995 and first time buyers move fee free.

For further information please visit or call 020 3993 0538

appliances, built-in wardrobes, light-filled floor-to-ceiling windows affording fantastic views over London, in addition to fully carpeted bedrooms and underfloor heating.

Prices at The Galleria start from £449,995. For further information, please visit or call 020 3993 0167

NEW HOMES 54 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Offering buyers the rare opportunity to experience city and
is fast becoming one of the
buyers to step on to the


It can be difficult to find a home in a location that offers the perfect balance between city and village living, especially one that’s affordable for first time buyers.

Gecko Homes has created somewhere with the perfect balance, for both you and your bank – The Foundry

Located in the heart of Monton, one of the fastest growing property hotspots in the North West, this exclusive new development comprises a collection of new one and two bedroom apartments, unrivalled in their location and design. The Foundry is located on Lansdowne Road, within walking distance of Monton village and just a stone’s throw away from a wealth of exceptional amenities.

With its central location and excellent transport links, The Foundry is the perfect place for a range of buyers. This exciting new four-storey development consists of five different apartment types, due to be ready to move into in 2023. All of the 36 apartments at The Foundry boast an openplan layout that maximises space and natural light.

The Foundry is designed with modern living in mind and each apartment is home to a fully fitted Paula Rosa Manhattan kitchen, LED lighting and a suite of integrated Beko appliances. Bathrooms at The Foundry benefit from Porcelanosa ceramic tiling, an over-bath shower, heated towel rail and LED lighting

complete with an illuminated mirror. The Foundry also offers secure cycle storage, parking, and a beautifully landscaped exterior.

The Winsor is a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment that benefits from the same modern finishes and high specification as its two bedroom counterparts. The Hale, The Faraday, The Swann and The Sprengel are all two bedroom apartments with both a bathroom and an en suite. Each of the different designs has a slightly different floorplan, offering a variety of layouts so that your home is as unique as you are!

Shared ownership provides a perfect opportunity for first time buyers to buy their own share in one of The Foundry’s amazing apartments, with shares of 40% to 75% available to purchase. So, you can buy a share in one of these stunning new homes with a mortgage, and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder, with the option to

buy more shares in your home in the future if you wish to.

Gecko Homes, part of Southway Housing Trust, is based in Manchester and prides itself on making the buying process as simple and straightforward as possible.

Gecko aims to provide a home for every need with its new, high quality and beautifully designed homes. There are options to rent

and buy, including shared ownership, ensuring that luxury living is affordable for every buyer and budget!

To register your interest in The Foundry, or find out more about Gecko Homes and other new properties it has available across Manchester, please email, call 0330 995 1333, or  visit

AFFORDABLE HOMES 56 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023


Because everyone’s circumstances are different, we offer different ways to buy too. They include the Government-backed shared ownership scheme, designed to help you get on the property ladder more quickly than buying your home outright.

If you’re ready to purchase your dream first home, with Places for People you’re in the right place.


At our new Carvers Meadow development in the market town of Attleborough, Norfolk, you can choose from distinctive one, two, three and four bedroom homes –all thoughtfully designed and with enough space to adapt to your unique lifestyle.

Each home has been built to an exceptional standard and benefits from generous proportions, giving you all the room you need to relax, work or entertain. Private gardens – along with parking areas – come with all of these homes, while attractive landscaping further adds to the appeal of this desirable community.


At Carvers Meadow, you have the best of both worlds – a great choice of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants in nearby Attleborough along with easy access to Norfolk’s beautiful rural landscape.

Attleborough itself is a thriving town that offers something for everyone – from its weekly market to a rich variety of sporting activities. Locally, there is a good selection of state and independent schools.

The stunning Norfolk countryside has to be seen to be believed, which you can easily do via the many nearby walking and


Apartment living tends to be the default option for first time buyers who are looking for a one bedroom home. But what if you could opt to buy a house instead?

At Carvers Meadow, our unique one bedroom homes have been designed to appeal to buyers who only require a main bedroom yet still want to enjoy a sizeable downstairs living area that opens on to its own outdoor space.

These unusual yet attractive properties – which offer the same high specification as our multiple-bedroom homes – not only benefit from a private garden and allocated parking but also generous storage and a downstairs cloakroom – perfect for when visitors are around.

cycle routes, while the county’s coastline is a trove of unspoiled beaches and traditional seaside fun.

You’ll be pleased to know that medieval Norwich, with its lively arts, music and cultural scene, is less than half an hour away by car or train.


Three local bus services make getting around Attleborough easy, while the town’s excellent rail connections and the dualling of the A11 make it ideally placed for commuting to both London and Cambridge (two hours and one hour away respectively, either by car or rail).


One way to buy your new Carvers Meadow home is through the Government-backed shared ownership scheme. With the scheme, you can purchase an initial share of your home between 25% and 75% of the property’s value and pay rent on the rest.

Since you don’t need to save as much for your deposit, you could be getting a foot on the property ladder sooner than you think – and it means your mortgage will be smaller too.


Why wait to enjoy your dream first home? Start your homebuying journey today and book a viewing at Carvers Meadow.


*Terms and conditions apply. See website for details.

58 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
At Places for People, we’ve thought of everything you could possibly need… With over 50 years’ experience creating high-quality homes in thriving communities with attractive green space and good local amenities, Places for People is committed to investing in places that work for everyone, including you!


Given the shortage of affordable housing, rising property prices and high deposits that are required to buy outright, we know that many people can’t afford to purchase a home on the open market. And with Help to Buy coming to a close, first time buyers may be left feeling confused about their options to get on the property ladder.

Shared ownership with Legal & General Affordable Homes can make your dream of getting on the property ladder a reality. It’s an alternative route on to the property ladder where you buy an initial share of between 25% and 75% of the home’s full value and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder. You can purchase further shares until you own 100% of the property, should you choose to.

Since you only need a mortgage for the share of the property that you buy, your mortgage is usually a lot less than a traditional mortgage. You could pay less rent compared with private renting, which will decrease over time should

you decide to increase your share. This makes getting on the housing ladder much more accessible to those with lower incomes or who are struggling to save up a hefty deposit.

Since all of Legal & General Affordable Homes’ shared ownership properties are new builds, fixtures and fittings will be pristine and your new home will not require as much work or maintenance as an older home. Plus, all homes come with

a home warranty to ensure that you’re happy in your new home for the long run.

Purchasing a property that’s move-in ready, with no chain and no costly repairs, makes that new home feeling even more special. It enables you to walk through the door to freshly painted walls, bouncy new carpets and a contemporary interior with modern features to complement your way of living. A blank canvas with endless opportunities to put your own stamp on.

Not only that – new build homes are also typically much more energy efficient compared to older properties and buying through shared ownership may help you tackle some of the recent spikes in energy costs. Legal & General Affordable Homes is supporting a transition to gas-free net zero-carbon homes that help buffer residents from energy price volatility and help protect the environment.

That new home feeling doesn’t stop at your front door. Legal & General Affordable Homes is committed to creating green, sustainable new communities that promote wellbeing and provide for the changing needs of residents in the future.

We realise that one size doesn’t fit all, which is why Legal & General Affordable Homes offers a huge range of properties available through shared ownership to cater for all lifestyles and needs. These range from luxury studio apartments with fantastic London views at South Quay Plaza in Canary Wharf to family-sized houses in Furlong Park, south Yorkshire – and everything in between.

To find out more about shared ownership and how you can get that new home feeling with Legal & General Affordable Homes, visit

SHARED OWNERSHIP 60 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
There’s nothing quite like that new home feeling – a space to call your own, giving you the freedom to make changes and decorate as you please, while also providing an extra sense of security that private renting can’t always provide
Trent Park, Enfield White City


The start of a new year often marks the start of new styles, patterns and colour palettes, with fresh trends emerging as 2023 commences. Research by Livingetc, the global online resource for the style-minded, has revealed some of the top predicted trends for the new year, declaring that positivity, wellbeing, luxe living and joy are at the forefront of the majority of interior designer’s minds

With a portfolio of stylish new homes, ranging from one bedroom apartments in north London through to three bedroom houses in Buckinghamshire, Catalyst, part of the Peabody Group, understands that different buyers have different interior preferences, and highlights this through its varying, professionally designed show homes. With that in mind, the team has compiled four of its favourite ways to present some of 2023’s top interior trends.


and dining area, both of which immediately promote a sense of comfort and wellbeing throughout the interior.

Now over 80% sold, The Switch in Wimbledon has a selection of two and three bedroom apartments remaining through shared ownership. Prices from £141,250 for a 25% share (FMV: £565,000).



The requirement for a home office is showing no signs of slowing down, and with many homeowners still remote working, creating a separate office area is an essential when it comes to 2023 trends.

Livening up a space and creating a fresh atmosphere within a home can be achieved almost instantly through the use of foliage and plants.

With multiple shades of green seen as a timeless trend, the addition of some leafy succulents is a sure way to create a stylish interior set-up. Catalyst’s show home at The Switch features a variety of foliage, including a tall standing plant in the corner of the main bedroom to bring the outdoors in, as well as an abundance of leafy additions in the living

Associated with luxury living, incorporating golden tones into any space can instantly bring a sense of indulgence to a room. These can be dressed up or down to fit the purpose of each room, like the show home at Kite Meadows that features multiple golden shades to produce a soothing opulence in the living room. The wallpaper, paired with the chair and lampshade, sets the tone for a relaxing, high-quality space where homeowners can unwind.

Catalyst is marketing a collection of two and three bedroom homes at Kite Meadows in Princes Risborough. Prices from £98,750 for a 25% share (FMV: £395,000).

For those who don’t have a dedicated office room, Catalyst’s show home at The Folium presents the perfect way to introduce a partition to a room and divide one space into two. Set away from the dining table, this remote working zone features a simple desk, shelves and chair set-up – and provides all the work from home necessities that a buyer might be looking for.

There are a few last remaining one bedroom homes at The Folium, Catalyst’s award-winning north London development in Muswell Hill. Prices from £104,375 for a 25% share (FMV: £417,500).


A simple yet effective addition of arches can instantly create a sense of relaxation, with gentle

curves to soften hard edges being incorporated into many bedroom set-ups. A sanctuary from the rest of the house, the main bedroom at Newman Place features a headboard of arched shapes, showing homeowners a tranquil way to style a bedroom and ensure a serene atmosphere. Experts are predicting that arches will be prominent in a host of interior design styles.

Set in Littlemore, Oxfordshire, Newman Place is a collection of one to four bedroom homes available through shared ownership. Prices from £85,000 for a 25% share (FMV: £340,000).

INTERIOR TRENDS 62 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
The Folium The Switch Kite Meadows Newman Place


There is a whole range of shared ownership properties built away from more built-up urban areas and none is more idyllic than Snugg Homes’ latest scheme, Stonecross Vale, which has just launched.

Set within the sought-after town of Winsford, only 17 miles from Chester and with both Manchester and Liverpool 30 miles away, this development will give you access to city life and the natural beauty of the Cheshire countryside.


