Born and bred in North London, Stephen had spent a few years living at home with his parents in Cricklewood when a change in his circumstances made him realise it was time to find a place of his own.
As he explains, “I recently got engaged and when that happened, I knew I didn’t want to be living with my parents anymore! I had started looking at homeownership options a few years ago, but it wasn’t a priority for me. Last year, my fiancé and I did a lot of travelling and I started a part-time university course and was really focusing on my career. Having recently moved into consultancy, my financial situation began to improve and this year I felt ready to settle down, find a property of my own and begin properly planning for the future.”
Searching online for homes in North London, Stephen was eager to find somewhere close to friends and family, and within easy reach of his partner’s flat in Angel.
“It was really all about the location,” Stephen says. “I used the first-time buyer portal Share to Buy as well as RightMove and Zoopla to find Shared Ownership developments in my desired neighbourhoods. I knew about the scheme as my sister bought a Shared Ownership home in Circklewood, so I knew it would be a good option for me to step onto the property ladder with a lower deposit.”
Stephen came across Harrow and Wealdstone Heights by Origin Housing, a new build development in the heart of Harrow, that ticked his boxes.
He comments, “Harrow and Wealdstone Heights is located right next to the station which was very important to me – there are Overground services which take me straight to my office in Euston, and I can reach my university in Elephant and Castle directly via the Bakerloo Line. It was incredibly appealing to know I could have a newbuild apartment, that wouldn’t need fixing up, in a well-connected North London neighbourhood close to a buzzing high street.”
Having been approved for Shared Ownership and attended a viewing at Harrow and Wealdstone Heights, Stephen went on to reserve a 25% share of a two-bedroom apartment for £108,750.
Reflecting on his first-time buyer journey, Stephen recalls, “The process was straightforward. Sandrine and Julian from the Origin Housing team were really helpful and friendly and took the time to answer my questions and support me throughout my application.”
Since completing on his home at the end of September 2023, Stephen has relocated to Harrow; he describes how he’s found life there so far. “It was time to say goodbye to the last of the good cooking at mum and dad’s house and make the move! I’m still getting to know the area, but I have a couple of friends who live in Harrow who have given me restaurant recommendations and the proximity to the shops and high street from the development is even better than I had thought.
“The layout of the apartment itself works really well – it’s spacious and I’ve got a big balcony which feels like an extra living space. I’ve also bought new furniture with a minimalist look. At the moment, all our money is going towards the wedding next February, so I might upgrade down the line, but for now, it’s just great to have a home that I’ve been able to make my own. Plus, having two bedrooms has allowed me to future-proof if we ever have a family.”
As well as planning a wedding for 2024, Stephen is already setting future goals for his homeownership journey. “I’d definitely like to staircase after a couple of years. I have one year left of my university degree and then I will be in a better financial position to start saving again. Ideally, I would own 100% of my home eventually.”
“I had a really positive experience finding my Shared Ownership home with Origin and I’m excited for the future. There is lots of development happening in Harrow and it feels like an exciting time to be moving here – I’m looking forward to the future and life here.”
Harrow and Wealdstone Heights – prices starting from £81,250 for a 25% share of a one-bedroom apartment (full market value: £325,000).
For more information, visit Harrow & Wealdstone Heights – WordPress on Azure (originhousingsales.co.uk).