Londoners pay a premium of up to £245 per square metre for the privilege of living near parks and access to outdoor space, according to independent London estate agents Benham and Reeves. Purchasers wanting to reap the rewards of a healthy, active lifestyle should look to follow in the footsteps of first-time buyers Christopher Knowlton (33) and James Yardley (28). Using Notting Hill Genesis’ Shared Ownership scheme, Christopher and James successfully managed to secure a two-bedroom apartment at New Garden Quarter, E15, just a mile away from one of the largest and most popular green spaces in the capital.

Enjoying a central location in Stratford, just a short walk away from over 200 acres of green space at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where Christopher works, the couple decided New Garden Quarter offered the ideal place to embark on their homeownership journey. Having rented a one-bedroom apartment in nearby Bethnal Green, the pair seized the opportunity to purchase a new home that delivered greater space and a very generous wrap-around terrace. By using the Shared Ownership scheme, Christopher and James found an affordable way to stay in this fantastic London location.

Discussing their day-to-day life, Christopher noted: “We both really enjoy running and living in Stratford offers us close proximity to the Olympic Park where we can choose from a great variety of pathways, we love the canal which runs to Canary Wharf and from the Hackney marshes to Victoria Park. The amount of fantastic outdoor space in the area is quite surprising, it is such a bonus for us, there is a great choice of trails we can enjoy, especially when the sun is shining”. Regarding their journey to find their home, Christopher explained: “James and I had been living together for about a year and a half and we had been saving for what seemed like forever. We were keen to move out from our small, rented flat in Bethnal Green so we started to have a look around at possible homes across London. We didn’t want to move west, and as we are more familiar with the East London area, we wanted to stay local to where we were already living. When we went to visit New Garden Quarter, the quality and layout of the spacious, light-filled apartments really struck a chord with us and these two factors did seal the deal”.

Stratford enjoys the legacy of the London Olympics in 2012, where the Olympic Park has continued to thrive as a destination for locals and visitors to enjoy.  Boasting 110 acres of green open spaces, various sporting venues including the Aquatics Centre, the London Stadium, Velodrome and the Copper Box Arena, the park is host to a selection of fantastic facilities, both indoors and out. Just a ten-minute bike ride away is the oldest park in London – Victoria Park, this beautiful green public space is the perfect location for recreation and relaxation.

Christopher concludes: “James and I are really looking forward to making this apartment our home, and Shared Ownership was definitely the only way we could have been able to stay in our preferred London location and get on the property ladder. The Notting Hill Genesis sales team have been great, they made the whole process smooth and streamlined for us, and they were a very helpful and friendly team. We are thrilled with our new home! We really wanted some outdoor space, and they told us about this great apartment with a wraparound terrace that has the same square footage as the space inside! This coupled with how bright and light the apartment is, makes New Garden Quarter our perfect fit”.

Shared Ownership offers purchasers at New Garden Quarter the opportunity to buy a share of a home, between 25% and 75% of its full market value, while paying a subsidised rent on the remaining share. The scheme enables purchasers to only have to save for a deposit on the share they’ve bought rather than the full market value, therefore, a much more cost-effective and achievable way to become homeowners. As and when they can afford to, purchasers can increase their share at any time, all the way up to 100% and outright ownership.

Christopher and James purchased a 25% share in their two-bedroom apartment. Prices at New Garden Quarter start at £420,000. Shared Ownership gives potential home buyers, who would not otherwise be able to afford a suitable home to own, an opportunity to purchase a share in a new or resale home. For more information, please call 020 3815 2222 or visit