Stonecross Vale has a range of 38 two, three and four bedroom beautiful, energy-efficient homes. With an open-plan kitchen/diner, perfect for entertaining, a separate lounge to get cosy in, spacious bedrooms and contemporary bathroom suite, each home also comes with a private garden and off-road parking.


Winsford offers easy access across the North West either by train, road or local bus routes, making commuting and travelling further afield a breeze.

Cycle tracks, hiking routes and an abundance of green spaces also make this a perfect spot for winter walks with the Whitegate Way, The River Weaver and the spectacular Delamere Forest – Cheshire’s largest area of woodland – on your doorstep.

Wharton Road itself has an established residential community and a host of local amenities, with Winsford town centre less than a mile

away. There are several supermarkets, plus a selection of restaurants, bars, takeaways and local stores, all of which are within walking distance.

There are also a number of primary schools and a local high school all rated either Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, making these properties ideal for a growing family.


This is a very common question, and you are eligible (in England) if your household:

9 Earns £80,000 a year or less (outside London)

9 You are a first time buyer, you used to own a home and now have an agreed sale on your property or have now sold your property and can’t afford to buy another one without assistance

9 You are an existing shared owner looking to move.

Some developments do have additional qualifying criteria, such as a local connection to the area, so please check with the individual scheme.


The Snugg Homes team is on hand to answer any questions and support you every step of the way as you take the road to homeownership, whether that’s about Stonecross Vale or any of our other stunning schemes.

To register your interest in shared ownership, please pay a visit to our website You can also follow us on @SnuggHomes on Twitter or @snugghomes on Instagram and TikTok


“My partner and I had been living with my mum, but we decided it was time that we moved into our own place. We were fortunate enough to find a property that we loved, which was affordable because it was available through shared ownership.

“Our lives have changed dramatically since moving in; it honestly all feels like a dream. It’s just amazing to have our own space and to be able to do our own thing – and the dogs love it as much as we do. The house and development are stunning; the quality is insanely good. And I never imagined it would be so beautiful!

“Snugg Homes has been exceptional throughout. I suffer with anxiety and I made the company aware of this at the very beginning. I really appreciated that they always made the time to reassure me and were available on the phone for any questions I had; it really meant a lot.

“The team made what could have been an extra stressful time, into a much easier one!”

New homeowner Abi, who lives with her partner and two dogs in Crewe.

If you love the buzz of being close to a city centre but want a more relaxed way of life, then a property located on an urbanrural fringe could be the perfect place to call home
66 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023


Let’s face it, buying a stylish modern new home in London is very much at a premium these days. With escalating property prices, mortgage shortfalls and hefty deposits, first time buyers are being priced out of the market. Or so we thought...

Zen Housing was founded to address the clear shortfall in affordable accommodation across the UK, specifically in London and the South East. As a registered provider of social housing, Zen’s mission is to deliver much-needed new homes that transform neighbourhoods and set a new benchmark within the sector. Zen’s plan is to deliver 500 new affordable homes in the next five years through a collaborative and accountable approach, ensuring the needs of buyers and communities always come first and without compromise.

Zen provides homes and builds communities for people who need them most. Its stylish modern developments reflect a focus on quality, service, sustainability and design, setting new standards in the sector, with affordable purchasing options that meet the needs of the first time buyer.

CHISWICK GREEN in W4 is one such development consisting of 16 stunning new

apartments. Aptly named as a testament to its desirable surroundings, bringing a breath of fresh air into London’s affordable housing market. This inner-city suburb is the perfect blend of modern city living and village life, designed to enjoy all of London’s best amenities. Chiswick Green has access to private outdoor spaces, with many parks and riverside walkways to explore. You can choose from a wide range of one, two and three bedroom executive apartments from as little as £126,250 through shared ownership with just a £6,312 deposit, based on a 25% share.

THE MEWS AT HOLDERS HILL in leafy Mill Hill East NW7, is a short walk from peaceful woodlands, parks, meadows and nature reserves. You can live a relaxed lifestyle with rural landscapes and village life close by, yet you can be in the beating heart of London in less than half an hour. The development is a new community of spacious, energy-efficient apartments and houses just a seven-minute walk from Mill

Hill East tube station in Zone 4. They’re available to buy on a shared ownership basis, which makes living in this popular suburb more affordable, with one bedroom apartments starting at just £98,750 for a 25% share.

Understandably both developments are in high demand. You can find out more about the plans and register your interest at

AFFORDABLE HOMES 68 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Chiswick Green The Mews at Holders Hill

Open Market: east London

Nate and Bianca moved into their one bedroom apartment at Notting Hill Genesis’ Royal Albert Wharf in April 2021. As first time buyers, the couple were drawn to the riverside development due to its contemporary and spacious apartments and the opportunity to belong to a growing community with outdoor space, arts and culture on their doorstep, and easy transport connections into central London and beyond

Before buying at Notting Hill Genesis’ Royal Albert Wharf, Nate spent six years renting across London. He said, “Starting in central, I moved north then east, and then most recently south of the river –I’ve pretty much experienced it all! I decided my last rental experience would be the last – I’ve rented in shared flats and on my own, and it’s never really an easy process.” Nate made the move to buy his own home with an apartment at Royal Albert Wharf, joined by his partner Bianca

Nate works in cybersecurity at Canary Wharf, and Bianca has a career in events in Woolwich. The two made the decision to put down permanent roots in east London, which gave them the benefit of an easier commute to work alongside outdoor space, a riverside location and a tranquil setting away from the busyness of the city while still being a stone’s throw from central London. He added, “We looked at quite a lot of properties but struggled to find a home that ticked all of our boxes. We wanted to find somewhere that gave us access to open space, fresh air and was close to the Thames, as well as giving us shorter journeys to work. Royal Albert Wharf was the perfect fit.”

The ease of a short commute was one of Royal Albert Wharf’s biggest draws, particularly for Nate, who benefits from the development’s proximity to Gallions Reach DLR Station, just a five-minute walk away. “I used to travel an hour and 15 minutes to Canary Wharf, and now it only takes me 25

minutes door-to-door. I also fly frequently for work – travelling to Heathrow or Gatwick was such a pain and added hours on to each journey, but now City airport is very convenient and perfect for business travel. Knowing you’re half an hour from your front door when you land makes a big difference.” London City airport can be reached in 26 minutes via the DLR from Royal Albert Wharf, while stations including London Waterloo and Liverpool Street can be reached in half an hour.

Along with convenient travel connections, working from home was also a requirement for the couple. “We’re working much more flexibly now and so it was important to have a nice home environment for work as well as access to the office. This is the best of both – we have lovely views over the river and peace and quiet when needed, but can also pop into the office at short notice. At one point we were both working from home, and there was plenty of space for us to do that without stepping on each other’s toes.

“The apartment is really spacious, light, and bright – the layout is one of the things that encouraged us to buy here. We’d looked at quite a lot of properties within our budget and this floorplan was by far the best use of space we’d come across. It felt so much bigger than homes of a similar size.” For Bianca, large rooms and storage were a dealbreaker. “We were adamant about having enough space in the bedroom, which always tends to be the smallest room in a London

flat. There’s also so much cabinet and wardrobe space.”

Bianca said, “When we first came to view the property, we walked in the door and it was by far the best place that we’d seen. I could picture us living in here immediately and planned out where everything was going to go – it was such an easy decision to make.”

While choosing a home to live in longterm, the couple were conscious of investing their money in an area with a growing community and plenty to offer. “Normally in London there’s a trade-off between price, commuting distance and neighbourhood, but at Royal Albert Wharf, we didn’t need to compromise like we would have needed to do in other areas. There’s a lovely pub, cafes and supermarkets close by already and plans for more. We’ve started seeing new things around the development like farmers’ markets, community events and independent stores and restaurants moving in. It feels like an exciting time to be moving here.”

At the weekend, as well as making the most of the development’s increasing amenities, the couple enjoy the waterside location. “We have friends in Brixton, and we’ve invited them over to our new corner of London to show them around – they were so impressed! The pub is in such a great place right next to the river and the Thames path is also a lovely place for Bianca to go rollerblading or jogging.”

Final homes are available at Royal Albert Wharf, with two bedroom shared ownership homes starting from £110,000 for a 25% share. One, two, and three bedroom homes will also be available in future phases.

For more information visit or speak to the sales team on 020 3733 3571

REAL LIFE 70 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
Price paid: £372,500
FACT FILE Property: One bedroom apartment
Deposit: £56,000
FOR SALE First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 71 THE CREAM OF THE CROP FOR SALE Each month, FTB goes scours the market for the best starter homes for rst time buyers. So, whether you’re making your rst step on the ladder with a modest budget, or craving convenience, we hope you enjoy our selection. REAL LIFE BUSHEY HEATH, HERTFORDSHIRE CREWE, CHESHIRE Open market p70 Affordable homes p72-73 Kings of convenience p74-75 NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD ★★★ FIRST CHOICE LANDSCAPED GROUNDS ★★★ FIRST CHOICE


Heathbourne Village

There are just four apartments available through shared ownership at this pretty new development in Hertforshire. Surrounded by landscaped grounds and within walking distance of Bushey Heath, the one and two bedroom homes here form part of a wider collection of properties that sit within a private, gated community. The properties have been thoughtfully designed to maximise space and feature stylish tted kitchens and open-plan living areas. Residents can make the most of the peaceful surrounds while local shops can be reached in less than ve minutes by car. Good road links, including the M1, make travel into the capital or Luton and beyond super easy.

St Arthur Homes 020 3859 7017

FOR SALE 72 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
BUSHEY HEATH, HERTFORDSHIRE LANDSCAPED GROUNDS ★★★ FIRST CHOICE FROM £93,750* *Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £375,000

FROM £98,000*

Ashlawn Rise

Named as one of the UK’s best places to live, Warwickshire offers bustling towns and popular attractions combined with beautiful countryside, parks and outstanding architecture. The two bedroom houses at Ashlawn Rise are moments from Rugby town centre, which has plenty of amenities and great rail links to Birmingham,

Coventry and London (trains reach Euston is under an hour). Homes are bright and contemporary, with living/dining space and a WC on the ground oor and two good-sized bedrooms and family bathroom upstairs.

L&Q 0333 321 1778

*Based on a 40% share of the full market value of £245,000

FROM £239,950

Chalkers Rise

On the edge of the South Downs, these homes enjoy a green and serene position. The one and two bedroom apartments are a short walk from Peacehaven’s town centre, while Brighton is around a 20-minute drive – meaning town, country and city life are perfectly balanced. The new homes feature spacious open-plan living/dining


This new development close to Stevenage town centre has a leafy setting and is close to local amenities, while great travel links make it a savvy choice for commuters. The properties range from one and two bedroom apartments to two and three bedroom houses. The terraced family homes feature kitchen/

diners that lead to the garden, while there’s a downstairs WC, plus an en suite from the main bedroom upstairs. Trains from Stevenage station (a 10-minute drive) take as little as 22 minutes to reach London King’s Cross.

