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Nicole Editor

The theme for New Homes Week this year is ‘Tomorrow Awaits: Make it Yours’. It looks at the lifestyle advantages of a new build home. Such as the increasing energy efficiency, relative simplicity of the buying process and the value for money new build homes offer.

38-year-old Peter had rented his whole life, but was ready to own a place of his own when he came to us in 2023. He’d hoped to buy in London but couldn’t afford to buy on the open market, so he started looking at alternative options.

Peter moved to the UK from Australia over 15 years ago and has rented ever since. He said: “Before buying my home, I was renting with a housemate in Notting Hill for six years – we were in a two-bedroom apartment and paying £1800 a month. My housemate was moving out, and at the same time, my landlord wanted to increase the rent. It’d have been a significant increase for me, and I just couldn’t afford to stay.

“I first looked at buying on the open market, but I didn’t have a big enough deposit. Rising house prices and mortgage rates meant it was totally out of budget. I started considering shared ownership as I’d heard this would be a more affordable way of buying somewhere. I went to look at some new developments around the corner, but I wasn’t that impressed – they only had one bedroom and were tiny.”

Peter purchased a 35% share of a two-bedroom apartment at The Uncommon, a Southern Housing development in Clapham. His total monthly repayments are now less than the average rental cost for a two-bed flat in the area.

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He explained what attracted him to his new home: “I used to live in Clapham and loved the area, so I looked at what was available there and found The Uncommon. It was perfect. It was much bigger than the other two-bedroom places I’d seen – about 70sqm – and it’s very close to The Common, which is a real selling point. At my first viewing I said to the sales team: ‘Sign me up! Take my deposit right now!’”

Speaking about the shared ownership process and his experience with Southern Housing, Peter said: “The whole process was smooth - it took two months from my first appointment to completion. The Southern team were great throughout. Alex was really helpful and was available to answer all of my questions (and I had lots!) – he really guided me through it all.”

Now happily settled, Peter told us what he likes about his new home: “I’m very happy to be here. I took my time moving in – I spent some time painting, decorating, moving my belongings over slowly, and ordering new furniture. I feel settled now. I love being close to a park, close to Clapham High Street which is full of restaurants, bars and shops. I’ve also met my neighbours, which has been great.”

Peter is now enjoying the perks of being a homeowner, and said: “I think the biggest thing about owning a home for me is the freedom to decorate, and really feeling like it’s your own place. I’ve lived in rental accommodation all my life, and its so nice now to just have my own furniture and all my own stuff. I even have my own mattress now!

“I want to staircase as quickly as possible. I’ve already started my overpayments, and I plan to get up to 100% as soon as I can. I’ll definitely be here long-term.”

He concluded: “I’m looking forward to not carting things from flat to flat and jumping around rental properties. No more moving for me for a while!”

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