24 year-old first-time buyer steps on the property ladder at Rochester Riverside
With the average age of a first-time homeowner now 33, young first-time buyers like Nadia Mitchell, who purchased her first home at Rochester Riverside aged just 24, are rare.
Buying at the £419m waterside development by mixed-tenure developer Countryside and Hyde, was no coincidence for Nadia though. She fell in love with Rochester thanks to her sister who was the first in her family to lay roots at the development, and after getting a job working in property in the area a year ago, her fate was sealed. After no longer wanting to commute from London, Nadia started saving hard, utilised the Help to Buy scheme and got some additional support from her parents to step onto the property ladder. Eventually, a one-bedroom apartment overlooking Rochester Castle and Cathedral became her first home.
Nadia said: “I’ve always been very independent, so purchasing my own home was something I’ve wanted to do for ages. I spent the last 11 months saving from my salary, and when the opportunity came to work in Rochester, thanks to Help to Buy and help from my parents, it was a no brainer to purchase my first home here! With my sister being here as well, it was a bonus, as I already knew the development from coming to visit her and now I get to have my family on my doorstep.”
Having previously rented a two-bedroom apartment in South Woodford, east London, Nadia worked out that she would not only be paying less each month for a mortgage, but also benefit from owning her own property in a location she loves without having to compromise on her lifestyle. The development, located within a three-minute walk from the train station, offers frequent services to London St Pancras and London Victoria within 30 minutes.
“I love London. I grew up and went to university there, but I was spending £650 a month on rent with bills on top. Now, I only have to worry about my mortgage which is £550 and my bills are a lot less, too.”
“I still live the same life I lived in London except I now own my property in a beautiful location. I’m only a little over a half-hour train away from London which means I can still do everything I used to do, like meet my friends at Westfield, go shopping and go out in Shoreditch,” Nadia added.
Nadia is also making the most of Rochester Riverside’s location – moments from the River Medway, surrounded by wildlife. There are a number of walking paths, and residents can make the most of the historic castle, stunning cathedral and town centre with a range of independent shops and amenities nearby.
“I’ve always been a big outdoors person so being able to walk along the river every day is amazing. The water makes everything seem so peaceful, and there are so many different types of wildlife, like seals and swans. Living in the midst of history and yet having access to all the conveniences of modern life makes this a perfect location to live.”
“For me, I have really lucked out as my apartment overlooks Rochester Castle and Cathedral, so I get to wake up to amazing views every morning and watch the sun go down from my balcony every night,” Nadia added.
To add to the existing infrastructure, Rochester Riverside has just opened an on-site Co-op supermarket, Travelodge and Costa Coffee. Over the next 12 years, Countryside and Hyde will create a play area and 2.5km river walkway, in addition to providing new homes by unlocking what used to be an industrial site along the River Medway.