Having moved out of home for the first time in 2016, Ros Addai found herself living back with her parents in North London, like many others during the pandemic.
Keen to live independently again, in late 2020 Ros started looking into options to find her own place. She explains:
“I had moved back into my parents’ house in Holloway after three years in shared accommodation, but when it came to the end of lockdown, I was tired of privately renting and ready for my own space.”
Ros initially began her property hunt by exclusively searching for homes in the North London neighbourhoods close to where she had grown up and worked.
“I wanted to move somewhere that would allow me to still visit family easily with a good commute to the schools I work in as a Speech and Language Therapist, so I started viewing properties on the open market in Holloway, Walthamstow and Tottenham. Not only were the apartments pricey, but they were boxy and small and didn’t give me much hope for finding somewhere in my budget, that I’d actually want to live in. I started thinking that buying in London on my single income was totally out of reach.”
Coming across Share to Buy, an online portal for Shared Ownership, Ros discovered L&Q’s range of developments across London, and was intrigued how the part-buy, part-rent scheme opened up so many London Boroughs which previously were out of reach.
“As soon as I learnt that I could buy a percentage share of a property through Shared Ownership, I gained a new sense of hope for my property hunt. L&Q’s homes were nothing like the places I had been previously looking at – they were contemporary, with generous living spaces and bedrooms and lots of them even offered private outdoor space which was especially appealing.”
Navigating the LQHomes.com website, Ros came across Barking Riverside, a pioneering new East London neighbourhood, which seemed to offer everything on her tick list.
“Barking Riverside offered modern homes within a vibrant, new development with good transport links to East and North London – everything I wanted! When I went for my first viewing, I looked at four different one bedroom apartment layouts, which allowed me to choose my favourite design. Upon entering the show home, I quickly imagined myself entertaining with friends and family in the large, open-place living area and out on the balcony, which is really what sold me the apartment.”
Ros went on to buy a 40% share of a one bedroom apartment (FMV: £255,000) at Barking Riverside.
Part of one of Europe’s largest and most ambitious brownfield developments, the Barking Riverside site will ultimately deliver 10,000 homes alongside new commercial, retail and leisure facilities. Covering an impressive 443-acre site with 2km of south facing river frontage, a new network of footpaths and cycleways has been created throughout the development as well as new community spaces like The Wilds and The Rivergate Centre, with plans already underway for a new Health Hub to be delivered on site.
Speaking about her buying experience, Ros comments, “The whole process was extremely straightforward and the L&Q Sales team were so helpful – they answered all my questions and responded quickly. In the end, the buying process only took three months!”
Reflecting on her decision to buy at Barking Riverside, Ros says:
“For me, it was more than just the apartment that mattered. Barking Riverside is positioned right on the River Thames, with good existing transport routes, but with the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers service coming and new London Overground station opening in 2022, it seemed like the perfect time to invest in the area.”
Reserving her apartment on 10th August, Ros moved in just three months later in early November, setting up her own Instagram channel to document the process.
“I started a dedicated Instagram page on the day I reserved to share my journey with L&Q, including photos and videos of my new apartment and the furniture that I’m buying. I loved the idea of taking a blank canvas and making it into a full home and wanted to share the experience with everyone! I’ve discovered a whole network of people online who are all supporting my journey as a solo Shared Ownership buyer at Barking Riverside – they’ve seen everything from my floor plan and welcome box from L&Q to my new ironing board!”
Taking a walk around her new neighbourhood on her very first day at Barking Riverside, Ros began to imagine her new life in this exciting East London development.
“On my move-in day, I visited the new Barking Riverside coffee shop GROUNDED, which is a social enterprise run by other local people, and got chatting to the staff and residents in there. They all had really positive things to say about the area – I immediately knew I had made the right decision to buy here.”
Making the most of her half-term holiday to get settled and unpack, Ros explained how she’s found living at Barking Riverside so far.
“Barking Riverside has such a strong community feel, which I absolutely love. My neighbours and I have a Facebook group that we use to meet up for walks to explore the wildlife. Plus, the new ecology centre, The Wilds, has just opened with GROUNDED coffee shop, a new event space, and a lovely communal garden.”
With two months under her belt, Ros is already looking ahead to her future living at Barking Riverside.
“The great thing about Shared Ownership is that I have the option to buy a higher percentage of my home when I’m ready. I currently own a 40% share, but I’m hoping to staircase up to 60% after a couple of years, so this home is going to feel more and more like my own.”