Living in a stunning rental apartment, two design-conscious buyers were not prepared to compromise on style when stepping on to the property ladder for the first time.
Corrado, an associate professor of economics, and his partner Renato, who works at a London-headquartered international development bank were keen to make a good financial investment for their future. Having lived in a high-end rental property, with hotel-style services and amenities, the couple were sad to leave behind their development but knew they wanted to move on with the next stage of their lives.
“We had been looking for a while, mostly around Bethnal Green, Shoreditch & Aldgate where we had been renting,” explain Renato. “We really loved the development we were renting in and everything about the area so were keen to stay locally. Our hope was that we could find a property to buy that was of equal standard in terms of design and architecture.”
Hailing from Italy, the couple had decided that a new build property would suit their lifestyles and the type of home that they wanted. “Neither of us has time for large renovations due to our fast-paced jobs and we wanted the views, light-filled rooms and amenities that only new builds can offer,” explains Renato. “Initially we wanted two bedrooms at least, but the most important thing was the price per square footage. When we visited White + Green, by Higgins Homes, we found that it ticked the boxes for us.”
White + Green is a Higgins Homes development of 144 homes featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments as well as a range of Studio apartments [citipads]. It is located between Whitechapel and Bethnal Green Underground stations and is part of the Help to Buy scheme.
Although the couple had a budget in mind, they were delighted to discover that not only could they get the price per square footage that they were after, it would also allow them to have a third bedroom. “We loved the floor to ceiling windows, which allowed the light to flood in and the stylish kitchen and bathrooms,” says Renato. “The apartment ticked all the boxes for us and more. The third bedroom is going to be great to use as a studio, reading room or a place to chill out and play the guitar or jump on the yoga mat. The architecture and layout with a communal rooftop terrace and piazza have created a sense of community and the chance to enjoy some outside space. We’re excited that the four buildings, which are linked by an Italian style piazza, are likely to have some cafes in the future. There is green space interweaved into the development which also provides a sense of calm.”
One of the things that the couple really enjoyed in their rental development was the roof top terrace and they are delighted that their apartment at White + Green enjoys two private balconies and a large terrace as well as a shared communal rooftop. “We used to entertain and have friends over to enjoy the views in the summer and we are really looking forward to doing that again as the weather warms up.”
Having lived in Bethnal Green for a number of years, the couple remain very positive about the area. “It is so conveniently located and it takes me just 15 minutes to walk to work in Liverpool Street,” adds Renato. “It is very well located for public transport, Bond Street and Oxford Circus are easy to get to on the Central Line and the Overground opens up even more of East London. When Crossrail opens, the transport links will improve even further to Canary Wharf on one side and Heathrow Airport on the other side.”
The couple have recently moved into their apartment and are embracing everything about East London. “I’m a big fan of the Columbia Flower Market on Sundays and enjoy running in Victoria Park on the weekend,” says Renato. “There are great galleries, coffee shops and restaurants and the area is very cosmopolitan; there are people from all over the world who live here.”
As far as the buying process, the couple found the moving experience relatively straight forward and believes that now is a good time for first-time buyers. “Higgins Homes were really good to deal with, always very responsive and helped us when we needed it.”
Now the couple have moved in, they are putting the finishing touches to their apartment. “We love the Italian design taste and refinement, so we have ordered a Balinese wooden bed, a white marble table and brown faux-leather chairs from Italy,” adds Renato. “We love the kitchen and bathrooms and are really loving the extra space we now have. We are looking forward to inviting our family and friends over from Italy to stay. Financially, we are paying the same on our mortgage as we were in rent, but now we have a much bigger apartment and can look forward to doing more home entertaining.”