Hill 01438 902 540

Willow Walk

Nestled between the River Wandle and the River Thames in the south west London borough of Wandsworth, these new homes are close to a fabulous range of eateries, bars and beautiful green space. The one, two and three bedroom apartments mark the nal stage in the transformation of the Wandsworth Riverside Quarter that sees a great deal

areas, plenty of built-in storage and a separate utility room. The larger homes have an en suite from the main bedroom. Outdoor life is so easy to enjoy here, with a multitude of spectacular hiking and cycling trails right on the doorstep.

Barratt 0330 127 8321

FROM £233,995 FROM £130,000*

of renewal, new homes and businesses boosting the local area. The properties all bene t from a private balcony along with attractive communal gardens, while two riversides and plenty of opportunities for exploration are just a short walk away.

Peabody 020 7021 4842

*Based on a 25% share of the full market value of £520,000

FOR SALE First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 73






Signaller’s Croft

The 400 properties being created at Signaller’s Croft make up part of the ambitious regeneration project that will see 850 new homes created in this part of Cheshire. The plans also include a new primary school, independent shops and community centre – so a whole new neighbourhood lies right on the doorstep. Located on the edge of Weston village and just a 10-minute drive from Crewe, there’s plenty within easy reach too. There is a range of two, three and four bedroom homes on offer through both private sale and shared ownership. Crewe is a thriving town with a lively music and entertainment scene, a great selection of shops and restaurants and good cross-country rail links.

Onward Living 0300 555 0130

FOR SALE 74 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
*Shared ownership available

The Post House

Clapham’s former post and sorting of ce has been tastefully transformed into a boutique collection of 14 apartments. The one and two bedroom properties are located on the rst to fourth oors of the refurbished building and feature full-height windows and energy ef cient features, including a Smart Grid system.

Horlick’s Quarter

Situated on the site of the former Horlick’s drink factory, this major new development is part of the ongoing regeneration of Slough. A total of 1,300 new homes will sit within landscaped grounds, with a central square for community activities, gardens and a water feature, as well as a nursery and cafe. The local area has a lot to

Clapham’s famous common is seconds from the front door, along with a plethora of dining and entertainment options. Train, Overground and bus links connect to central and east London.

Portobello Homes 020 7840 3700 or 020 8125 3040

FROM £450,000 FROM £114,000*

High Street Quarter

This new collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments forms part of the wider regeneration programme that’s transforming Hounslow. The developments sits at the centre of the new lifestyle hub that comprises homes, a cinema, coffee shops and restaurants. The high street, supermarket and tube stations are

offer, including a busy town centre and pretty Salt Hill park. The new Elizabeth Line ensures speedy rail travel, with trains reaching London Paddington in around 15 minutes from nearby Slough station.

Sovereign Housing Association 0300 330 0718

*Based on a 40% share of the full market value of £285,000

Bidwell Mews

Located between the historic town of Houghton Regis and the new community of Bidwell, the two, three, four and ve bedroom homes here aren’t short on convenience. The new development will include a local centre, primary school and sports facilities. The traditionally designed family homes are available in

all within a short walk. Inside, the properties are bright and spacious with oor-to-ceiling windows providing maximum natural light. Balconies from the living spaces provide private outdoor space along with some great views.

Barratt 0330 134 5170

FROM £353,000 FROM £399,950

a range of styles, and come complete with off-street parking or garages. The four bedroom properties feature separate kitchen/dining and living rooms, downstairs study and WC, as well as spacious private gardens.

Storey Homes 07917 871 741

FOR SALE First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 75




Taste the Difference no turkey crown; £7

For a ready-to-roast plant-based main, this succulent turkey-style crown from Sainsbury's is nished with smoky vegan rashers, sage and onion stuf ng and a zesty sage, thyme and onion melt.

TESCO nest* Free From chocolate yule log; £5.50

Yule be driving home for this gluten-free Christmas yule log. Perfect as a festive gluten-free treat for all.



Chocolate orange panettone; £7 Chocolate orange panettone is indulgent and buttery, with milk chocolate chunks and an orange liqueur-infused mascarpone lling.



Irresistible Les Pionniers NV Champagne; £19

A mistle-toast to the holiday season!

The perfect tipple to add to your Christmas shopping list this season.


Christmas is always a rapid flurry of activity and we can’t believe there are only 24 days in December to set up the tree, find the perfect presents for family and friends, and do all the baking and food prep needed to have the best Christmas! This season, let us help take some of the stress off your plate with this tempting list of tried and tested goodies to make your Christmas feast memorable. Here are our top picks that we think are worth adding to your festive spread



Taste the Difference festive Belgian chocolate & salted caramel wreath; £12 Wow your guests with this sophisticated choux wreath centrepiece. Piped with salted caramel cream, topped with salted caramel sauce and Belgian chocolate.


Taste the Difference caramelised biscuit pudding; £15 Move over traditional Christmas pudding and make way for this moist and fruity sponge to please every palate. Adorned with juicy vine fruits and laced with a hint of brandy for a boozy hit.


Taste the Difference triple chocolate praline winter forest; £12 An indulgent chocolate centrepiece that tastes as good as it looks. This festive dessert layers Belgian white chocolate mousse over rich Belgian milk and dark chocolate mousse.

WAITROSE No.1 Whisky smoked salmon; £6.25

Every Christmas menu needs a smoked salmon, so why not try this succulent salmon smoked over a whisky barrel?



WAITROSE No.1 cauli ower, leek & Brussels sprout truf e gratin; £4

Liven up your sprouts this year and give them the very best chance to jump off everyone’s plates. This side dish adds a luxurious twist with its creamy truf e sauce topped with a parsley crumb.

TRIED AND TESTED 76 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023




nest* chocolate winter village cake; £17

This is truly a showstopping chocolate cake with rich chocolate ganache. It amazes with uffy chocolate buttercream and edible festive decorations, perfect for that Boxing Day gettogether as it serves 16.


Reindeer-shaped steamed buns; £7

This novel festive reindeer shape will be a talking point this Christmas. A soft and uffy steamed bao bun lled with vegetables and a sticky plum and hoisin sauce.


Helter skelter cake; £25

Looking for something different?

Then this cake is for you. It's topped with a white chocolate dome and edible snowballs that swoosh down from the top. Shatter and share the lid and reveal the chocolate winter wonders inside.


Taste the Difference 8 sticky teriyaki chicken skewers; £4.50 British chicken thigh skewers marinated in aromatic ginger, garlic and ve spice.


Taste the Difference 10 croquette monsieur; £4.50 Enjoy a tasty croque monsieur in one miniature mouthful!


Taste the Difference 10 crab thermidor crumpets; £5.50

A twist on classic comfort food, these uffy mini crumpets are topped with rich brown crab and a luxurious thermidor-style sauce.


Taste the Difference 6 mini pulled beef Yorkshire puddings; £5.50 A roast in one punchy bite, these mini Yorkshire puddings are packed with a rich pulled British beef in a red wine gravy.




Vegan mini no beef empanadas; £5.50

Indulge your guests on arrival this Christmas with these crisp pastry treats lled with soya mince, red pepper, carrot and many more avours – a treat that everyone can enjoy to get the party started.


Plant Kitchen roast butternut squash pie; £7

What is not to like? This veganfriendly pie has butternut squash, carrot and spinach encased in shortcrust pastry and topped with lo pastry.

Taste the Difference 12 molten triple cheese fondue bites; £4.50 Bring the iconic avours of a retro fondue to your table, combining a blend of Barber’s cheddar, stringy mozzarella and sweet con t onions.



Garlic butter brioche and Camembert wreath; £14

A delicious brioche tear‘n’share wreath with swirls of garlic and parsley butter. Tear off and dunk in the perfect Camembert centre – a great one to share with family and friends.


Festive Joy crackers; £7

Celebrate with a bang with these family fun crackers. Each cracker contains a gift, hat, snap and motto, something for all the family to enjoy.

SAINSBURY'S £14 each


Treat your elf this season with this selection of Taste the Difference gin liqueurs. Give the winter bramble and mandarin gin liqueurs a shake to "wake up" the shimmering silver edible akes and watch them come alive. The cranberry blush has whole cranberries to naturally infuse avour and colour.

First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 77 TRIED AND TESTED

Lights, camera, take action

The winter months are the perfect time to spruce up the home in preparation for the festive season. But, with the darker nights also making the perfect conditions for burglars to move around an area undetected, it’s also a good time of year to start thinking about

With the colder months seeing an increase in domestic burglaries each year, it’s worrying to hear statistics from Yale suggesting that 62% of British people are no more concerned about their home security in the winter than they are in the summer.1

Alongside the cooler months ahead, statistically you’re nearly twice as likely to be burgled in the rst 12 months after moving into a new property, according to Home Of ce statistics. This means that new homeowners should be even more proactive in protecting their homes as winter rolls around.

So, to help ensure your home is fully prepared for these vulnerable months ahead, the experts at Yale have launched their brand new Floodlight Camera.

Yale’s Floodlight Camera gives homeowners the ability to monitor the outside of their home easily and conveniently at any time of the day or night via a smartphone in clear, crisp video quality.

And we’re offering one lucky homeowner the opportunity to upgrade the protection of their home by giving away Yale’s new Floodlight Camera, alongside professional installation, to get the kit up and running in no time.

is fully customisable to ensure every inch of your home and garden is covered.

In the unfortunate event of an opportunist getting close to your home, Yale’s new addition noti es you immediately of any motion detected through alerts via your smartphone. This ensures you’re always "in the know" over your home security in real time. And with a range of lighting modes available, the homeowner can keep an eye on their home at any time of the day or night, even in very low light conditions.

And what’s more, a built-in siren will be quick to scare away any brazen intruders scoping out your home, with a 110 dB alarm sounding to startle and warn off these opportunists.

With the harsh, cold weather sure to put a great deal of pressure on our gardens, the Floodlight Camera even has the ability to protect in the rainiest of British winters with an IP65 weather rating.

So, with the cooler months now in full swing, ensure your home and garden security is up to scratch with the help of Yale and its new Floodlight Camera.

Alongside the high de nition video quality and smartphone control of Yale’s new Floodlight Camera, it also utilises the bene ts of light and sound to deter unwanted criminals.

When the winter nights draw in, it makes it much more dif cult for us homeowners to monitor our properties and protect our possessions. But with adjustable motion regions, the Floodlight Camera

For more advice and top tips on how to improve the security of your home this winter, visit

1 A poll of 2,000 UK Adults (nationally representative) run by OnePoll, commissioned by Yale UK, 2022

First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 79
a) 90 dB b) 100
c) 110 dB Send your answer with your full
address and telephone number
upgrading your home security
following question: What decibel is the builtin siren for Yale’s new Floodlight Camera?
to: lynda@
date: 11 January 2023
Installation will be arranged after the delivery of the prize to the winner’s address.
The prize is non-transferrable, and no cash alternative can be given.
The competition is open to UK residents only.

