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Buying a home in London is getting ever more expensive – and not everyone has the freedom to move out of the city in search of a cheaper option. Otneis Fernández Rodríguez and her husband Alberto Jonte both needed to stay in West London for work and study, so they despaired of ever moving out of rented accommodation.
Now, however, they are settling into their new home together at SO Resi Ealing, after buying a 25% share of their third floor apartment using the Government-backed shared ownership scheme. “Renting was so expensive and you are throwing money out the window,” says Otneis, 41, who is studying to become an osteopath. “Shared ownership was the best way for us to get on the property ladder and gives us a chance to save.”
Otneis and Alberto, 36, who is an executive head chef at a major hotel, were previously renting a three-bedroom townhouse in Brentford, so their new two-bedroom apartment is somewhat smaller – but that’s not without its advantages. “I was always running up and down all those stairs, and with two boys, aged three and six, it was really hard work,” says Otneis. “Now it is much easier – I can get through the cleaning really fast!”
The full market value of their new home was £550,000, and thanks to a generous gift from Otneis’ uncle in Spain, they were able to put down a good-sized deposit. “He has always said that he thinks of me like a daughter, so he sent me generous gift to help me towards buying my first home,” she says.
They are delighted with their new apartment, which has a good-sized living area and a separate cupboard for storage and a washer-dryer which she finds useful. There is a generously sized balcony for that all-important outdoor space, along with a landscaped courtyard garden, while on the roof of the apartments is a residents’ garden looking out over the city. “There’s a really nice view from up there,” she says.
Being close to local facilities and public transport was important for the couple, as Alberto works long hours in the evenings, Otneis attends university and the children have to get to school early in the morning. “It’s the first time I have been so close to the shops which is really convenient,” says Otneis. “I’m always in a rush, but there’s a bus stop just outside and it’s only a couple of stops to school which means I don’t have to use the car.”
All the amenities of Ealing Broadway are a short walk away, including shops, restaurants and bars, and the apartments are 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 will shortly be connected to the Elizabeth Line, which will offer Crossrail services right across London and beyond.
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 at the weekend, this area of Ealing has so much to offer – and with shared ownership you can move in to a place of your own at SO Resi Ealing with a deposit starting from just £5,407.”
Alberto and Otneis are Spanish, and initially found the idea of shared ownership, as well as the general English property-buying process, rather confusing, but they have been very grateful for all the help they have received from SO Resi staff along the way. “The team are fantastic; they have been really kind and have taken care of all the details,” says Otneis. “It’s good to start off with such a good feeling about a home!”
Homes currently available at SO Resi Ealing start from £105,625 for a 25% share in a two-bedroom apartment with a full market value of £422,500.