London is without doubt one of the greatest cities in the world but the twenty four-seven lifestyle can sometimes feel exhausting. A home that offers a place to retreat when you need to recharge the batteries but is still in the hub of the action is the ideal antidote.
First-time buyer Farida Knott, who works for a creative agency in Farringdon, had been wanting to break out of the renting cycle for a number of years. When she moved from freelance to full-time employment, she seized the opportunity to get on the ladder with assistance from Help to Buy.
“I had been renting in Elephant and Castle and had heard about Help to Buy a few years ago,” says Farida. “I had to pause my search while I was freelancing but as soon as I became employed, I started to look again. Trying to buy in London, especially on your own, is virtually impossible for most people, so this was a fantastic opportunity.”
Having previously lived near Brick Lane, Farida loved the vibe of East London and when she heard about White + Green, located between Whitechapel and Bethnal Green Underground stations, she was intrigued to take a look. “I knew I could afford a one-bedroom flat and I wanted to have an easy commute to work,” explains Farida. “I’ve always lived central and this is important to me in terms of lifestyle and being able to travel around to see friends. However, a lot of London flats can feel really crammed in so I wanted something that would give me a bit of space.”
White + Green is a Higgins Homes development of 144 homes featuring one, two and three bedroom apartments as well as a range of citipads. To help create a sense of community, there are four apartment buildings around a central piazza, with two communal roof terraces in which to enjoy the buzz of the surrounding area. As well as the two tube stations close by, residents can access excellent connectivity across the Capital with the introduction of the Elizabeth line/Crossrail at Whitechapel station. The service will offer journey times of just two minutes to Liverpool street, 16 minutes to Kings Cross and three minutes to Canary Wharf.
“What really stood out to me was how spacious the rooms felt,” explains Farida. “It was great that I didn’t have to accept a cramped flat in order to live centrally. An added bonus were the balcony and communal roof tops; it’s lovely to have some outside space in London and it will be great when the sun comes out.”
Buying new was also convenient and easy for Farida as she explains: “The quality and finish with Higgins Homes is really good and it has been lovely that I can just move in without doing any work. I actually liked the idea of renovating a property but I don’t think it is financially worthwhile.”
As a first-time buyer, Farida sometimes found the process overwhelming but Higgins Homes were always on hand to help out. “There’s a lot to digest from mortgages to legal fees and of course the Help to Buy paperwork. The team at Higgins Homes really helped to manage the process and worked around me so I could fit it all in around work and other commitments.”
Although Farida is fairly familiar with the area, she’s noticed a few changes since she was last here as she explains: “I really enjoy living east because there’s loads to do. There’s always new places to visit and explore and although there may be some new coffee shops and boutiques, the vibe has remained the same, it still feels very authentic.”
Now that Farida is a home owner, she going to enjoy knowing where her money is going. “I know what I’m paying for and that fact that it is mine means that I’m investing in my future. This is the starting block to allow me to make further plans,” adds Farida.