How a shared ownership apartment helped this couple prepare for life with a baby

After renting in Hackney for three years, Valeria Cecolin, a retail assistant, and her partner Khoan Minh Huynh, a delivery driver, learnt they were expecting
their first child.

Keen to find a permanent home, time was of the essence to get onto the property ladder.

‘Once we found out that we were expecting, we wanted more permanent roots for our growing family, but were worried that prices might be prohibitive,’ explains Valeria, who’s 27.

The couple came across L&Q early on in their property search, and found out about shared ownership through the housing association’s website.

Do the maths!

For a three-bed apartment at L&Q at Kidbrooke Village:

Full market value: £590,000

25% share: £147,500

10% deposit: £14,750

Rent: £774 pcm

Mortgage: approx. £596

Service charge: approx. £351

Monthly spend: approx. £1,721

‘We quickly realised it was best for us to buy in London, and L&Q had a great score on homeviews.com – a website where residents share reviews of where they live. This gave us reassurance to find a home with them.’

She and Khoan, who’s 38, scoured L&Q’s latest developments, looking for three-bed apartments within their budget. L&Q at Eastside Quarter in Bexley seemed the perfect match on paper.

‘The location was a major selling point,’ says Valeria. ‘We don’t have a car, so it was important to be close to good transport links.

‘We have Bexleyheath and Welling stations nearby, and a shopping centre, cinema and restaurants all just a few minutes’ walk away.

‘When I registered interest, L&Q called me straight away to arrange a viewing. We went down the next day to see the show home and reserved right there.’

The Development

L&Q at Eastside Quarter consists of one, two and three-bed shared ownership homes in the heart of Bexley, close to 200-acre Danson Park and only 30 minutes by train from London Bridge.

The latest phase has sold out but a new one launches soon and you can register your interest now.

If you can’t wait, one, two and three-bed shared ownership apartments are available at L&Q at Kidbrooke Village, also in south-east London.

One-beds start at £92,500 for a 25% share of £370,000 and three-beds – similar to Valeria’s and Khoan’s home – are from £147,500 for 25% of £590,000 from L&Q Homes.

They bought a 25% share in their three-bed apartment and although they were concerned that they wouldn’t complete before their baby arrived, they needn’t have worried.

‘Thanks to the responsive L&Q sales team who were aware that we were in a hurry, the whole process went incredible smoothly,’ says Valeria.

‘Right through from the initial phone call up until moving day, they were helpful and supported our application to make sure we could move in before the baby arrived.’

The pair reserved last April and moved into their home in July, just before their son, Vincenzo, was born, and couldn’t be more delighted with it.

‘When we were renting, we had a tiny kitchen, and now have a beautiful open-plan living area, which is such a sociable space and perfect for me to cook and watch the baby,’ beams Valeria.

‘All our appliances, like the fridge, oven and dishwasher, are brand new – it’s heaven! Through Shared Ownership, we could buy a three-bedroom home, which we never could have afforded on the open market.’

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