Project manager Toni Popova (25) and her boyfriend Jack Moorcroft (27) have Help to Buy to thank for enabling them to get on the property ladder for the first time and realising their dream of sharing an Inspired Home together in up and coming Croydon.
Until now, Toni has been living at home rent-free with her parents in Chislehurst, allowing her to save a deposit for her first property. Jack, who lives in South Norwood, set up his own building company in 2015, making it difficult for him to get a mortgage as lenders typically need a minimum of three year’s accounts, something he doesn’t have.
But when Help to Buy London was launched by the government on the 1st February 2016, it provided the perfect opportunity for Toni to push ahead with her plans to buy much sooner than expected as she could afford to buy based on her salary alone. She is taking out a mortgage of £145,000, and expects to pay monthly repayments of around £650-£700/month plus bills, which is significantly less than the £1,000-£1,500 per month average rent in Croydon*
Explains Toni: “We’ve been saving for about a year with the intention of getting on the property ladder by the end of 2016; we’ve managed to pull together a deposit of £27,000 which includes financial contributions from our families. When we heard the government was extending the Help to Buy scheme to Greater London and increasing their contribution to 40%, we realised we could be in our own place much sooner than expected. But we knew we’d have to act quickly in order not to be priced out of Croydon where demand is high and where house prices are rising very quickly.”
They focused their search on Croydon – which is currently benefitting from a multi-billion pound regeneration programme – as they had both grown up there and were very familiar with the area already. And because of Croydon’s excellent transport links, being able to get into Central London where Toni works within 20 minutes was a huge selling point.
“We’ve had our sights set on Croydon for some time because of the convenient links and fast growth. And I have to admit that the new Westfield development which is expected to open there in 2020 was also a deciding factor, because we know our investment will grow faster than some other areas local to us.”
An Inspired Home
Toni is buying a one-bedroom flat in Inspired Homes’ Canius House development which offers a total of 39 one and two bedroom apartments right in the heart of Croydon. As well as benefitting from a range of high spec, high tech fixtures and fittings such as hardwood flooring, Bosch kitchen appliances and 1 Gig hyperoptic broadband, residents will have privileged access to a 10th floor ‘sky garden’ and BBQ, table tennis and WIFI-ready resident’s lounge in neighbouring Inspired Homes’ development Green Dragon House.
“We’ve had our eye on several of Inspired Homes’ properties for some time and as soon as we were in a position to buy we contacted them straight away as we knew there’d be a huge surge in interest, so didn’t want to wait any longer and potentially miss out.
“We consider ourselves very lucky to be in a position to be able to get one of Inspired Homes’ developments off plan. We love the high spec finishes and communal areas – it’s nice to know there’s a community feeling in an apartment development, something we assumed would be missing. We’re super excited to build our first home together in an Inspired Home.”
*We strongly recommend you consult a financial advisor when applying for Help to Buy