City Park West Community
Shared Ownership secured a new start for Chelmsford buyer:
According to a recent study, homebuyers place close proximity to shops at the top of their wish list when it comes to buying a property. The survey by Skipton Building Society also revealed that 31% of the 2,000 respondents prioritise being close to public transport. Reaping the rewards of living in a well-connected city centre is recent homebuyer Carinna Griffiths. Thanks to the Shared Ownership scheme, Carinna managed to make her move from a remote out of town location, purchasing a one-bedroom apartment at Notting Hill Genesis’ new development, City Park West, situated in the bustling heart of Chelmsford town centre.
30-year-old Community Midwife, Carinna explains: “I had been living in the area I grew up in, it’s a small isolated village a few miles away from Chelmsford. There wasn’t even a local shop there, so getting a pint of milk meant taking a 10-minute trip in the car. Being a midwife, I often work long night shifts and because the village was so cut off, I could go days not seeing or speaking to anyone which could get quite lonely, and at times I found it really difficult living in such an isolated location. I would always end up spending the majority of my days off driving into Chelmsford to run errands like popping into the bank, going to the shops and catching up with my friends, all of whom rent near the town centre. Nights out would mean me paying expensive cab fares home all the time so it didn’t take me long to work out where I wanted to live. Knowing how much property values have gone up over the last few years, I just didn’t know how I would ever be able to afford to live in such a central location.”
Carinna continues: “Chelmsford has improved hugely over the last few years, there is so much here now; new pubs and bars, restaurants, a cinema, two shopping centres and Chelmsford train station is so close by, getting into London is really easy. I had seen the City Park West development slowly coming to life during many of my trips into the town centre, and then I saw an advertisement on Facebook by Notting Hill Genesis. I arranged a viewing and applied on the same day – I absolutely fell in love with it. I was able to buy a 35% share in a one-bedroom apartment with a full market value of £232,500. One of the main features that swung it for me is the 12-foot high ceilings! The floor to ceiling height windows provide so much light and space, on a sunny day, it’s beautiful. Outside my building there is a communal courtyard, the design has cleverly included some existing trees that have been here for years, it has been done really nicely.”
“I moved into my apartment in September, and I honestly couldn’t be in a better location than where I am. Everything is within walking distance and even when I am coming home after a night shift, there is always somewhere open where I can get my daily essentials. One of the most important things I wanted was secure on-site parking, as being on-call means I need make sure I can get access to my car at any time of the night.”
“City Park West has its own private underground parking, alongside a 24-hour concierge service, so it’s safe and secure 24/7. It is so quiet here, considering how centrally located the development is, you don’t hear very much at all – once I’m inside my apartment, I don’t get any noise from any of the other apartments. I have so much space, the layout of my apartment is great and I have already completely decorated throughout and it looks great. I had a vision about the way I wanted my apartment to look and it has come together perfectly, I already feel really at home here.”
Carinna explains: “The location of City Park West means I now don’t have to rely on my car anywhere near as much as I used to. I cycle a lot now, I can get on my bike and cycle over to Central Park or over to my friend’s house. Living here has also completely turned my social life around – I get to see my circle of friends so much more than I used to, on my days off I can walk out of my front door and be in the town in minutes, I can pop into the bank quickly or go shopping whenever I want. The Railway Tavern pub is literally a few minutes’ walk from City Park West, everyone there is so friendly and welcoming, it has become my new local pub. I have met lots of new people and made new friendships. I have only been here three months, but I can honestly say my life has changed hugely, I’m happier now than I have been in ages. It would be a really hard decision to move from here, having gotten used to the convenience of having so much around me, I think I would struggle living anywhere else now.”
Speaking of the Shared Ownership scheme: “I am a huge advocate of Shared Ownership, without it I wouldn’t have been able to buy on my own, let alone buy a property in such a central location. I wanted to live exactly where I am and Shared Ownership helped me do it. I have friends who are older than me that don’t yet own a property. I have had so many conversations with friends and people I work with who believe in order to buy a home they would have to move out to a different area, or that they would be throwing money away on the part of the property you rent, but you don’t. Like any other property if it increases in value so does the share you own. In today’s challenging market, it’s a relief to have other options available to support you.”
Carinna continues: “I can see myself staying at City Park West for some time to come, and I will almost certainly be considering increasing my share in my apartment in the future. I would thoroughly recommend living here, and in fact I have already suggested City Park West to some of my friends. I think there is a real need for more developments like this to help support people like me into homeownership.”
50% of the homes at City Park West are now sold.
Prices for a one-bedroom Shared Ownership apartment start from £58,750 based on a 25% share of the full market value of £2375,000. Prices for a two bedroom apartment start from £81,250 for a 25% share of £325,000.