Fetch Bottle Opener, £15, Pop open your Christmas beer and turn up the fun!


Spend less time in the kitchen this festive season with our handy gadgets to help you whip up the perfect Christmas dinner stress free! Make your festive deserts look more professional and caramelise the perfect crème brûlée or add a little cheer to the party with a novel bottle opener. These gadgets will ensure you spend less time fussing and more time feasting!

Electric Carving Knife, £24.99, Sleigh what?!! Carve the perfect slices of meat at the Christmas feast and bread for the turkey sarnies – you will soon wonder how you ever managed without it.

Joseph Joseph Grater & Peeler Set, £33.26,

Is your old grater just not that great? It’s time to upgrade to this 2-in-1 grater with adjustable handle. It has two sides, for grating or zesting, to speed up preparation in the kitchen this Christmas. The peeler will get your roasties done in double quick time so you can go back and join in the fun!

Deer Corkscrew, £25,

Hold on for deer life and enjoy this fun looking corkscrew! This also makes a nice housewarming gift around the festive season.

Dexam Chrome Nutcrackers, £6.50, Get cracking some nuts with this chrome nutcracker, perfect for a Christmas pre-drinks party!

Professional Kitchen Blow Torch,

This Christmas create a perfect caramelised topping on your crème brûlée or nish off a decadent lemon meringue pie. The delicious opportunities are never-ending this season!


The ultimate tool for indulgent roast dinners. Prepare your meat with this turkey baster so that it is juicy and succulent for all your guests.

TECH First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 81
“We whisk you a Merry Christmas!"

Money laundering checks

Bill Dhariwal, Solicitor and Managing Director of Lawcomm, explains what money laundering checks are required when buying your home

When you purchase your home you will be asked for various documents to establish your identity, your residential address and the source of your deposit or purchase funds, so it’s worthwhile preparing documents that will be legally acceptable to avoid delays and unnecessary scrutiny.


As a result of the vast amounts of money being transferred daily in the UK property market, the property industry is a target for money launderers and fraudsters. Purchasing a property can be how a criminal can launder the proceeds of crime.

Therefore, before anyone buys a property, rigorous checks are undertaken by conveyancing solicitors to verify identity, proof of address and the source of wealth and funds to ensure that they are not the proceeds of crime.

In addition, rules imposed by Land Registry require conveyancing solicitors to confirm the identities of clients. This confirmation is required before a property can be legally registered in a purchaser’s name. Land Registry has set a digital identity standard which means that many conveyancing solicitors now require their clients to confirm their identity via biometric and cryptographic technology. Most conveyancing solicitors will commence identity and source of funds checks from receipt of instructions and have an ongoing duty to be vigilant and mindful of any suspicious activity throughout a transaction.


The type of documents that are acceptable to a conveyancing solicitor and the ones that you should ensure you have available are typically as listed below. Further documents may also be acceptable subject to the anti-money laundering policy of your conveyancing solicitor. The requirements will change if you are purchasing through a company or a trust.


The following valid photographic identification will usually be accepted:

9 Driving licence 9 Passport

9 HM Forces Identity Card

9 EU Member State Identity Card


The following documents are usually acceptable but should be dated within the last three months prior to presentation: 9 HMRC correspondence 9 Driving licence 9 Utility bill 9 Mortgage statement 9 Bank statement 9 Council tax bill 9 Benefits or pension correspondence 9 NHS medical card 9 Tenancy agreement


These documents are not the same as proof of funds documents which a developer, housing association or sales agent may require from you to prove that you have funds or funding to proceed with a property transaction. Many conveyancing solicitors are now using open-source banking applications to verify source of funds which are identifiable through a participating bank. The type of evidence required to show how you have accumulated funds for your house deposit or purchase amount is commonly from the following:

9 Bank account statements – minimum requirement will be for the last six months showing your income and savings enabling you to reach your deposit or purchase funds.

9 Gifted deposit – where you are due to receive a gifted deposit from your parents or a friend, your conveyancing solicitor will usually ask them to sign a declaration to confirm that the funds being sent are a gift and not a loan or otherwise entitle them to an interest in your property. Also, the person gifting the deposit will need to provide proof of identity, address and complete their own source of funds checks.

9 Property sale – where you are relying on funds from the sale of another property which has already completed, you will normally have to show the completion statement to confirm the funds being received and your bank statement showing receipt of completion funds.

9 Investments – the sale of any shares or

investments that are being used to fund the purchase will need to be evidenced by a confirmation of sale and a copy of your bank statement showing that you have received money from the sale.

9 Purchasers should be particularly careful when selling cryptocurrency as many mortgage lenders and conveyancing solicitors will not accept receipt of monies from cryptocurrency due to the unregulated nature of these investments.

9 Inheritance – if you are using money from an inheritance to fund your purchase, you will need a copy of a letter from the executors or the probate solicitors identifying the monies you will receive into your bank account, together with a copy of your bank account showing the inheritance paid.

9 Winnings – if you are lucky enough to win the lottery you will need to show evidence of the winnings and your bank statement to confirm receipt.


Difficulties can arise depending upon where your funds are coming from. Most EU countries are regarded as trusted sources of funds and their banks follow identical money laundering regulations. However, funds coming from non-EU sources may not be accepted by a number of mortgage lenders and conveyancing solicitors. It is important to check the position with your conveyancing solicitor at the earliest opportunity.

Hopefully, the above information provides some guidance as to the type of documents you will be required to provide and the types of money laundering checks that will be undertaken before you purchase your property. Being prepared for these checks is becoming an increasingly important part of the conveyancing process for all homebuyers.

For more information regarding the legal aspects of purchasing a property, please email Bill Dhariwal on; call 01489 864 117 or visit

82 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023

Ask Emilia...

My top tips when applying for a mortgage

Emilia is the Sales Director at Metro Finance, the largest shared ownership mortgage provider. Metro Finance helps around 2,400 shared ownership buyers each month, working with more than 90 housing associations to make the process for the buyer as simple as possible, and helping to innovate the shared ownership product. Emilia has worked with Metro Finance for over 10 years, specialising in shared ownership

Every day we help first time buyers secure their first property. When I brought my first house, even though I had experience within the industry, it was still an unnerving time for me as I applied for the mortgage and went through the process with the solicitors. And that was with knowing everything to expect!

If you’re planning to buy a house, these would be my top tips to prepare yourself:

1. Know your credit profile – Get a copy of your credit file. Many offer you the ability to sign up for a one-month free trial, and you can download a PDF to send to your adviser. This will alert you to any outstanding issues.

2. Understand your income – Lots of people have income that includes shift allowance, flexible allowances, overtime etc. It’s important to understand what parts of your income are guaranteed and what can vary. All lenders will treat income differently, so it’s important to give your adviser accurate information so they can maximise your lending.

3. Be ready with documents – You will need to provide bank statements, payslips, ID etc. So, do a check early on; does your driving licence match your current address? Is your passport in date? Make sure you save posted bank statements, or that you can download your statements online from your online banking (most allow you to do this). Things can move very quickly in the housing market so its important to be ready so you don’t lose your dream property.

4. Be open and honest with your adviser – It might feel like your adviser is being intrusive when they ask about whether you are expecting any more children, or how long you intend to live in the property, or how much you spend on your holidays – but actually on a personal level they aren’t interested! This is to gather the correct information to ensure they are recommending the most suitable and affordable product for you. Buying

a house is a major investment and commitment for you, and it’s important that you are recommended a suitable product. If you know there is a potential issue, don’t wait for someone to find it, let the adviser know upfront. This will make the process much quicker, and will ensure that they go to the right lender first time around. Otherwise, it could cost you your precious time or money switching lenders. Don’t be afraid to be honest.

5. If you don’t understand anything, ask – Your adviser and your solicitors are working for you. If there is something that you don’t understand, make sure you ask questions. Everyone is there to help guide you through the process. This will be one of the biggest commitments, if not the biggest commitment you’ll ever undertake, so it’s important you fully understand

what you are entering into. The process can be much more stressful if you are confused about what is happening.

6. Know your budget – Think carefully about what you can afford when factoring in your other costs and make sure it’s comfortable for you. It is important now more than ever!

Buying a house will always feel daunting and unnerving. Even the most experienced within the industry feel this. So utilise the experts who are helping you navigate the process, and allow them to ease the pressure. It’s what they’re there for.

And always look forward to the future when you’ll have those precious keys in your hands!


FINANCE 84 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023

Here is the news...


Do you want the good news or the bad news?

The question is made all the harder at the moment because even the experts are struggling to work out which is which. New Chancellor (and three weeks later ex-Chancellor) Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget on 23 September unveiled “good news” proposals to help first time buyers by reducing Stamp Duty – but other elements of his plans, including speedily cancelled proposals to abolish the highest rate of tax altogether and keep corporation tax at 19% –sent the financial markets into a thoroughly “bad news” meltdown.

In a pretty major response to what was meant to be a “mini” Budget, the pound dropped to a 37year low, interest rates were hiked by 0.5 points to 2.25% and then by 0.75 points to 3%, the highest level since 2008, and panicked lenders pulled more than 300 mortgage deals off the market in a single night. Within days, the average two-year fixed rate mortgage deal that had stood at 2.34% at the start of December 2021 and 4.74% on the

day of the Budget had climbed to 6.07% according to figures from Moneyfacts, adding an extra £547 a month to a £263,000 mortgage.


Let’s start with the (possibly) good news – around 200,000 homebuyers a year will now pay no Stamp Duty Land Tax at all. The nil-rate band that was set at £125,000 has doubled to £250,000, which means most buyers in England will pay nothing on a home under that amount (those buying a second home or buy-to-let will still pay 3% extra on all bands). For first time buyers (joint purchasers must both be first time buyers), the nil rate band has risen from £300,000 to £425,000. To benefit from the reduced rate, the property must be worth less than £625,000 (previously it had to be below £500,000).

This can make a significant difference. For example, a first time buyer purchasing an average home in London at £543,500 (Land

When the dust settles on the chaos in the mortgage market, the ground will have shifted, and xed rates will have risen signi cantly. The impact on buying power will mean some incredibly dif cult decisions for homebuyers, who could end up with smaller ambitions or horribly tight budgets. This is going to take a toll on the market. For some, this will push the home they want out of reach. A combination of rapidly rising prices, higher mortgage rates and a wider squeeze on their nances, will mean they just can’t stretch to higher mortgage payments. Even if they’re prepared to push their budget to the limit, their mortgage lender may have other ideas. Factoring all this into mortgage affordability calculations may mean they can’t nd anyone prepared to lend to them. Some will choose not to buy. Others will be able to boost their deposit by calling on family members to help balance the equation. And some will need to spend less – either by negotiating a price cut or reconsidering where they can afford to live – opting for somewhere smaller, in worse condition, or in a cheaper area.

