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First time buyer: ‘I found my new home on Instagram!’

AFTER a two-year search, Hadden White, who’s 28, can’t wait to quit his house share in Tooting and move into his own apartment at Apt Living’s Kew Bridge development. His criteria was very clear: he was looking for a high-quality home offering London Help to Buy and with room to hang his large collection of suits. But he’d visited many schemes, which he found disappointing.

‘I used to live in west London and had my heart set on the location but couldn’t find anything to buy to fit my budget,’ he explains. ‘Everything was rather small and the quality of builds did not seem up to scratch.

‘The majority of apartments I saw did not even have space for a wardrobe. Having worked in the tailoring industry for six years, you build up quite a selection of suits so storage space was really important to me.’

Stylish: Hadden, top, was impressed by the clever layout of Apt Living Kew Bridge

Hadden continued his search across London until he stumbled across Apt Living while scrolling through Instagram. The stylish compact apartments maximise the square footage by reducing wide hallways and any other area not used on a daily basis, and feature floor-to-ceiling windows.

‘I immediately loved the simplistic design as the apartments seemed really well laid out, so I booked my viewing the following weekend and was impressed by the space and use of storage,’ he adds.

His one-bed, second-floor flat cost £325,000 and he’s taken advantage of London Help to Buy, which reduces the costs of home ownership by providing a loan of up to 40 per cent of the purchase price.

It is available on selected new builds costing £600,000 or less, which buyers can secure with a five per cent deposit.

The loan is interest-free for five years and enables them to access much better mortgage deals than when borrowing a bigger proportion of the property’s value.

This initiative is currently offered to both new and existing buyers, but outside London the maximum loan is 20 per cent. However, from April 2021 it’s being restricted to first-time buyers only, and regional price caps take effect. Not only will Hadden make savings when comparing his mortgage with the cost of renting, but he’ll have access to an on-site gym so won’t have to fork out for separate membership.

‘I am excited to be moving in later this year and making use of the communal spaces and meeting the neighbours,’ he says.

‘There is bound to be lots of community spirit here with all the amenity space on offer.

‘I never thought I would be able to afford this side of London and after a busy day at work, I will be looking forward to getting home without a long commute, in my preferred location away from the bustle.’

Do the maths

Purchase price (for a similar one-bed flat): £325,000

5% deposit: £16,250

40% London Help to Buy loan: £130,000

Estimated mortgage: £722pcm

Service charge: £158pcm

Total monthly spend: £880