First-time buyers accidently stumble on dream home

Posted 07/10/2019

Two first-time buyers couldn’t believe their luck when they stumbled on a new development while out for a stroll. Jessica Ashdown, age 28 and her partner Dominic Burrell, 29 liked the idea of owning their own home but thought it was not achievable in the area where they were renting. 

“I have been living in the Whitechapel and Bethnal Green area on and off for the last seven years,” says Jessica. “I absolutely love everything about it from the markets to the parks, shops, bars and clubs. There are so many cool things going on and it’s just a really great place to live.” 

The couple have been renting in the area together for the last year, although Dominic had been thinking for a while that he would like to buy and get on the housing ladder. When they were out for a walk, they came across White + Green, a development from Higgins Homes comprising four smart buildings of 144 apartments. 

“Although Dominic had been thinking about it for a while, getting on the property ladder hadn’t really crossed my mind because I just didn’t think we could afford anything,” says Jessica. “Our first impressions when going in to White + Green was how beautiful it was. The specification was incredible, and it was absolutely lovely. Everything from the underfloor heating through to the security gave it a really high-end feel and we left thinking that it was probably too posh for us and we couldn’t possibly afford the two-bedroom apartment that we really wanted.” 

The location of White + Green, in the heart of London’s artistic community between Whitechapel and Bethnal Green, is the perfect location as Jessica explains: “Neither Dominic nor I drive so it is important that we can walk to everything. That said, after our viewing, we thought we would look at another new development in Walthamstow but it wasn’t nearly as good in many different ways. I didn’t like being out of the area that I love and the quality of the flats just weren’t as good.” 

Jessica and Dominic were also keen to have commuting options for when they need to travel for work or pleasure. Located between two underground stations, transport options are already good at White + Green. They are set to improve even more with the introduction of the Elizabeth line/Crossrail at Whitechapel. The service will offer journey times of just two minutes to Liverpool street, 16 minutes to Kings Cross and three minutes to Canary Wharf. 

After their initial viewing, the couple decided to delve deeper into buying options. Jessica had heard of Help to Buy but had no experience of how it worked when buying in London. She visited a homebuyers’ show to gather as much information about different buying options as possible and realised that they were eligible for the Help to Buy scheme and that it would enable them to buy their first home. Within two weeks, they had made the decision to purchase a two-bedroom apartment at White + Green. 

“As soon as we made the offer, the Higgins Homes team put us in touch with a mortgage advisor who had a lot of experience with Help to Buy,” explains Jessica. “The actual process was very straightforward and the only concerns we had were when to give notice on our rental property. The Higgins team made us feel very comfortable throughout the whole process, we would often pop into the sales office for updates and they got very used to our regular phone calls, so it was a pretty stress-free process.”

The couple have been in their new flat for just a few weeks, but it is already feeling like home as Jessica adds: “The quality of the building is so much better than anything we have ever rented before. It is so much more efficient and there’s really nothing that we need to do to it, which is just as well because myself and Dominic are useless at DIY, so that’s a real weight off our minds.”

White + Green offers a range of homes to suit all. The development features studio suites, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments together with commercial units all located around a central piazza. The hotel-style interiors feature brand names such as Smeg, Commodore and Hans Grohe with stylish trends to satisfy design conscious consumers.