FINANCE 86 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
had plenty to say, but was it good news or bad news for homebuyers? Kay Hill takes a closer look

Registry Data July 2022) would previously have paid £17,175 Stamp Duty as the home would have been too expensive for First Time Buyer’s Relief. Under the new system they would pay £5,925, saving £11,250.

Expert reaction has been divided. David Hannah, Group Chairman of Cornerstone Tax, is largely positive: “The cut in Stamp Duty that’s been announced hopes to provide first time buyers with a better chance to get on the property ladder. With properties in the UK standing at the most unaffordable levels ever, this is a crucial step that will provide people with a muchneeded boost in terms of their spending power. Fundamentally, Stamp Duty is something which can delay the process of buying a house and add extra unforeseen costs for those who aren’t aware of it.”

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, is less convinced, noting that when Stamp Duty was first, temporarily, reduced for first time buyers the resulting surge in house prices completely wiped out the savings. “For those at the cheaper end of the market, the Stamp Duty cut may help close the gap. However, we’ll have to see whether boosting demand in this corner of the market will end up pushing up prices and unwinding any benefit from the changes in Stamp Duty,” she said.


The biggest shock was the effect the mini-Budget had on the mortgage market, with fixed rate deals climbing sharply in the aftermath. Sarah Coles explains why, “Fixed rate mortgages don’t just depend on the rate today, they also depend on rate expectations. The dramatic fall in the pound led to fears of inflation – because the price of anything that’s imported will rise. As a result, it led to

expectations that the Bank of England would hike rates to try to bring it back down again.” In other words, lenders think base rates may continue to climb so are pricing their two-year deals accordingly.

At the time of writing, that means the cheapest mortgage deals on the market are variable rates such as trackers and discounted deals, with sub-3% still on offer. The risk, of course, is that over the coming months rates could continue to climb, with no ceiling on monthly payments for those on variable mortgages. Interestingly, however, five and 10-year fixed deals are significantly cheaper than two-year ones, with rates starting at 5.59%, which suggests experts are not anticipating rates going significantly higher for very long.


Will house prices plummet as a result of recent events? Well, it depends who you ask. City Analyst Roger Bootle is predicting a 20-25% drop in prices, while the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggest a 10% fall. Others suggest more of a slowdown than a crash. “After such a long bull run we shouldn’t expect a quick drop in prices,” said Jack Roberts, CEO of home moving platform SlothMove. “Government measures, like extending the mortgage guarantee scheme to de-risk higher LTV mortgages, will mean it’s a correction, not a cliff edge.”

Gary Wright, co-CEO of payment technology firm flatfair, warns people to be careful of what they wish for, “Current renters and hopeful first time buyers should be wary of cheering on a crash in the housing market. Higher interest rates for buy-to-let landlords may well be passed on to tenants – and these same high rates will make mortgages unaffordable for many regardless.”


If you are almost ready to buy, it will certainly pay to use a mortgage adviser or broker, as deals are changing on a daily if not hourly basis. If you aren’t quite at that point, then the key advice is to “keep calm and carry on” – with interest on savings the highest it has been in a decade, take care that your money is earning the most you can while you continue to save. And who knows, perhaps for the first time in a long time you won’t be constantly chasing rising house prices as you save for your deposit?


The mini-Budget caused shockwaves throughout the economy and intervention by the Bank of England to counter these effects resulted in lenders pulling many xed-rate mortgage deals. Homebuyers are still coming to terms with the sudden leap in xed-rate mortgages, and it will be some time before we see the full impact. Many prospective buyers are rushing purchases through before their approved deal runs out, while others are seeing their hopes of buying fade before their eyes. The Government’s new Stamp Duty changes will be enticing to rst time buyers on the surface, however, being able to take advantage of the change will largely depend on whether they can secure a mortgage deal. The Stamp Duty cut may well have the effect of mitigating spiking nance costs, but question marks remain over how high interest rates will climb. While getting a good mortgage deal has become signi cantly harder, a crash in the market is not as likely as some economists are forecasting, as estate agents are still seeing stock shortages in many areas of the country, something which has supported elevated house prices throughout the boom.

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Iain McKenzie, CEO, The Guild of Property Professionals

How first time buyers can protect themselves from rising energy costs

As temperatures plummet, we all face the prospect of spiralling energy costs, which make saving for a deposit that much harder. Inflation rates are now at their highest level since the early 1980s, with the cost-of-living crisis affecting households right across the UK. However, as Ginetta Vedrickas discovers, if you’re considering buying a property, or are renting in the meantime, there are ways to protect yourself against rising energy costs


As homeowners face sky-high energy bills this winter, the appeal of a new build home, designed to be more energy efficient and engineered to be draught-free and generously insulated, is increasingly attractive. Successive Governments have stressed the need to build more sustainable homes to protect the environment and housebuilders are obliged to meet certain energy standards when it comes to building new homes. The Government’s Future Homes Standard will be key to ensuring that new homes built from 2025 will produce at least 75-80% lower CO2 emissions compared to those built

to current standards. This is part of a commitment to improve the quality of housing across the nation by ensuring new homes stick to strict energy efficiency standards, which will help meet the target of net zero emissions by 2050 as well as reducing energy bills for homeowners.


Home experts at housebuilder St. Modwen Homes looked at the reasons why new build homes are more environmentally friendly and how much money they can save their owners. Firstly, they looked at better energy efficiency, as all properties, new and old, must have an Energy Performance

Certificate (EPC), which shows how energy efficient a home is. Ratings range from A, the most efficient, to G, the least efficient. A study by Which? showed that 76% of all existing homes, in other words older flats and houses, have energy efficiency ratings of either C or D, while just 2% are rated B. By comparison, when we look at newly built homes, 81% of new builds have a B rating, with just 7% rated C or D. St. Modwen says that, breaking that down into pounds, buying a newly built home could save you up to £20 a year on lighting, £37 a year on hot water and – the big one – up to £455 a year on heating.

Air leakage is one reason why older properties are so inefficient when it comes to energy as they can lose a lot of air

MARKET 88 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023

through cavities in brick work, window frames and through draughts under doors. The more air that escapes, the more energy you need to keep things warm or cool. These days there are strict regulations around how airtight a home should be, and a more airtight home doesn’t just help with bills, it’s also better for air quality, improves sound insulation and means structural damage due to mould is far less likely. To measure how airtight a home is you measure the air pressure; there are many gadgets on the market to help you do so, but even holding a lit candle by a door or window can help you assess draught levels.

Design too has an impact upon bills, explains St. Modwen. The housebuilder says that it designs its properties with higher ceilings and larger windows, which makes sense in terms of lower bills as more natural light means less artificial light which is good news for electricity bills.



Doing your homework when it comes to buying a new build home can save wasted cash on running costs in the long term. Property portal Share to Buy has the UK’s biggest listing of shared ownership homes currently on the market. Most properties on the site are new homes with all-important energy-saving features.

One of Britain’s first zero-carbon developments, SO Resi Hope Green, has for sale a collection of two, three and four bedroom homes in Thurrock, Essex, which have been built using advanced materials and techniques to reduce net energy usage and shrink heating, lighting and water bills. Prices start from £94,500 for a 30% share of a two bedroom house.

Kidbrooke Square from Notting Hill Genesis is a collection of one and two bedroom apartments in Greenwich which have been built to a carbon reduction target of 39.6%. The housebuilder has used renewable energy throughout the development, including solar panels and energy-efficient integrated appliances in all homes. One bedroom homes start from £88,750 for a 25% share.

Located equidistant between Earlsfield and Wimbledon, Catalyst is delivering 181 one to three bedroom shared ownership apartments at The Switch. Helping residents’ costs remain low, PV solar panels contribute towards reducing service charges by powering the lighting for the communal areas, and green roofs support biodiversity, benefiting water management and air quality. Prices start from £140,000 for a 25% share of a two bedroom apartment.

The Zero in Raynes Park, SW20 by housebuilder Zero Developments is a

collection of 35 apartments which recently won the Energy Efficiency Award 2022 for the best London development. The scheme was built with the aim of achieving zerocarbon status and A-rated energy efficiency. Benefiting from the inclusion of 10 Tesla Powerwall batteries, any excess energy from the development’s solar generation will be stored and used to power each apartment. During winter months, these batteries store off-peak cheaper “green” energy for occupants to benefit from during peak times. Prices start from £505,000.

Housebuilder Weston Homes says that its design team now considers every element of the homes it builds from insulation to airtight junctions and glazing to heating specifications, in a bid to optimise energy performance. The less heat energy that escapes, the less energy is required from the heating system, reducing CO2 emissions and running costs. At developments which are registered under current Building Regulations, it has installed one of the most efficient gas combination boilers available, and at its more recent developments, which will be built under the new June 2022 Building Regulations, it has already changed the design to include air source heat pumps for space and/or hot water heating. Prices start from £233,500 for a one bedroom apartment at Edinburgh Way in Harlow, Essex.


Worries over spiralling energy bills can feel overwhelming, but there are small yet practical changes you can make around the home to help you feel more in control of your energy use, while reducing your carbon footprint and saving money. Small and often cheap ways to cut usage include draught-proofing windows and doors. Facebook group Energy Support and Advice UK has plenty of tips including using clingfilm on the inside of windows or buying “secondary glazing film” online which can be shrunk to fit your frame with a hairdryer. Double-glazing is a more expensive option but even putting up thermal curtains can help. Installing radiator reflector panels helps cut lost heat and bleeding radiators also helps your heating system to run more efficiently.

The Energy Saving Trust also has plenty of information on how to cut bills such as plugging up any unused chimneys with an inflatable chimney balloon, newspapers or old pillows. There are many jobs which can be tackled yourself, for example insulating your loft could save up to £355 a year according to The Energy Saving Trust.


We’re all feeling the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, and, as we head into winter, bills will start to become increasingly unaffordable for many households across the country. New builds are generally built to be more energy ef cient. By purchasing a new build shared ownership home, you could ultimately end up saving yourself hundreds of pounds on living costs and thousands on your initial deposit.

Nick Lieb, Head of Operations, Share to Buy


The gap between the cost of running a new home and a second-hand one has never been wider. As energy ef ciency creeps up and the cost of heating and lighting a home becomes more expensive, new homes with the most ef cient appliances and which are on average twice as well-insulated are increasingly attractive. The technology going into new homes uses increasingly small amounts of energy as ef ciency ratings are tightened.


Making small switches across each area of the house can add up to make a big difference, without having to make drastic changes. Simple changes such as remembering to switch off lights and opting for a cool wash are just two examples of those small steps you can take to be more energy ef cient. For rst time buyers, consider choosing energy-ef cient appliances early on if you’re tting out a home, and look for the energy rating on the house you’re buying too, as newer homes can often be more ef cient.

Jo Winston, Sales Director, St. Modwen Homes

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Agony agent

Readers put their property questions to our guest panel of experts: solicitors, mortgage advisers, property gurus and Help to Buy providers

We need your questions...

