First time buyer finally finds a home in her dream location

Posted: 8 November 2016 by Amanda Dixon

After three years of searching, Setareh Darab, who works in the shipping and transport business, was delighted to finally be able to lay down roots in Bermondsey, a part of London she has grown to love. Having lived in the area for almost four years, Setareh was absolutely sure that this was the place that she wanted to make her first property purchase in.

“Bermondsey is a really great place to live and ticked all the right boxes for me but after three years of searching, I was losing faith that I would ever be able to find a property that was within budget in this area,” says Setareh. “I had thoroughly researched my options and decided my best plan would be to buy through the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme.”  

The Help to Buy scheme offers an interest free loan for five years, and after this time, you pay a small amount of interest. Homebuyers typically have a 60% mortgage and then borrow the remaining 40% from the Government. The homeowner owns 100% of the property but should you sell, the Government takes their percentage back and whatever profit is made from it.

“I would definitely recommend this scheme, especially if you are buying in London where prices are extremely high,” says Setareh. “I would advise having a substantial deposit in place and be prepared to move quickly if you find a development that has Help to Buy properties included.”

Setareh was delighted to be able to afford a three-bedroom apartment at The Bath House, a development of 27 brand new apartments, comprising three one-bed, 16 two-bed and eight three-bed homes located on the Old Kent Road, SE1.

“It was bit by chance that I found The Bath House,” explains Setareh. “I was actually looking at another development and was really keen but then I found out that they didn’t offer Help to Buy. After doing some research, I was told that the developer of The Bath House, Higgins Homes, was offering the Government scheme but was advised to act quickly to secure the home I wanted.”

The apartment Setareh chose ticked many of the things on her wish list as she explains: “Location was probably my number one priority and the flat has excellent transport links. It is near the Underground and the Jubilee line is pretty reliable. I’m also near a number of good local buses and Bermondsey is very central, which makes commuting to work very simple. I also wanted to have two bathrooms for when I have guests stay. Although it wasn’t a top priority, I’m delighted that my flat is really airy and the position of it allows the sunlight to flood in.”

As a first-time buyer, Setareh was also very keen to buy a new build. “I wasn’t looking to take on a renovation project and thought the whole process would be a lot easier if everything was brand new when I moved in,” she says.

The buying process has been relatively straight forward and Setareh was delighted that Higgins Homes were able to recommend a mortgage advisor who has proved to be very helpful throughout.

The community vibe of Bermondsey is appealing to many buyers and The Bath House helps to foster this with communal facilities, such as a cycle store and two communal terraces on the ground and fourth floors. There is also a sheltered, green area on the ground floor where residents can relax and socialise and on the fourth floor homebuyers can enjoy the views from the decked terrace.

“I’m delighted to be a permanent part of the community of Bermondsey and with all the regeneration that is continuing to take place, I’m very hopeful that this is a great investment for the future also,” Setareh concludes. 


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