Young family takes first step on the property ladder at Fresh Wharf
Chantelle Joseph, 38, had rented in East London for so long that she thought she might never be able to step onto the property ladder. However, thanks to savings made during lockdown and the government’s Help to Buy scheme, the secondary school dance teacher was able to invest in her and her nine-year old son Leo’s future, buying their first home at Fresh Wharf, Countryside’s new development in Barking. Chantelle commented: “I’m so happy to finally have my own home, it’s absolutely amazing – without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Chantelle initially looked into shared ownership, but thanks to additional savings and Help to Buy, which provides an interest-free loan of 40% of the purchase price, she was able to afford the deposit on a two-bedroom apartment at Fresh Wharf, where Countryside is creating a new waterside destination with over 900 new homes, along with new shops, cafes and parks. “With shared ownership I’d be paying around £1,200 a month – instead my mortgage repayments aren’t even half that, plus I own 100% of my home!” Chantelle said. “Lockdown didn’t change what I was looking for in a home, but it did help me to make about £400 extra a month in savings that were crucial in affording the deposit.”
“None of this would have been possible without Help to Buy”, added Chantelle. “It’s been tough, I’ve worked hard all my life and still had to get help at 38 years of age, but I’m so happy to have finally made my first step on the property ladder at Fresh Wharf.”
Chantelle, who was previously living in Canning Town in an affordable rental home, wanted to stay in East London near her parents. “I wasn’t too bothered if the development was big or small, what was most important is that I had to feel at home there. Given I have a nine-year old son, I needed two bedrooms and parking, which was a real struggle to find. In the end, I was driving back through Barking to my parent’s house and saw Fresh Wharf. I didn’t have an appointment but decided to try my luck, and from there it’s history!”
Chantelle was extremely positive about the customer journey: “Countryside is a five-star housebuilder, but I’d give them more than 5 stars if I could – they were amazing. As a teacher it meant everything had to be out of hours, but they were so helpful. Covid restrictions meant I couldn’t go on site to see where my home would be before purchasing, but the sales team went over the very next day and took a video, walking me through the whole process, They’ve also been brilliant at sorting any little issues after moving in as well.”
“Even if lockdown hampered things, moving into my first home was an amazing experience. There was a White Company hamper waiting for us when we moved in, plus it felt great to finally have my own home.”
All homes at Fresh Wharf offer a high specification as standard, including luxury flooring throughout, private outdoor space, a modern fitted kitchen and a spacious master bedroom with a fitted wardrobe. Chantelle said: “I couldn’t be happier with the new space, and neither could my son. As he’s already nine and we’ll be here for the next few years, I wanted to make sure his room was big - in the end, it’s actually bigger than mine! He’s even got a double bed, and his face when he saw his room was worth everything, he absolutely loves it. All my friends and family that have visited say how lovely it is – and even better, it’s my own!”
Part of the first phase of Fresh Wharf is Dry Dock Square, a new landscaped public plaza with riverside cafes, shops and restaurants, including a Co-op store and a Triple Two Coffee shop. Additional green space is also being created at Fresh Wharf through a central park with lawns, seating and picnic areas. “The development itself is great, and there’s lots going on. The neighbours are all lovely, and it’s so quiet and tranquil here with the river meandering past. I’m excited for when the new amenities open too – I can’t wait to pop into the Co-op downstairs, as well as taking my niece to the new park with a coffee,” described Chantelle.
The first residents moved into Fresh Wharf, Countryside’s vibrant new riverside development in Barking, in spring 2021. A new release of contemporary one-, two- and three-bedroom riverside apartments launches later this summer, with prices starting from £310,000 and London Help to Buy available.
Fresh Wharf is located on Fleet Road, Barking, London IG11 7BP. For more information, call Countryside on 020 3553 7872 or visit www.freshwharf-barking.com