With buying a house on the list as one of the most stressful things to do in life, purchasing through Shared Ownership has been relatively stress-free and easy for 27-year-old Claire Harvey.
Claire, a speech and language therapist, from Nottingham who moved to London five years ago explains, "After I moved to London I lived in a number of house shares in the private rental sector. I really loved East London and decided to start looking at the option of buying somewhere myself. I had heard about Shared Ownership in the past and knew people who had bought through it, but it was never something I had previously considered.
"In January I decided to register with the Government Share to Buy website and also with various Housing Associations including East Thames. Some of the websites also had really useful calculators which worked out what you could afford to buy against your salary and amount of deposit.
"I came across East Thames' Fondant Court development in Bow. I didn't know Bow but really wanted to stay in East London as I love the buzz of the area. I arranged for a viewing and met an East Thames sales advisor at the apartment who showed me around and answered all my questions. I really liked the feel of the apartment and it was just what I was looking for. The views from the balcony were amazing with The Millennium Dome and the cable cars at Greenwich, whilst I could see the Olympic Stadium through the bedroom window."
Claire purchased a 30% share of her apartment for £93,000, with rent payable on the remaining equity. The full market value of the property is £310,000.
"The whole process of buying through East Thames was really easy and straight forward. Once I had my apartment allocated I was put in touch with Sunny, who kept in touch with me throughout the whole time and answered all my queries straight away. It was really reassuring, particularly when it can be quite daunting when purchasing your first home.
"I am really pleased with the apartment and love the area. I can reach Westfield in Stratford in 10 minutes and I love running and cycling along the canal tow paths, I even cycle to work. There is also a lot of new bars and restaurants appearing along the canal. It's a really exciting time to be living in East London."
Fondant Court is located in the Zone Two area of Bow and features one and two bedroom apartments as part of the Taylor Place development. The apartments are pre-owned Shared Ownership homes, which are available to people living or working anywhere in London, giving much greater freedom and choice. The development is built around a former chocolate factory and retains some of its characters. The communal courtyard features an artist's sculpture and is home to artists' work studios, creating a sense of community and atmosphere.