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Malcolm, 37, and his girlfriend Morgan Levick, 29, are celebrating after reserving a spacious, two-bedroom apartment at Countryside and L&Q’s Acton Gardens development in west London.
Malcolm, a first responder manager for London’s Ambulance Service first met his partner, Australian flight attendant, Morgan, when they were renting rooms in a shared property. For the past three years they have been sharing a double room in a house-share with five other people in Hammersmith while saving up for their own property.
At first, the pair only viewed one-bedroom flats because they didn’t believe they could afford anything bigger; first viewing a one-bedroom property at Acton Gardens in June 2015, following a recommendation from a friend. After looking at other properties around London they realised they wanted to own a new build and were surprised to find out they could afford a two-bedroom apartment with the Help to Buy scheme, if they waited a little while longer.
Malcolm, originally from Ireland, comments: “I came to London 10 years ago to train as a paramedic. I have always wanted to own my own home but with the price of property in London, I knew I had to start saving for a deposit. I began putting money away eight years ago and I recently finished my last overtime shift after two years of working six day shifts and now my plans are coming to fruition.
“We could have perhaps moved to the outskirts of London but we really wanted to be in the middle of everything. We love the area of Acton; Chiswick is not too far away and the area is going through massive regeneration.”
Malcolm and Morgan have now reserved a fifth floor, two-bedroom apartment at the vibrant new Station Square apartment, after three viewings. Malcolm explains: “A new build was our preference. We thought that Acton Gardens made the best use of space for the right price in a London location. With the two-bedroom property we can look forward to having guests over to stay and of course have the space for any family plans in the future.”
Malcolm and Morgan have bought their apartment for £551,000 and with the 20 percent Help to Buy scheme the government interest-free loan is £110,200. The couple have had to find an additional £105,000 towards the deposit, which they managed to pull together with their combined savings and a gift from a family member. The minimum five percent deposit for the Help to Buy scheme was raised for Malcolm to 19% by his lenders in order to secure the purchase.
Malcolm continues: “Countryside was incredibly helpful and put us in touch with a financial advisor so we could work out what we needed for a deposit. The mortgage was agreed in December and we should move in by September this year, which will give us some more time to save. We have been sharing for a very long time and we are really ready for our own space now.
“Without the Help to Buy scheme we definitely would have not been able to afford a two-bedroom property. We did look at other schemes, such as shared ownership, but we really wanted to own our property outright.”
Morgan adds: “We are so delighted and fortunate that there is a scheme such as the Help to Buy, that has enabled us to purchase one of the apartments at Acton Gardens.
“We like the fact it is close to Chiswick and Turnham Green, both only a 15-minute stroll away and the rest of the redevelopment that’s in place for Acton is going to make an even more lush area to live in, in a matter of years.
“Besides from the apartment being exactly what we want in terms of size and specification, transport links are really convenient too and there’s plenty of park areas, local shops, pubs and restaurants too. There is such a great community feel to the area too which is often hard to find in London.”
Acton Gardens is the regeneration of the former South Acton Estate, which over the next 10 years will evolve into a new urban village including 2,850 new homes around a series of parks, squares and communal gardens. Green open space plays a vital role at Acton Gardens, with tree-lined streets designed around a series of parks, squares and communal gardens, featuring extensive landscaping, play areas and allotments. With excellent transport connections, Acton Gardens is located within a short walk of Acton Town underground station providing Piccadilly and District Line services into the West End and the City. It is also close to Acton main line station, which will benefit from becoming a station on the Crossrail line when it opens in 2019.
Nearby Chiswick High Street offers an exciting range of designer boutiques, good pubs and restaurants, whilst the Westfield regional shopping centre at White City is only 20 minutes away by tube. For sports enthusiasts, golf is available at Old Deer Park, pitch and putt at Gunnersbury Park and tennis in Acton Park.
Two-bedroom apartments are priced from £542,500. For further information, visit www.actongardens.co.uk or call 020 8993 6923.
Information correct at time of publication.