Young Couple are Kings of their Castle with London Help to Buy
The average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is now 30 years old, while in London the regional average is even higher, at 32, according to the latest Halifax First Time Buyer Review. Bucking the trend, young couple Brooke French (24) and Lewis Taaffe (25), recently purchased their first home together at Countryside’s Kings Park development in Harold Wood, in the northeast London Borough of Havering, using the Government-backed London Help to Buy scheme.
Brooke says: “We’ve been together for five years, but were both still living with our parents. We had talked about moving in together and although we weren’t in any real hurry to move, we just hadn’t seen anything that we liked. A work colleague recommended Kings Park and suggested we go and have a look. My mum and sister went together initially and fell in love with it, then Lewis and I went and we did too. My sister liked it so much that she has also bought an apartment here!”
The Westbrook Apartments at Kings Park comprise luxurious one, two and three-bedroom apartments finished to an exceptional standard. Boasting a beautiful parkland setting, with tree-line avenues and green open spaces, Kings Park feels a million miles from central London, despite being less than half an hour by train from London Liverpool Street.
She continues: “It ticked all the boxes for us. The location is perfect - we wanted to be close to friends and family, and we know a lot of people who live in the area. It’s right next to Harold Wood station, so it’s really easy for me to get to work next to Brentwood station. Lewis currently drives to work in Harlow, but being so close to the train station means that he has the option of working in London in the future, especially when Crossrail comes in 2019 and makes the journey times even faster.”
Lewis adds: “The apartment itself is exactly what we were looking for. We definitely wanted something modern, as I’m not good at DIY, so being able to just move in without having to redecorate of fix anything was really important to us. Everything about our new home is lovely; the kitchen is exactly what we wanted, and the bathroom looks more like a hotel bathroom, with amazing big mirrors.”
He continues: “The Help to Buy scheme was really great for us. We already had a fair amount of savings, but we then had another nine months to save up a bit more, and only needed a £19,000 deposit. This has meant we have more money left over for other things, like furniture, which has been really nice and made the process much less stressful. We could also now afford a two-bedroom apartment, which means that Brooke has lots of space for all her clothes!”
The apartments at Kings Park enjoy an impressive specification, with contemporary white gloss kitchens featuring integrated fridge freezers and dishwashers provided as standard. A washer/dryer is also installed in one of the spacious storage cupboards and flooring is provided throughout the homes. The bathrooms are fitted with stylish white sanitary ware, mirror, chrome accessories and cream ceramic tiles to floors and walls.
Kings Park is within easy walking distance of a great range of local amenities, including a Post Office, supermarket, bakery and restaurant. Nearby Brentwood is home to a wider selection of bars and eateries, high street and independent boutiques, while for even greater choice, Romford is just a three-mile drive away, offering a vast array of nightlife, two multiplex cinemas, a wide range of restaurants, historic market and bustling Liberty Shopping Centre.
Commuters will be well placed at Kings Park, with Harold Wood station just a short walk away, providing quick and easy journeys into Central London, with Crossrail reducing journey times by up to 19 minutes when is launches. By road, Kings Park has easy access to the A12, A127 and M25 for fast connections into and around London, Kent and Essex, with easy access to the M11 for travel to Hertfordshire and Cambridge.