Having met in the staff room at work just one year before they decided to buy a first home together, good friends Emma (25 years old) and Rebecca (30 years old) have recently moved into a spacious two-bedroom apartment at Liberty Wharf in Alperton. Emma explains: “It was just before the start of the first lockdown, we got on instantly and quickly realised that it could be a fantastic opportunity to get onto the property ladder. We were both frustrated to still be living with our parents and buying individually was going to be a stretch.”
Taking matters into their own hands, the two friends, who both work as croupiers in a London casino and were living at home with their families in Kent and Essex, began their search in August 2020. Rebecca adds: “We had both been saving but didn’t have enough for a deposit on our own and did not want to waste money on rent. Here at Liberty Wharf, we pay less than we would if we were renting in London, even with the bills and service charge. Shared Ownership was a great option for us as it was proving impossible to do it alone. Using the scheme also meant we could hold back a cushion within our savings which we were really thankful for, especially when lockdown happened and we were furloughed.”
In order to bulk up their savings, the friends temporarily cut back on their Zara online deliveries. Once they were in their new home, although they had to be extra careful with their money due to furlough, the situation did bring some silver lining as they were able to spend time making their new place into a home. Emma adds; “If we’d been working full-time we’d still be living out of boxes. We’d have missed all of our home deliveries and there is no way we would have managed to furnish the place between our shifts.”
When choosing their home, it boiled down to two priorities for Rebecca and Emma; location and bedroom sizes. Sharing the home together meant they needed equal sized bedrooms and a bathroom each and they also wanted a reasonable commute. Rebecca explains: “Being in Kent or Essex would have meant very expensive train fares and petrol bills. Here we can whizz straight to work on the Piccadilly Line in about 30 minutes or drive to work in just 25 minutes.” They also found that most two-bedroom homes have large master bedrooms and much smaller second bedrooms. However, at Liberty Wharf they found two equal sized rooms and also two parking spaces, making it an ideal choice for their situation.
With Brent Cross and Westfield both short car journeys away, Rebecca and Emma are making the most of the shops once again and lockdown gave them time to familiarise themselves with Alperton and its surroundings. “We began researching options in October 2020 and moved in in March 2021. We were kept busy in lockdown, putting flat pack furniture together and getting to know the area. We love walking and running down The Grand Union Canal which runs right in front of the development. There’s always something of interest here; the pretty barges and long boats that pass through are wonderful.”
The friends bought 25% of their property, contributing £10,000 each. Rebecca concludes: “It’s quite strange that we haven’t known each other very long, but it works brilliantly. We’re enjoying having our own place to call home and we have different days off as well as lives outside of work, which means there’s always plenty to chat about when we’re at home at the same time.”
Emma and Rebecca purchased a two-bedroom home at Liberty Wharf, by Clarion Housing. Prices at Liberty Wharf start at £83,250 for a 25% share of a one-bedroom apartment priced at £333,000. For more information or to arrange a viewing please visit www.liberty-wharf.co.uk or call 0300 100 0309.