Often, when choosing the perfect home to buy, we’re forced to make compromises.
If you want fresh air and greenery, the chances are you’ll have to move further out of the city and, as a result, make your daily commute longer. Whereas if you want to get to and from work in under an hour, then you have to sacrifice outdoor space.
This adds to the multitude of other factors you have to consider when buying a property, such as what schools are in the area and access to transport links. And now, thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s become even harder to schedule viewings and get the ball rolling.
Or has it? Against all odds, the process of house hunting and finding the dream property has been made possible – even during these uncertain and unpredictable times.
Greenwich Millennium Village is a hugely welcome housing development in London’s south east. This residential neighbourhood offers a taste of village-style living along with plenty of open green space – and all within close and easy reach to central London. With the O2 arena nearby, the nightlife on your doorstep here is second to none, too.
Importantly, however, these award-winning, stylish, and spacious houses and apartments, built by Countryside Properties and Taylor Wimpey in partnership with the Mayor of London, are still open for viewing despite the ongoing lockdown, thanks to an on-site team hosting online virtual tours and remote reservation facilities.
It seems too good to be true, but it’s a system that’s working – as 29-year-old Aapoorvaa Srikhandh and her husband, 36, recently discovered. They’re now the proud owners of a two-bedroom maisonette in Greenwich Millennium Village.
So, how did this process work – particularly at a unique time such as this? Aapoorva says: ‘We began our search for a home when the coronavirus outbreak was in the early stages. But as the pandemic grew in severity, the communications with the Greenwich Millennium Village team remained consistent. We found it really effective, and it proved to be one of the important factors that led us to continue with the purchase of our new home.’
With social distancing guidelines restricting their ability to both meet their agents and see their prospective home firsthand, it would be forgivable if Aapoorva and her husband felt daunted by the task. But there were a few factors that kept their spirits up.
‘We managed to walk through the development and we loved what we saw; it felt like the perfect place to start a family,’ explains Aapoorva. ‘There was so much more green space in comparison to other housing developments we’d looked at, and everything about it just felt right.
The national lockdown is hindering a lot of our plans at the moment, but it needn’t stop you from finding your dream home.
Here’s how the team at Greenwich Millennium Village can help you through the buying process during the pandemic:
Register your interest online and take a virtual tour of one of the show properties.
Keep up to date with the latest availability and floor plans for available homes.
Get the advice you need about buying a new build and the buying process online.
Reserve your home remotely with the guidance of the friendly Greenwich Millennium Village sales team.
‘The location was also convenient; my husband needs the Jubilee Line for work and North Greenwich station is just a few minutes’ walk away.’
Aapoorva contacted the Greenwich Millennium Village sales team and kept in touch through phone and email. While they weren’t able to visit their potential home in person, they were able to take a guided virtual tour – and they felt it was as good as the real thing.
The 4-acre Ecology park is on your doorstep at Greenwich Millennium Village, comprising two lakes, a meadow and woodland to explore
Aapoorva says: ‘It really felt as though we were walking through the property. We really liked the interior design of the home and the open plan layout.’
In fact, they liked it so much that they reserved it straight away. The whole process only took them a week. ‘The home we chose was actually still under construction, but it was in an advanced stage so we felt perfectly happy proceeding with the purchase,’ shares Aapoorva.
She continues: ‘Although these are really difficult times we’re living in, the sales team at the Greenwich Millennium Village communicated really well with us through the whole process, and were even able to provide us with excellent financial advisors and legal advice. I would recommend this experience to anyone looking for a new home.’
Communication is key when it comes to buying a home, particularly during times such as these where every little helps. But it’s also reassuring to know that what you’re investing in can see you through difficult periods like what we’re experiencing now, as well as whatever normal life throws at you.
Situated in 4 acres of beautiful parkland and boasting a cycle path network, a village square complete with health centre, supermarket and pharmacy, and even a school – which boasts an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating – settling down here would give you access to the fresh air and facilities you need within minutes of your home.
Having these things on your doorstep would prove a real luxury for the current climate, and is ideal for everyone from single professionals to young families. There’s even a 24-hour concierge service and a Residents’ Association which throws monthly events and, in the wake of the outbreak, has been helping to organise food deliveries and donations to anyone who needs it in the village. It’s a unique yet valuable kind of environment to have in a fast-paced city such as London.
To complement the open, community feel to Greenwich Millennium Village, it’s also part of the London Help To Buy scheme, so young and aspiring homeowners can afford to enjoy a slice of this lifestyle, too.
26-year-old Sam Otterburn, a corporate finance accountant, leapt at the chance to escape the renting bubble to have a place of his own here – which, amazingly, has proved to be cheaper than what he was paying in rent.
He says: ‘I moved to London two years ago and negotiated my rent on a flat in Parsons Green. I lived with a friend, and my share of the rent was £750 excluding bills.
‘I wanted to buy a place of my own, but without Help to Buy, I was struggling to find the right property for my budget of £230,000,’ Sam continues. ‘However, by using the scheme, I was able to look at properties worth £380,000 instead. When I found Greenwich Millennium Village, it ticked all the boxes!’
Make your dream come true
Investing in property is a big ask these days – particularly in London. However, Greenwich Millennium Village offers a number of ways to help make the process easier and more affordable…
As part of the London Help to Buy scheme, you could buy a property at Greenwich Millennium Village with just a 5 per cent deposit.
Struggling to save for a deposit? The Bank of Mum and Dad Scheme, enables buyers to receive financial support for their deposit (of at least 5 per cent minimum) from a family member. Then, they’ll receive £1000 to say thank you!
Sam’s deposit was slightly over 10 per cent of the total value of the apartment he found, and with the full 40 per cent equity loan from the Help To Buy Scheme, he now pays less for his mortgage every month than he did for his shared rented flat.
Now, Sam has a top-spec apartment of his very own. ‘The apartment itself is really nice,’ he says. ‘It’s been finished to a high standard, with a large balcony, floor to ceiling windows and a great view of Canary Wharf, as well as high end integrated appliances in the kitchen.’
The wealth of green space is also perfect for Sam. He says: ‘There are some great routes to run into Greenwich and down to the Thames Barrier. Plus, the development is really well connected; it’s a 15-minute walk to North Greenwich underground station, which makes my commute incredibly straightforward.’
There is a lot going on in the world right now. But if you dream of owning your own place in London that encompasses natural outdoor space and more, now could be the perfect time to make that leap.