Stefan Coconetu, 25, had been living in a shared apartment with two others in Shoreditch since moving to the UK from Romania two years ago.
Increasingly tired of having to share his personal space with others, he realised it would make more sense to buy his own home rather than continue to pay rent.
‘My priority was finding somewhere within my budget of around £400,000, and to be in a well-connected location where I could commute to Shoreditch easily for work,’ says Stefan, a banking product specialist.
‘I viewed around ten apartments in areas like Colindale, Harrow, Croydon and Stratford before coming across Anthology’s Wembley Parade. I really liked the design and the fact that the station was a mere two minutes’ walk away.’
Armed with a 40% London Help to Buy equity loan, Stefan bought a spacious one-bed apartment at the development and moved into it this January after an overdue trip to Romania to see his family.
The Help to Buy equity loan scheme allows first-time buyers with a 5% deposit to borrow 40% of the cost of selected new homes capped at £600,000.
This gives them better mortgage rates than if they were borrowing more, and the loan is interest-free for five years and repaid as a proportion of the proceeds when the property is eventually sold.
A similar scheme operates throughout the rest of England, though outside London the maximum loan is 20% with lower regional price thresholds.
Stefan also managed to benefit from the Stamp Duty holiday, which meant that purchasers who completed by June 30 had no stamp duty to pay on homes under £500,000.
Although the deadline has passed, first-time buyers are still exempt from this tax on the first £300,000 of the price, whereas for everyone else the nil rate band is currently capped at £250,00, dropping to £125,000 from October 1.
Spending the last lockdown in his own home has made a world of difference to Stefan as, unlike when he rented, he now has enough room for a desk and chair, and can relax without worrying about flatmates invading his space.
Another bonus is the high-speed wifi – essential when working from home.
‘I am very grateful for Help to Buy and the Stamp Duty holiday, which meant that I was able to purchase by myself in such an ideal location,’ he says.
How much Setfan saved on a flat at Anthology’s Wembley Parade
Full market value: £385,000
5% deposit: £19,250
40% London Help to Buy loan: £154,000
Monthly mortgage: approx. £803
Monthly service charge: approx. £133
Total monthly spend: approx. £936
‘Wembley has so much more to offer on top of my initial requirements: shops, the iconic Stadium and Boxpark, just minutes away. It has been an exciting journey to finally become a homeowner despite the restrictions, and the whole experience of buying with Anthology has been great and uncomplicated.’
Designed by GRID architects, Anthology Wembley Parade comprises 195 one, two and three-bed mixed-tenure apartments spread over five buildings including a 12-storey tower.
All properties have access to outside space, with either a private balcony or terrace, and London Help to Buy is available on the last remaining one and two-bed homes, from £385,000.
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