If you have any queries, or difficulties in understanding the property buying process, our panel of experts is waiting to help. Send our team your questions on buying property, Help to Buy, legal issues, or your financial problems and we’ll find the best person from the panel to give the advice you need.

Email your questions to: lynda@

Can we afford to buy?

QMy partner and I have been renting together in London for four years, but now that we are expecting our first child, we are keen to get on to the property ladder. However, with the cost of living increasing, we’re unsure whether this is feasible for us as first time buyers. Can you advise please?

AIt’s no secret that the cost-of-living crisis is causing added strain and difficulties for those eager to take their first step on to the property ladder. Rising mortgage rates and inflated property prices have created further financial barriers for those who may have previously been able to afford to buy.

According to Yahoo, property prices in the UK are at an all-time high, especially for first time buyers, for whom prices and rents have jumped three times faster than pre-pandemic, with asking prices up by £17,557 on average.

Fortunately, for first time buyers, there are Government-backed homeownership schemes that can help. Shared ownership is a part-buy,

part-rent scheme which enables eligible buyers to purchase a percentage share of a property, while offering significant benefits in comparison to renting or buying outright.

Firstly, the typical deposit for buying through shared ownership is often far lower than buying on the open market as it is based on the value of the share you buy, rather than the full market value of the property. For example, at Origin’s development Harrow and Wealdstone Heights, the minimum deposit for a one bedroom shared ownership apartment is just £4,031.

Plus, the shared ownership scheme is designed for new build developments, which are more energy efficient than older properties, a hugely attractive reason to consider shared ownership as the cost of living increases. This means that buyers can enjoy both a reduced impact on the environment as well as savings on energy bills.

For more information about Origin’s shared ownership properties, please visit:

EXPERTS 90 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
TEST THE PANEL THIS MONTH’S PANEL OF EXPERTS Simon Scott Rupi Hunjan, MD, Censeo Financial Simon Scott, Assistant Director of Commercial & Property Marketing, Origin Housing Martin Fillery, Director Shared Ownership, Leaders Romans Group

What should I do if I am struggling financially?

QThere is so much going on geopolitically at the moment, affecting financial markets and services, that we seem to be facing price increases from every angle. I am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed and I’m really beginning to worry what would happen to my new home if I lost control of my finances?

AIf you feel you are or may start to face financial hardship, there are a few key things you can do to help to manage your situation.

Firstly, complete a monthly budget planner, look at how much money you have coming in each month versus your outgoings to identify any potential shortfalls.

Look at any non-essential outgoings such as streaming subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, store cards etc to determine what you can live without. Speak to your mobile and internet providers to see if they have better deals you can access. And if you have any credit cards or car loans, speak to those companies to see if your payments can be reduced.

Speak to your mortgage lender to let them know about your position to find out if they can assist in anyway, perhaps via a payment holiday? Most lenders will employ qualified debt management teams who are well positioned to help people facing financial hardship.

If you are a shared owner, speak to your housing provider to find out what advice they can offer – in some instances, they may be able to buy-back some of the shares in your home to reduce the financial burden.

Speak to your local authority to find out if there are any benefits you can access which can help towards rent or service charge elements.

The most important thing is to realise that you are not alone, and help is out there, that financial hardship is more common than you would think – acknowledging it is the key to unlocking that help.

Different types of mortgage

QI am a first time buyer and about to start my journey to homeownership. Can you explain what types of mortgages there are and what is a mortgage product?

AMost homebuyers these days take out repayment mortgages, which is where you pay back some of the loan and some interest each month. The other main alternative is an interest-only mortgage, where you just pay the interest each month, but this doesn’t repay any of the loan, so at the end of the mortgage term you would have to repay the loan amount.

The mortgage product is the actual mortgage you are taking out. These will vary by interest rate and terms and conditions and will differ between each financial institution.

The rate can rise or fall and generally is considered against the Bank of England base rate. Currently (autumn 2022) the Bank of England is raising the base rate to try to combat rising inflation and

therefore lenders are raising their interest rates. All lenders have a standard variable rate (SVR), but this rate varies between different lenders.

A lender will offer several types of mortgage products sometimes referred to as deals. These include:

Fixed rate mortgages. This is a mortgage where your interest rate is guaranteed to stay the same for a set period. You can usually fix for two, three, five or 10 years. Fixed rates are the most common type of mortgage for those wanting the same monthly payments to help with managing their finances and giving peace of mind.

Tracker mortgages. This is a mortgage where the interest rate you pay is based on an external rate – usually the Bank of England base rate – plus a set percentage. We have seen the Bank of England base rate continue to rise this year so if you opted for this type of mortgage product your monthly payments would rise by a percentage above the base rate. If the Bank of England base rate falls, then so would your rate, therefore your monthly mortgage payments would also reduce.

Discounted rate mortgages. This is usually a variable rate with a set discount applied to it during a set period. Again, this can fluctuate depending on the lender’s standard variable rate which is usually determined by the Bank of England base rate.

Do go to where you can find a lot of information.

EXPERTS First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 91

Buyers’ guide




What are your funding options if you want to get on the housing ladder?



The Government backs several schemes to help people get on the property ladder. The best known is shared ownership which is open to people with a household income of up to £80,000 (£90,000 in London). More details are below.


Many people buy property on the open market. Homes are offered for sale by estate/sales agents or from private developers or housebuilders. On new build developments there is usually a show home you can look around and a sales adviser, based on site, to answer your questions.

To buy on the open market, you will need a mortgage deposit of at least 5% to 10% of the full property value.


Demand for new homes often outstrips supply; this means that new homes are often reserved before their construction is complete, sometimes several months before they are built and finished. This is called “buying off-plan”. Most providers market and sell their homes in this way. Do some careful research to make sure the home you reserve is the right one for you, especially as you may not have an opportunity to physically view inside it before your commitment to buy it becomes a legal obligation.


Some builders offer incentives on new build homes such as cashback, legal fees or help with moving costs. You could also try to negotiate for upgrades to specification items like floorings or kitchen appliances.



Help to Buy: Equity Loan/Deposit Unlock

Equity loans through Help to Buy are no longer available; they ended in October 2022. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) together with some housebuilders and mortgage lenders are offering a new scheme called Deposit Unlock as an alternative. This helps first time buyers to buy a new home with a 5% mortgage deposit. More information is available at

Shared ownership/part-buy, part-rent

The Government-supported shared ownership scheme is available for people with household incomes up to £80,000 (or £90,000 if buying in London.) Shared ownership homes are always leasehold. With this scheme, you buy a share in a property and pay rent on the rest. Rent is calculated at 2.75% (sometimes less), with annual increases of RPI + 0.5%. The amount of share that you buy is calculated based on your affordability. On many shared ownership homes the minimum is 25% (but could be higher). On some homes, you can buy a lower share starting from 10%, but these are not widely available at present. The mortgage deposit you’ll need to buy with shared ownership is calculated on the share value; this works out at a lot less than if you were buying outright. Shared ownership homes can be new build or resales, apartments or houses across many parts of England.

If you buy a home with shared ownership, you will be given the right to buy more shares in the future. This is called staircasing. In most cases, you can buy shares up to 100% of the property and own it outright. When you buy more shares, these are valued at the market value at the time. Because house prices tend to rise over periods of time, it is a good idea to think about staircasing at an early date.

First Homes

This scheme offers first time buyers discounts of 30-50% on certain new build homes. Local authorities may limit these to key workers or those who live or work in the area. When the home is sold it must be to another eligible first time buyer at the same percentage discount.

Rent to Buy

This scheme allows you to rent a new build property for up to five years and pay a redued rent while you save for a deposit. It is not widely available, however.

Right to Buy

The Right to Buy scheme helps eligible council and housing association tenants in England buy their home with a discount of up to £87,200 (£116,200 inside London). You probably have the Right to Buy if you’re a secure council tenant and have spent at least three years as a public sector tenant. Some properties are exempt.

Older People’s Shared Ownership (OPSO)

This is designed for people aged 55 and over. Scheme specific details vary, so check with the housing association provider.

Home Ownership for People with Long Term Disabilities (HOLD)

HOLD is a specialist option to help people with long term disabilities live independently in a shared ownership property where, in some cases, repairs and maintenance services are offered by the provider.

Other options

There are a few less well-known Government-backed schemes; more details can be found at


The Lifetime ISA (LISA) is a long-term savings product intended to support younger people aged between 18-39, resident in the UK, saving for their first home, or for later life. Up to £4,000 can be saved each year, attracting a government bonus of 25% on each new payment. Funds can be withdrawn without charge 12 months after opening the LISA, if used as a deposit for the account holder’s first home, subject to certain conditions. The property value must be under £450,000.

To buy on the open market or from a house builder you’ll need to get a mortgage from a bank or other mortgage lender. To do so you’ll need to save a deposit and meet the provider’s lending criteria.

First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 93

The ftb process



You will need at least three months of bank statements, payslips or tax returns, photo ID such as a passport or driving licence and details of any loans. Lenders will look at your outgoings to assess how much you can afford to pay on your mortgage each month. The bigger deposit you have and the better your credit score, the better mortgage rate you’ll be offered.


Work out how much you can afford to repay each month, taking into account your normal living expenses and the bills, insurance and council tax on your new home. Don’t forget there is likely to be a service/ estate management charge on a new home, plus ground rent for a leasehold property, so find out how much they will be.


Get a credit report from Experian or Equifax, and make sure there are no default accounts, CCJs (county court judgements) or missed payments. If you are making lots of enquiries to find the best deal, make sure the lenders log your enquiry as a soft search rather than a hard search as too many applications leave “footprints” on your credit score and can affect your rating. To improve your score, make sure you’re on the electoral roll, and pay your bills and any loan repayments on time.

Buying your first property can be a daunting experience. It’s a big decision, so it’s important to get it right. We take you through all the steps involved

Unless you have enough money to buy a property outright you’ll need a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a property and is repayable over a number of years (usually 25-35 years). The loan is “secured” on the property, which means the mortgage lender could repossess your home if you fail to make repayments on time. For this reason, it’s vital only to buy a property you can realistically afford.


Before you start, find out how much money you can borrow. A mortgage adviser will need details of your income, outgoings, savings and credit history – they will then be able to give you an “agreement in principle”, which will state, in theory, how much they will be able to lend you. An agreement in principle, however, doesn’t tie you, or the lender, to anything. Instead, it will just give you a rough idea of how much money you’ll be able to borrow.

You’ll also need a deposit, normally around 10% of the property price. The bigger the deposit, the better the mortgage rate you’ll be offered. Each mortgage product will have a maximum loan-to-value or LTV.


You can apply for a mortgage via a mortgage broker (or financial adviser) or direct from a lender. A broker can look at the deals available and advise you which one would be best for your circumstances. Some mortgage products are only sold through brokers, not directly to customers.

A broker will help you with the paperwork and deal with the lender on your behalf up until completion. You may have to pay them a fee or they may earn commission from the lender – find out how they are paid before committing to anything.

