A spare room for a home studio achievable through Shared Ownership

Self-employed Graphic Designer, Roopa Rajapaksha, and her husband Indika Rajapaksha, had been renting in Wandsworth for 13 years and were keen to get on to property ladder in the area.

Prioritising location, and an all important second bedroom which could double up as a home studio, Roopa and Indika soon realised Shared Ownership was the best option for them.

Roopa comments, “We couldn’t say goodbye to Wandsworth, it’s our home, and having a second bedroom was a non-negotiable. However there was no way we could afford a two bedroom apartment in the area if we bought on the open market. Shared Ownership was the perfect alternative.”

Roopa and Indika purchased a 25% share of a two-bedroom apartment at Wandsworth Exchange, L&Q’s new collection of one to three bedroom apartments in the heart of the leafy South West London neighbourhood.

Reserving off-plan in March 2020 after viewing the show home, Roopa and Indika were confident in their purchase right from the start.

“We visited the show apartment and were immediately stunned at the spec. It was leaps above competitors in the area – the doors and handles were thicker, the flooring was better quality and the kitchen was stylish and durable. We couldn’t believe this spec was all included as standard in a Shared Ownership home.”

Now they are well settled into the home, they have fallen in love with their apartment.

“We love everything about our home! I used to study architecture so know what to look out for in property design. It has really struck me how well designed our home is, from the floor to ceiling windows and balcony, to the internal layout. It really maximises on sunlight, so even on a grey day, our home feels bright and airy.”

Designed by award winning architects Boon Brown, Wandsworth Exchange is a collection of 172 one, two and three bedroom new homes on Wandsworth High Street – offering homes for Shared Ownership and Private Rent. Alongside the new homes, the development feature retail and commercial units on the ground floor – including a brand new public library and B&Q.

Roopa and Indikas’ second bedroom has proven even more useful over the past year than they had initially anticipated.

Roopa mentions, “My new home studio is absolutely perfect – it’s a really inviting space to work in, and just what I need from a home office. There’s ample space for all my equipment, alongside a bed for when guests come to stay. Shared Ownership made this dream a possibility, giving us the financial flexibility to get a second bedroom.”

Having lived in the area for so long, Roopa and Indika knew exactly what they wanted in terms of location.

“Wandsworth Exchange couldn’t be in a better position – it’s opposite Southside Shopping Centre, a 10 minute walk from Wandsworth Town station, and has fantastic links to Clapham and Putney. You can basically get the bus to anywhere in London, right from our doorstep!’

“There’s fantastic green space nearby too – King George’s Park and Wandsworth Common are both less than 10 minutes away. We can also easily walk to the Thames for a stroll along the river.”

Initially, Roopa and Indika were unsure if they would be eligible for Shared Ownership, however it turned out to be the perfect option.

“When we first looked into Shared Ownership almost 15 years earlier, we were told we weren’t eligible as we had been self-employed for fewer than 3 years. However, the scheme has clearly advanced a lot since then, and we were really happy to find out that this wasn’t a problem when we came to buy at Wandsworth Exchange.  As we are self-employed, coupled with the onset of the pandemic soon after reserving the flat, it took a little longer to secure our mortgage than we were expecting. However, Jhon from L&Q was amazingly understanding, and was always on hand for support.”

Speaking about their experience with Shared Ownership, Roopa and Indika have become keen ambassadors for the scheme.

“We would definitely recommend Shared Ownership to friends. It was the only way we could get on to the the ladder in London, and buy the high quality, spacious home of our dreams. Looking to the future, we hope to staircase until we own our home outright.”