Like many first-time buyers, Mehreen Faryad saw lockdown as the perfect time to start saving for a home. Before March 2020, life kept getting in the way, preventing Mehreen’s ability to save for a deposit. However, by saving for a year and focusing on her goal of moving out of her family home, Mehreen was ready to find her dream home just 12 months later.
Mehreen has gone from living at home in Mitcham with her mum and brother her whole life, to living just 10 minutes away at Catalyst’s development ‘The Switch’ in Wimbledon, after purchasing a 35% share of a one-bedroom apartment with a private terrace at The Switch.
Mehreen was well into her home search when she discovered The Switch, but as soon as she set eyes on her apartment, she knew it was meant to be.
Mehreen explains ‘I started my home search in April 2021, and I’d actually reserved a home in Croydon by May. I liked the home, and thought it was well suited to me, but due to unexpected delays I withdrew my reservation and started to look elsewhere. When I look back at the first home, I feel so lucky that my reservation fell through, as the day I visited The Switch I just knew it was the perfect place for me.’
Detailing her discovery of The Switch, Mehreen recalls ‘I’d started Googling again, trying to find somewhere local to my family that I could afford, when I spotted that Catalyst was delivering Shared Ownership in Wimbledon. My eyes instantly lit up – I was so excited to finally see the affordable housing scheme available exactly where I that was hoping to buy, and I booked an appointment immediately.’
Once Mehreen had her appointment booked, she wasted no time in touring the development and making her decision to reserve her home. She explains ‘I couldn’t believe my luck once I met with the sales team. We went to the show home to really get a feel for the homes, and I was then shown the floor plan of the apartment that was available. This was the last remaining home in this phase that had views across London and had a balcony and terrace, and I just knew it was the one for me. I decided to put the reservation down on the day along with my deposit, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.’
Explaining her certainty, Mehreen says ‘I’m a very spontaneous person, and I don’t believe in wasting time. I was so confident that this was going to be my home, so reserving on the day just felt right. I’d been searching for so long, and to come across The Switch, which had Shared Ownership, the perfect location and such incredible homes – I just couldn’t say no.’
Mehreen reserved her home at The Switch in November, and by January 2022 was settled into her new home. On her experience with Catalyst, Mehreen says ‘The Catalyst team were extremely helpful every step of the way. I found the whole process so smooth – it made me question how people can complain about the moving process when my whole experience was so simple. We didn’t face any issues, and to have the support from the sales team who oversaw my whole journey with the solicitors and mortgage team made me even more certain in my choice.’
She continues ‘The speed of the whole process amazed me too. Having experienced such lengthy delays earlier in the year, I was so pleased to have my mortgage approved in a week, and I completed a week after exchanging.’
Now that Mehreen has moved into her home, she details some of her favourite things about living at The Switch.
‘Obviously the location is incredible – I’m so close to Wimbledon and Tooting, and the transport options into London are great. If I had to choose a favourite part, alongside the living room and my bedroom, I’d have to say my terrace. As we head into the warmer months, I’m finishing up finding some furniture for out there, like a swing set and a hammock to relax on. No matter how long I’ve been here, I don’t think I’ll ever get over the view from my apartment – I can see the shard from here, which makes me feel so lucky.’
Mehreen recalls viewing the show home, and using this to inspire some of her interiors as well as benefitting from the integrated appliances within her apartment.
‘When we looked round the show home, I loved the curtains and mirrors and knew I’d want to incorporate some of the styling into my home. I also asked about the washing machine and dishwasher and was then told that all of this equipment would come included in my home, which was the icing on the cake. Now that I’m in and styling I’ve had lots of my friends over who have said I should get a job in interior design – but I couldn’t have done it without having such a lovely space to work with.’
The Switch proved a fantastic find for Mehreen, giving her the London lifestyle, she’s always enjoyed, at an affordable price.
Mehreen finishes, ‘I feel so happy and comfortable here. Shared Ownership has given me the opportunity to finally move out, but stay local to my family which I never thought I’d be able to afford. I’m excited to continue to settle into my new home, and maybe I’ll look into staircasing in the future!’