First time buyers, Lloyd and Olivia find their dream home at Beam Park
Husband and wife put down roots at Beam Park
Married couple Lloyd and Olivia Connors have bought their first home at Beam Park, Countryside’s new development in Rainham, which enabled them to trade a rented apartment for their own three-bedroom house. Lloyd, 38, a head of IT and Olivia, 35, a treasury analyst, have bought in the first phase of Beam Park, a former Ford manufacturing plant which is being transformed into a 3,000-home community, complete with its own train station, two schools, retail spaces, parks and community facilities.
Thanks to government initiatives like Help to Buy, which provides an interest-free loan of 40% of the purchase price, Lloyd and Olivia were able to purchase a three-bedroom house for £495,000 at Beam Park. Lloyd commented: “Realistically, we probably wouldn’t have been able to buy without Help to Buy. While we perhaps could have bought a small flat somewhere, this has meant we can have a spacious family house as our first home. We did the maths and realised you can’t get a 1,030 sq ft house in London for this price anywhere else. Our mortgage costs will essentially be the same as what we were spending on rent, except now we have a house – suddenly it all became a bit of a no-brainer”.
Lloyd had previously been renting in Balham for seven years, while Olivia lived in Newham for four years. Lloyd said: “At the end of the day, we were priced out of Balham. I love the place, but we could never have afforded to buy a house there. What’s more, the green space is limited, whereas you’re a lot closer to the countryside at Beam Park.”
Lloyd and Olivia were one of the first customers to reserve at Beam Park: “We were in the area and so decided to pop in and view the show homes, and we liked it straight away. I probably would have said yes to anywhere, but Olivia saw it and said ‘it’s awesome.’ I thought we’d have to see 20 or 30 houses before Olivia liked one of them, so we went home and reserved straight away! It turns out that was a week after the opening weekend, so we inadvertently had the pick of the bunch,” commented Lloyd.
Having reserved their new home, Lloyd discovered previously unknown family links with the area: “We only found out after reserving, but it turns out I’ve actually got 400 years of family history in East London/Dagenham. My grandad and great-grandad both worked at Ford Dagenham, and my grandad was born just up the road from our new home!”
With the covid-19 pandemic meaning that both Lloyd and Olivia are spending more time at home, Lloyd observed: “It’s been quite hard to co-exist and work from home since Olivia moved in as it’s quite a small apartment, so we’re definitely looking forward to the new house! In the new home we’ll have three bedrooms and a dressing room, as well as our own garden, so we can’t wait”.
Buying in the first phase of a 3,000-home development didn’t faze the couple either. Lloyd commented: “This will be our family home for the next 10 or 15 years and so we were more than happy to buy at the start of the regeneration. I work in the property industry, so I know the architects that have been engaged at Beam Park and this gives me huge confidence in the masterplan and placemaking. If it looks like the plans, it really will be amazing! There’s loads of green space and cycle routes which were important to us and a big part of the decision to buy. Furthermore, having spent most of our lives in Taipei and London, we want to live in a multicultural area. Having seen the plans and the range of tenures and homes being created, we’re confident it’ll have the strong community feel that we’re after.”
Olivia’s regular place of work is Fenchurch Street in London, where trains on the c2c line from the future Beam Park station will terminate. Lloyd works in Lambeth and so plans to commute by bike: “I’m a cyclist so I actually want some sort of commute in order to get my exercise in, and Beam Park is perfect in that regard. As well as the cycle routes planned for the development, we found plenty in the local area too – including one which takes you all the way into London on a cycle path! The road links are also great, as the development has immediate access to the A13, meaning I can easily get onto the M25 or visit my family in Essex.”
Lloyd was extremely positive about the customer journey: “I can’t fault Countryside – the whole process was easier and smoother than I expected it would be. In the property industry I’ve seen all types, but you can see why they’re a 5-star housebuilder.”
One-bedroom apartments at Beam Park are available from £240,000, two-bedroom apartments from £350,000 and three-bedroom duplexes from £430,000. Help to Buy is available on selected plots.
Beam Park is located on Cortina Drive, Rainham, Essex, RM13 8DH. The marketing suite is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm. For more information, call Countryside on 020 3733 1592 or visit www.beampark.com