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First time buyer, Esra Gungor (30), Strictly Come Dancing’s head seamstress and her partner, Ian McNaughton (33) share their story on finding a new home for themselves and their son Finley. Esra explains how they have not had to compromise on a London location and how they have found it cheaper to buy than rent.

How Help to Buy allowed us to remain living in London and buy our first home for less! – by Esra Gungor

“Before I fell pregnant, we were renting in Mile End, but our rent just became more and more expensive. We worked out that if we bought our own home, our monthly mortgage repayments would be less than our rent, so we started to look around to buy.”

“We wanted to remain living in London, but it wasn’t until we came across the Help to Buy scheme that we realised how attainable this was. We had spent months researching different parts of London, only to discover that we couldn’t afford the home we wanted. We started to get a bit disheartened, but that soon changed when we found St Paul’s Square. Without Help to Buy it would not have been possible for us to buy a two bedroom home in London. Whilst renting in Mile End, we were paying £1,500 a month in rent, whereas our monthly mortgage now is significantly cheaper at £960.”

“We are really pleased with our new home. Everything is very thoughtfully laid out and storage space has been maximised. The finish on our apartment is of an excellent quality and it really feels like Countryside has thought about what people want and need from a home. We are really lucky as we have a communal garden that will run around the back of the property and once the development is complete there will be lots of green open space. The whole borough has lots of green space and Mile End Park is just over the road, which will be perfect for Finley growing up.”

“There is so much going on in Bow and it really feels like an up and coming London location. Quirky restaurants and shops are popping up and I can see it becoming somewhere edgy like Hackney in the future. East London also has such a great community atmosphere; we have always wanted to bring up our son here.”

“To those people looking to buy a home and do not want to compromise on the location – do not give up! We almost did, but it is certainly worth exploring options such as Help to Buy. Without the scheme, it would not have been possible for us to get on the housing ladder and believe it or not we are in a better position now with our monthly mortgage payments being less than our previous rent!”



To find out more about buying a new Countryside home with Help to Buy visit one of Countryside’s developments across London, the South East, the North West and the West Midlands.

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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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