Mortgage advisers in banks or building societies can only sell you products offered by that company, so it’s unlikely they will be able to offer you the very best deal for your circumstances. It’s important to shop around. You can compare mortgages online at sites such as or



SHOP AROUND, then apply directly to your chosen lender.


Some mortgages are fixed rate. This means you’ll pay the same rate of interest for a defined period of time, and your payments won’t change. If interest rates go up, you’ll be protected from the increase, but you won’t benefit from any fall in interest rates. Normally, at the end of the fixed period your mortgage rate will revert to the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) for the rest of the term. You can either pay this rate (which is often quite expensive) or remortgage to another lender. Remortgaging to another lender can sometimes mean you have to pay a fee or early redemption charge (ERC).


Variable-rate mortgages are either linked to the lender’s SVR or the Bank of England base rate, and the rate you pay can change. Lenders can change their SVR whenever they want, but they normally only change it when the Bank of England base rate changes. Tracker mortgages are also variable, but they have repayment rates that are directly linked to the base rate so will go up and down with it. With variable-rate mortgages you need to be sure you could afford higher repayments if rates rise.


Most mortgages available to first time buyers are on a repayment basis. With this type of mortgage, every monthly payment will pay off some interest and some capital (mainly interest in the early years). At the end of the term, you’ll own your home outright.

If you have a larger (25% or more) deposit you may be offered an interest-only mortgage, where you only pay interest on the loan. The monthly repayments are lower but at the end of the term you’ll still owe the original mortgage sum. You’ll need to prove you have a plan in place (such as an investment) to pay off the capital.

Work out how much money you have for fees, deposit and the monthly mortgage you can afford.

Make sure your credit rating is sound and there are no mistakes on your le, and pay off any debts you can.

Speak to a mortgage broker, but also look at lenders’ direct products and search the internet.




Be practical. Think about the commuting time and whether you can afford to buy in the area.

Check out crime statistics, transport links, regeneration and, if relevant, schools.

BUYERS’ GUIDE 94 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023


Buying a property is a big investment. You need to make sure you buy a home that you can afford and one you will be happy living in.

Thorough research


The first step is to shortlist the locations you feel you’d like to live in, then check if you can afford the house prices in those areas. It’s also worthwhile visiting places you like: it may be that there’s an up-and-coming hot spot just down the road you didn’t know about that’s much more affordable. Ideally, you will have rented in the area before buying, but if this isn’t the case, at least spend some time there, check out the commuting time to work, and look at local pubs, shops and leisure facilities. Visit the area at night, too.


Once you have found the right location, go online and check out what’s on offer. Most homes are listed on property portals such as, onthemarket., or, plus estate agents’ websites. Properties featured have pictures, descriptions and a floor plan, and


Register with local estate agents, and use the internet to search for properties. Set up alerts.


Look at several properties, and visit ones you like more than once and with someone else. Take a checklist.

sometimes a video. Also, sign up with as many local estate agents as you can. They should send you new properties that match your description, but it’s worth phoning them regularly. If you’re looking for a shared ownership property, search online at and


Once you see a property you like, arrange a viewing. Most people see at least 10 properties before putting in an offer. It’s worth bringing a friend or relative and also arranging a second viewing to check out any bits you may have missed. Don’t get taken in by the furnishings and decor too much. Remember that a property that is slightly run down can still be a great investment and may only need a touch of paint and a change of furniture.


It’s a buyers’ market, so make use of agents’ legwork in finding properties that fit your requirements. Be aware that estate agents are paid commission by the seller on the sale, so try to inspect the property yourself rather than just the parts the agent shows you. Don’t get sucked in by the hard sell.

Check online for prices of sold properties in the area, and make sure properties you like fit your budget. You can search for recent sold prices of property in any area at, and also on property portals like

Aerial shots of an area can be viewed at; switch to “satellite view”.

Before you put in an offer, visit the street at different times of the day and night. You could also ask neighbours and local shop owners about the area.


When looking at buying apartments, check exactly what is included in the service charge and how much it is. Also, ask about the terms of the lease and its length. If the lease has less than 80 years left, use this as a negotiating tool and make an offer below the asking price.


If the market is slow, when making an offer, don’t be afraid to offer less than the asking price.

If the property needs work done, you can use this as a negotiating tool.



Make sure you have a survey – it could save you money in the long run by spotting any problems.


Compare quotes from solicitors, and ask your friends who they recommend. A good solicitor can make a big difference to whether a purchase completes or falls through. Online companies can be cheaper but are less personal.


Look at the results of searches your solicitor has done. They will tell you, for example, if a main road is about to be built at the end of your garden.

BUYERS’ GUIDE First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 95





Push the seller to take the property off the market. This will limit the chances of being gazumped (another buyer making a larger offer). The seller can insist on continuing to show the property, especially if you haven’t offered the asking price.

Use a recommended solicitor who you know to be reliable and who can move fast.

Never get pressured into an exchange and completion date without knowing all your finances and documents are in place. If you can’t complete, you may have to pay the seller’s costs.

English property law is different to Scottish law: in England, if you put in an offer and then have a change of heart, you can legally back out of the deal or negotiate up until the exchange date. But, in Scotland, an agreed price is binding.


You must have buildings insurance in place for when you exchange contracts (not complete). This will be a condition of your mortgage offer.


Shop around for a removals rm, and nd one that can move your possessions on completion day. You could also look at van hire to do it yourself.

uying process

Once your offer is accepted, tell your mortgage lender. They will do a valuation to ensure the property is worth the money being advanced. At the same time, instruct a surveyor to carry out a survey. If this shows problems, find out how much they would cost to rectify and use this information to renegotiate the sale price. Or, tell the seller certain repairs need to be carried out before contracts are exchanged.


After the offer is accepted, you will also need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer who will oversee the contract, deal with the finances and exchange the deeds. Your solicitor will carry out searches, check the terms of any lease and restrictive covenants and tell you how much Stamp Duty you have to pay. The seller will also appoint a solicitor, and the two legal teams will be in regular contact to make sure the purchase goes as smoothly as possible.


Once the mortgage offer is in place, the contract is satisfactory and buildings insurance has been organised, both parties will agree an exchange date. You will sign the contract with your solicitor, and at the point of exchange of contracts, you pay a deposit and a completion date is set. At this point, there’s no going back – the seller could sue you if you pull out, and you could lose your deposit. The completion date is usually around a week to 10 days after exchange, but can be done on the same day. On completion, the final paperwork is done, and the property is legally yours.


From offer to completion usually takes about six weeks to three months, but don’t feel pressured or rush into anything you’re not sure of just because the seller or estate agent wants you to exchange.


Your solicitor or estate agent will call you to tell you the property is yours. The solicitor will have some nal paperwork to do, and you will then have to pay the solicitor’s bill and your Stamp Duty payment (if applicable). solicitor’s bill and your Stamp





Scale 1 fees relate to the registration of both new builds and resale properties for monetary consideration.

Apply using the portal or Business Gateway, for transfers or surrenders which a ect the whole of a registered title

For a purchase of £0 - £80k £20.00

For a purchase of £80,001-£100k £40.00

For a purchase of £100,001 - £200k £100.00

For a purchase of £200,001 - £500k £150.00

For a purchase of £500,001 - £1,000,000 £295.00

For a purchase of £1,000,001 and over £500.00

Apply using the portal or Business Gateway, for registration of all leases and transfers or surrenders which a ect part of a registered title

For a purchase of £0 - £80k £45.00

For a purchase of £80,001-£100k £95.00

For a purchase of £100,001 - £200k £230.00

For a purchase of £200,001 - £500k £330.00

For a purchase of £500,001 - £1,000,000 £655.00

For a purchase of £1,000,001 and over £1,105.00


Up to £250,000 Zero

The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000) 5%

The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10%

The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%

In October 2022 you buy a property for £295,000. The SDLT you owe will be calculated as follows:

0% on the first £250,000 = £0 5% on the final £45,000 = £2,250 Total SDLT = £2,250



Expect to pay a fee of at least £1,000 to secure an attractive rate. But some can be £2000+

The lender will usually o er you the option to pay the arrangement fee upfront, or you can add the fee to the mortgage. The disadvantage of adding the fee to the mortgage is you’ll pay interest on it, as well as the mortgage, for the life of the loan. But if you pay the fee upfront, there’s a chance you could lose it if anything went wrong with the purchase.


Typically, around £300-£600, but can be significantly more


£0-£500 usually paid at mortgage application


Estimate £200-£300 annually – The price depends on the cover you require and your excess. The building insurance is calculated based on the cost of rebuilding your home is known as the ‘buildings sum insured’. It’s important to know that there’s likely to b a di erence between your home’s market value and the cost of rebuilding your home.


£700-£4,000 annually

If you own a long lease on a property in England and Wales you will normally have to pay rent to the freeholder or landlord of the property; this is known as Ground Rent. The lease will normally specify how much rent you have to pay and when it has to be paid. The ground rent can be a fixed sum for the length of the lease, or the lease can provide for the ground rent to increase over the course of the lease.

Service charges vary based on the building and the services provided. A building with concierge service, numerous lifts can be very expensive. You should go through the service charge costs with your solicitor. These are audited and the price paid changes annually generally in April. New freehold homes may also have service/estate charges for maintenance of communal areas.



BUYERS’ GUIDE 96 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023

Home buying glossary

Confused by financial acronyms and industry terminology? Buying your first house is daunting enough without having to decode property lingo. FTB’s homebuying glossary is here to make the process a whole lot easier to understand


The initial document that a lender will give you outlining the amount you are likely to be lent if you applied for a mortgage. An agreement in principle is not a guarantee of getting a mortgage.


APR stands for annual percentage rate. It is the interest rate you’d pay over a year. It takes into account not just the interest on your loan but also any other additional charges.


This is a term used to describe payments that haven’t been made on time.


The interest rate set by the Bank of England. Lenders usually use the Bank of England base rate to set their own interest rates.


A broker is someone who gives you advice on your mortgage. Some are independent, while others work for particular lenders.


A survey carried out by a qualified surveyor to spot any structural problems or faults in the home you are buying.


Something of value that is offered as a guarantee against a loan. With mortgages, your home is collateral.


The finalisation of the sale. Completion day is when the paperwork is complete, all money is transferred and you become the legal owner of your new home.


The legal process of transferring ownership of a property.


These are additional charges incurred during the homebuying process such as Stamp Duty and Land Registry charges. You must give the money to your conveyancer or solicitor who will then pay the charges on your behalf.


This is an amount of money you may have to pay a lender if you decide to move mortgage provider or if you pay off your mortgage quicker than expected.


The difference between the value of the property and the value of the mortgage you have secured.


This is when you exchange contracts with the seller. When this has happened, both sides are legally bound to complete the transaction.


A freehold is when you fully own a property and the land it stands on.


When a seller accepts an offer and then later on rejects it in favour of a higher offer from another bidder.


