With the number of people using the London underground at an all-time high, it's not surprising that potential house hunters are looking for places to live where they can easily access work and leisure activities by bike or on foot.
One such purchaser is Jack (26), who recently purchased a one-bedroom apartment at East Thames' Fondant Court in Bow. Jack, who works as a project manager at a software company in Bank, was renting from a friend in Mile End but was keen to have his own space.
Jack comments, "I really enjoyed living with my friend but was eager to have my own property. I could see my rent every month being used to pay off my friend's mortgage and I was wanted to invest in something for myself. I had looked several years before, but didn't have the salary at the time to be able to afford anything."
"I started researching what I could afford and the only properties in my price range were further out than I wanted to live in Ilford, so I started to explore the option of Shared Ownership. I had already heard about Shared Ownership and decided that this would allow me to still remain in London and get a better property for my money. I was also keen to stay in East London as I had friends close by and am able to run or cycle to work and not rely on public transport."
"I looked at quite a few properties in East London, but a lot were on the ground floor and I was interested in living higher up. I then found out about East Thames' Fondant Court. It was just what I was looking for, with a spacious open plan kitchen and living area and a decent sized bedroom. It was also on the fourteenth floor."
"The East Thames team were really helpful and talked me through all the options and how Shared Ownership would work with my rent and mortgage. All the costs were laid out and it was obvious from the start what I would have to pay out each month."
Jack purchased a 50% share of his apartment for £155,000, with rent payable on the remaining equity. The full market value of the property is £310,000.
Jack continues, "The apartment is just what I was looking for. I don't have to use public transport and it takes me half an hour to run to work or 15 minutes to cycle. I am also close to Hackney Wick and lots of other interesting places nearby."
"I would highly recommend Shared Ownership. It has allowed me to get on the property ladder and I feel like I am now putting money into a long term investment. My plan is to buy more shares in the property as soon as I can."
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.