Greenwich became our home more by luck than judgement. We had previously been renting in Bow for a year and were keen to become homeowners for the first time. At that time, the UK recession was in an appalling state and we didn’t have enough for a deposit in the open market. Shared Ownership helped us to get on the ladder and despite hearing some bad opinions, it has been our saviour.
Shared Ownership in Greenwich
When I first saw the properties available for Shared Ownership in Greenwich I thought the prices were crazy – not unrealistic for a popular part of London, just well outside our price range, or as I had imagined it.
We soon realised, however, that the monthly payments for a brand new two bedroom flat in Greenwich was actually slightly less than our renting costs for a one bedroom flat in Bow. Suddenly, it was not only possible, but also seemed ludicrous not to do so.
After finding the necessary deposit, the whole process took around 2 months to complete. We are forever indebted to the L&Q Housing Association for allowing us to get involved with this scheme, and without it we would probably still be renting in East London.
I had some great times house-sharing when i first moved to London around 10 years ago, but had eventually reached the point where it was just not fun anymore. Our time in Bow was particularly bad, even though by then we could afford to rent the whole flat. The location was awful and it forced us to make the move onto the housing ladder as a matter of urgency.
Having been in Greenwich now for three years we are looking to increase upon our current share of 25% of the property. At the time of setting that up, the economy was in a mess and we actually only just managed to get a mortgage for a quarter of the property, which was the smallest share possible.
Things are now a lot better, both for myself and also the economy as a whole, and so i am hoping that we will be able to increase our share up to 75% in the next 12 months or so. Ultimately, we want to buy the flat outright but that will take quite some time!
Life in Greenwich
Ever since moving in, we have always felt really at home. Weekends in are no-longer a disaster, whilst when in Bow they were painful times. We have also really made an effort to personalise our home, when before i never really bothered much with rented accommodation.
Greenwich Park is a great place for some quiet time, particularly during the week when there are fewer tourists buzzing about. We tend to sit up the back close to Blackheath, where it tends to be a little quieter still. First thing in the morning our flat is also a place to relax, with no cars or roads close by. Local residents in these new block of flats also tend to be pretty well behaved in the main, and i have rarely witnessed any anti-social behaviour.
The Yacht remains my favourite watering hole, although the Trafalgar Tavern is great on a sunny day, as is the traditional Cutty Sark pub. Those two are a little more expensive, and i love the friendly staff in the Yacht.
Further afield is The Union which stocks a great selection of local drinks from the Greenwich Meantime Brewery. We have eaten in most of these pubs but still tend to prefer the Vietnamese restaurant for eating out locally.