According to a recent study, homebuyers place close proximity to shops at the top of their wish list when it comes to buying a property. The survey by Skipton Building Society also revealed that 31% of the 2,000 respondents prioritise being close to public transport. Reaping the rewards of living in a well-connected city centre is recent homebuyer Carinna Griffiths. Thanks to the Shared Ownership scheme, Carinna managed to make her move from a remote out of town location, purchasing a one-bedroom apartment at Notting Hill Genesis’ new development, City Park West, situated in the bustling heart of Chelmsford town centre.
30-year-old Community Midwife, Carinna explains: “I had been living in the area I grew up in, it’s a small isolated village a few miles away from Chelmsford. There wasn’t even a local shop there, so getting a pint of milk meant taking a 10-minute trip in the car. Being a midwife, I often work long night shifts and because the village was so cut off, I could go days not seeing or speaking to anyone which could get quite lonely, and at times I found it really difficult living in such an isolated location.”
Carinna continues: “Chelmsford has improved hugely over the last few years, there is so much here now; new pubs and bars, restaurants, a cinema, two shopping centres and Chelmsford train station is so close by, getting into London is really easy. I had seen the City Park West development slowly coming to life during many of my trips into the town centre, and then I saw an advertisement on Facebook by Notting Hill Genesis. I arranged a viewing and applied on the same day – I absolutely fell in love with it. I was able to buy a 35% share in a one-bedroom apartment with a full market value of £232,500.”
Speaking of the Shared Ownership scheme: “I am a huge advocate of Shared Ownership, without it I wouldn’t have been able to buy on my own, let alone buy a property in such a central location. I wanted to live exactly where I am and Shared Ownership helped me do it. I have friends who are older than me that don’t yet own a property. I have had so many conversations with friends and people I work with who believe in order to buy a home they would have to move out to a different area, or that they would be throwing money away on the part of the property you rent, but you don’t.”
Carinna continues: “I can see myself staying at City Park West for some time to come, and I will almost certainly be considering increasing my share in my apartment in the future. I would thoroughly recommend living here, and in fact I have already suggested City Park West to some of my friends. I think there is a real need for more developments like this to help support people like me into homeownership.”
50% of the homes at City Park West are now sold. Prices for a one-bedroom Shared Ownership apartment start from £58,750 based on a 25% share of the full market value of £2375,000.