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After 12 years living in Clapham Park, Fabiola Mendes and her partner Marcos were at their wits end with their rented accommodation and were determined to make a fresh start. Shared ownership at SO Resi Ealing turned out to be just what they were looking for.
“We had been renting for 12 years in Clapham, but the place was falling apart. The landlord didn’t want to fix anything, but didn’t want us to fix it either! In the middle of last winter, we were stuck with no heating or hot water for a whole week and we just decided that we couldn’t put up with it anymore,” said Fabiola, 42, who works as a hospital pharmacy technician.
Initially, finding an alternative wasn’t easy. “I wanted to find an affordable place for us to live that had good public transport connections into central London,” recalled Fabiola. The couple quickly realised that shared ownership provided the only realistic alternative to renting. “It was impossible for us to buy a place without shared ownership - we didn’t earn enough to get a mortgage that size and we couldn’t save up that kind of deposit,” she said.
When they started looking at suitable schemes, Ealing wasn’t initially on their radar. “I didn’t know the area at all,” admitted Fabiola, and Marcos, 52, who works as a hotel receptionist, didn’t really want to look outside their existing area. Nevertheless, Fabiola decided to take a closer look – and they are both very glad that they did.
“When I first booked the appointment to visit the development Marcos didn’t want to go, but when we arrived there he changed his mind completely! When we realised what a great area it was, with lots of shopping and public transport, we made a decision to buy there straight away. Everything we need is within walking distance and we don’t need to get on a bus to go to the supermarket.
“We had gone along to look at a one-bedroom apartment, which was all we thought we could afford, but when we spoke to Rita in the sales office she explained that there was an incentive on that would boost our deposit so we could afford to buy a larger apartment.”
The couple had saved up a £14,000 deposit, but thanks to a SO Resi incentive, that deposit was topped up by a further £7,000 so that they were able to buy a 25% share in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom fourth floor apartment, with a full market value of £557,000. “The fact that they gave us that gift made a huge difference,” she said.
Fabiola and Marcos, who are originally from Brazil, were particularly delighted that their apartment now had two bathrooms and a bedroom for their son, Caua, 18, who has just won a university place to study European law at Oxford, to return to during the holidays. “Houses in Brazil usually have at least three bathrooms, so having only one bathroom has always been difficult, and it’s great that we won’t have to share with our son any longer.”
There are other things they love about their new home too. “Our balcony is massive, one of the largest balconies in the whole development – you could fit a sofa on there – and there’s a rooftop garden as well,” said Fabiola. “The best thing about it, though, is the silence. You can’t hear the neighbours at all, even if they are playing music, it is so lovely and quiet here.”
SO Resi Ealing is superbly located for public transport. West Ealing station, in Zone 3, is less than 10 minutes’ walk away, with train services to London Paddington in around 13 minutes, while Ealing Broadway also has Underground services on the Central and District lines. West Ealing’s new Elizabeth Line offers speedy Crossrail services right across London and beyond, including to Heathrow airport.
Kush Rawal, Director of Residential Investment at SO Resi, said: “Whether you are looking for quick connections into central London for work, shops and amenities within easy walking distance, good local schools or beautiful parks and open spaces to relax in, this area of Ealing has so much to offer.”
There are just a few remaining homes available at SO Resi Ealing, with prices starting from £105,000 for a 25% share in a one-bedroom flat.