Oliver wanted to be close to London, but not too close (Picture: Supplied)
Affordability and fast access into London were Oliver Croker’s priorities when hunting for his first home.
He saw Brighton as the ideal location and was ready to buy a flat in Hove when his mother spotted Optivo’s Home X, in walking distance of Brighton station.
‘Mum sent me a link and I really liked the look of it so went down to view,’ says Oliver, a 31-year-old marketing analyst. ‘It was really nice, within my budget and everything felt high quality.’
Prior to moving to Brighton, Oliver had lived between several locations. At the start of the first lockdown, he had been renting a room in a shared flat in Stratford’s Olympic Village in London but decided to move back in with his family.
He spent the next two years with family in Surrey, Hampshire and Cornwall and stayed in Norway for a while with his fiancée, Manisha, when he was finally allowed to travel abroad.
His new flat at Home X has access to all kinds of amenities (Picture: Supplied)
While he enjoyed being away from the hustle and bustle of city life at the time, living in another part of the country wasn’t such an attractive proposition once things started to get back to normal.
‘When buying, the main thing for me was to be close to London so I could commute to the office when needed,’ he says.
‘Cornwall was great during the lockdowns but as things started to open up, I wanted to get back to civilisation as it felt so far away.’
Do the maths: a two-bedroom apartment at HomeX
Purchase price: £391,000
5% deposit: £19,550
20% Help to Buy loan: £78,200
Mortgage: approx. £1,535pcm
Service charge: £166
Monthly spend approx: £1,701
Home X offered Oliver the opportunity to live a comfortable distance from his office, in a new-build home with amenities, all within his budget.
Through the government’s Help to Buy scheme he purchased a two-bedroom, third-floor apartment with a balcony for £390,000
Purchasers using Help to Buy can borrow up to 20% of the cost of a new-build, and only need a 5% deposit.
Prices are capped at £437,600 in the south east and £600,000 in London, where the maximum loan is 40% and they repay the loan – which is interest-free for five years and offered to first-time buyers only – as a proportion of the proceeds when the property is sold.
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