A person, usually a parent, who guarantees that you can pay your mortgage repayments. You often need a guarantor if you are struggling to get a mortgage based on your own income. If for some reason you cannot pay your mortgage, your guarantor has to pay it for you.


If you take out a large mortgage on a property, some lenders may charge a one-off extra fee. This funds an insurance policy that protects the lender (not you) from the additional risk.


This is a fee you have to pay in order to register your ownership of the property with the Land Registry.


A type of tenure where you buy the right to occupy a property for a fixed period of time. You usually have to pay annual ground rent each year.


This stands for loan to value – the ratio between the amount of money you have taken out as a loan and the valuation price of the property.


In order to reduce your mortgage, you can make a lump-sum reduction. This is where you pay more than you owe each month in mortgage repayments.


Paying off your mortgage in full is known as redemption.


The amount you have to pay back each month to your mortgage provider


Stamp Duty is a shortened name for Stamp Duty Land Tax, also called SDLT. This is a Government tax you may have to pay when you purchase a new property. Your solicitor or conveyancer will organise the payment for you.


The legal documents that outline your rights and liabilities in relation to your new property. The title deeds also act as proof of ownership.

BUYERS’ GUIDE First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 97

Buying with Friends and Family

Buying with friends and family is an increasingly popular option for many taking their first step on the property ladder. Coralie Phelan from Prince Evans Solicitors explores the legal aspects you should consider before deciding whether it is right for you


There are many things to consider when purchasing with friends and family, for example as follows:

9 What are my rights as a joint owner?

9 How do we protect our initial contributions?

9 How are future price increases shared?

9 Will the mortgage and outgoings be split equally?

9 What happens if we fall out?

9 What happens when you wish to sell and the other wants to remain?

9 What happens if someone dies?


Property ownership has two elements, a legal element and a beneficial element. It is easy to consider the two, by way of physical land and monetary shares. A property cannot be divided easily however, monetary shares can be divided. Legal ownership equates to ownership of the physical land and the beneficial interest is your monetary interest.

Your conveyancer will ask you to consider whether you want to own the property equally or whether you want distinct shares. It is very important to consider this and have it recorded to avoid disputes in the future. The document used to record this is a Declaration of Trust.


This is a deed which records your monetary or beneficial interests. Your conveyancer or legal adviser can draft this for you. The key points of a Declaration of Trust are as follows:

9 The deed will record how much you would expect to receive when the property is sold

9 You can record your monetary interests

LEGAL 98 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023

by way of percentage split or by way of lump sum or a mixture of both

9 It can be used to ensure you benefit from any uplift in value by recording your monetary interests with reference to a percentage

9 It is flexible and can be drafted to suit your individual circumstances

9 It can also deal with the timeframes for sale if one party wants to bring the trust to an end and leave

9 It is essential for avoiding disputes as to how much each party owns.


In order to protect your contributions your conveyancer will ask you to confirm how much you are both contributing towards the purchase price. You will then be asked to confirm whether you wish to hold the property either as joint tenants or tenants in common.


Joint tenants own the property equally without distinct shares and the property automatically passes to the survivor on death. You cannot leave your share to someone else in a Will.

Tenants in common have distinct shares and a Declaration of Trust will record these shares. You can leave your share to someone else in your Will. If you are contributing unequally to the purchase price or receiving a gifted deposit, you should consider electing to hold as tenants in common and consider a Declaration of Trust.

For example, if you are contributing £30,000 towards the deposit and your fellow buyer has contributed nothing, you may want your £30,000 returned when the property is sold and then the proceeds of sale split equally. This can be recorded in a Declaration of Trust.


It can be very difficult to consider a scenario where relationships break down, but living closely together can put pressure on relationships. It is important to ensure that you consider how matters will be dealt with if you fall out and wish to sell the property.

It is always wise to resolve any dispute amicably. Legal action can be avoided if you instruct your conveyancer to draft a Declaration of Trust at the point of purchase, which sets out not only how the proceeds of sale will be divided but also the timeframe for sale.


If it is not possible to resolve a dispute or one party simply wishes to leave, then you will need to consider whether one party can afford to live in the property on their own. This would also include a financial assessment by any existing mortgage lender. If it is affordable, one party can effectively buy the shares of the outgoing party and remain. If not, the property would need to be sold. If you have a Declaration of Trust, it will set out:

9 How you can bring the trust to an end and sell the property

9 A timeframe for one party to give notice to the other party of their intention to sell

9 Will allow the remaining party an opportunity to buy out the other

9 Will allow a time frame for sale of the property if both parties agree to leave.

It is important to address these issues at the outset to make it easier to deal with the sale of the property when perhaps one party wishes to leave and the other remain.


You will also need to consider your day-today living arrangements such as:

9 Who will reside at the property

9 Who will pay for the outgoings and expenses

9 How will you divide household maintenance?

A Living Together Agreement can help with this.


The agreement records your intentions in respect of matters such as who owns the furniture, how the bills will be divided up and who will pay for household maintenance. Your conveyancer or legal adviser can draft this agreement for you and it can be tailored to your particular needs.

You should bear in mind that in most cases, you will be equally responsible for mortgage payments and even if one party stops paying the mortgage, for whatever reason, the remaining party is still responsible for mortgage payments. You could lose your home if you fail to make mortgage payments even if one party has left. This is called joint and several responsibilities for mortgage payments.


It does seem morbid, but it is a very important consideration. Whether you hold as joint tenants or tenants in common it is wise to consider instructing a solicitor to draft Wills. If you elect to be joint tenants, the property passes to the survivor of the two of you automatically. If you choose tenants in common and you have Wills then your bequest will be followed. If you die intestate or without a Will, the rules of intestacy apply and generally your share passes to your closest living blood relative. A Will would ensure that you decide who inherits your share in the property – but only if you opt for tenants in common.

In summary, there is a lot to consider when purchasing with friends and family. You should discuss your position with your conveyancer and they will be able to guide you through the process and assist you in making an informed decision in relation to joint ownership. Purchasing with friends and family is a very good option for first time buyers and can give you the opportunity to achieve your dream of owning your own home.

LEGAL First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023 99
Prince Evans specialise in all aspects of conveyancing.  Please contact Prince Evans for all your conveyancing needs and for a friendly no obligation quote on 020 8567 3477 or




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1 issue £3.95 (Free P&P) 4 issues £14 (Free P&P) 6 issues £21 (Free P&P) SUBSCRIPTION OFFER! Four issues for just £14 Please call our subscription team on 020 3874 1649


Hellyn Fairbrother With

What room at home is your favourite?

My kitchen! I love cooking, entertaining or hosting and the kitchen is always the central hub of the home I think.

What’s your favourite gadget or technology at home?

I’m not massively into technology but I do watch CLICK in awe every week – I’d love to go to one of those tech shows in China to see the latest gadgets. At home, I’m still fascinated by Alexa – I think that VR has a real place in people’s lives particularly if they are on their own. I often laugh to myself at some of the things she picks up on. What colour do you think everyone should have in their home? It’s up to each individual, but I’m into muted tones – beiges, creams, oatmeals and fawns. I love a splash of primary colour though and sometimes I accessorise it with sunny yellow and dark navy blue. Your home is an extension of yourself – so go wild if that’s you! Who would you invite over for a housewarming party if you could have any guests?

Ohh that’s so difficult! But definitely Alan Carr, Jeremy Clarkson, Chris Martin from Coldplay and Liam Neeson – can I put a politician in there also? Now that would be very interesting!!

What’s your favourite memory from your childhood home? Christmas!! It was a magical time of family, food and pressies – I always remember walking down the stairs when it was still dark in the morning and we had this side window with frosted glass and it used to make the coloured Christmas lights really bright. What is your favourite song and why?

So many songs evoke memories. Dancing in the Moonlight reminds me of my two lovely daughters jumping up and down on my bed when they were young. I love ELO, I am a big Bruno Mars fan and I have a thing about Afraid to Feel by LF System.

Would you rather have a garden or a balcony?

A garden every time – the sense of freedom and contentment it can bring is awesome. But balconies can be lovely too – particularly if they have a view. A balcony can be an extension to your home and you can dress it in an attractive way (if it's OK with the landlord!).

Do you prefer modern homes or period properties?

I’m in the new homes business so although I really prefer a period property (my favourite is Georgian) and all the history and features a period property has, I can see the merits of a new build property – particularly when it is encompassed in some really well-designed placemaking. These developments have a life of their own and I

Hellyn Fairbrother is London and South East Regional Sales Manager for The Guinness Partnership. After studying English Language and English Literature at Goldsmiths University of London, Hellyn became a teacher. She loved her work but eventually decided to have a career change and over the last 18 years she has worked for several developers and housing associations. She now looks after a host of developments across London and the South East for Guinness Homes

love the community and the inclusivity of them. Of course, there is the low maintenance and warranty that comes with a new build. Would you rather have a library room or media room at home? Library room all day long!! I still have books from when I was at university and I just can’t get rid of them!

Would you prefer a luxurious bathtub or a sumptuous shower? Depends on my mood – I like the thought of a sumptuous bath but I get too bored and my book gets wet – so I tend to prefer having a shower but it needs to be a good size shower tray.

Would you rather live in the bustling city or in the country? City – I like visiting places and going to bars, restaurants and food markets with my friends and family. I like the country but couldn’t live there – however, I love and appreciate nature.

If you were buying a property overseas, in what country would you buy a home?

I have lived abroad and it was a great experience – but something always pulled me home – my mum and my family. If I was pushed, probably Australia – it's an awesome place, but it’s too far away!

Would you rather have a bigger property or a better location? Location, location, location every time!

What is one thing you couldn’t live without at home? Only one!? I guess my TV.

What’s your favourite way to unwind at home after work?

I love to read and always have two books on the go at once, and I am a Netflix fiend! I particularly like crime documentaries. What’s your favourite thing about your home? Its location.

Where did you buy your first home?

I did a refurb of a Victorian flat in Deptford – it was blood, sweat and tears but I love doing refurbs – breathing life back into an old property is my favourite hobby. What advice would you give a first time buyer?

If you like it and can afford it, do it! Don’t spend hours looking for perfection because nothing is completely perfect. Decide on your location and don’t jump about everywhere. Get a good financial adviser and solicitor who work with your housing association as this will speed things up for you, causing you the least amount of stress. Listen to the sales team – a good sales team (like mine!) will be there to steer you and support you through the journey. What are your views on shared ownership?

It is a fantastic tenure – and I am not just saying that! It has come so far over the years and as a rule the housing association and developer offerings improve all the time. Long gone (thank goodness) is the "poor door"; it’s a near tenure-blind approach and so it should be – shared ownership owners have the same aspirations, demands and expectations as a market sale buyer. What are your views on the housing market at the moment? The horizon has a tempest brewing. The media are good at talking up a recession, but we are seeing a concerning number of product withdrawals from the lenders and buyers who haven’t experienced 6% upwards interest rates in their lifetimes are becoming edgy.

20 QUESTIONS 106 First Time Buyer December 2022/January 2023
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