27 November 2008
INTERESTED IN buying your first property, but not so hot on taking out a crippling mortgage? For key workers, the opportunity to do the first without the second presents itself in the shape of five brand new Peckham flats, writes Emanuel Nordrum...
The two-bedroom apartments on Peckham Hill Street are perfect for those looking to getting their toe on the property ladder, located as they are just a hop and a skip from Peckham High Street, and surrounded by exhibitions and events.
The flats, which are currently in the process of being built, will be ready come January. They are part of a small development and cover all three floors of one building. Each flat features two double bedrooms, a bathroom and an open plan lounge/kitchen.
But one of the best features are their location. Take a short stroll from the front door and you will find yourself at the award-winning Peckham Library down the road, and on a Sunday, fresh local produce is available a mere stone throw away at the Urban Farmer's Market.
Equally, short walks are enough to take you to the Theatre Peckham, which features some truly excellent puppet theatre, or at the South London Gallery, which stages new art exhibitions like clockwork.
If you can't find it within walking distance, frequent buses will get you across the borough and throughout London, or you can make the ten minute walk to Peckham Rye train station, where you can get an easy train to, amongst others, Wimbledon, Victoria or Croydon. For those who prefer their own mobility, four of the five flats come with a parking space.
You don't have to be rich to make this move onto the property ladder. The flats are aimed at key workers, and are being sold on a shared ownership basis, so you could get your toe in for £63,750.
Buying on a shared ownership basis means that you buy a percentage of your flat from the housing association and pay them rent on the remaining value. The rent is far cheaper than renting privately, and you only pay 3% on the percentage of the property you don't own. So, if you purchase a 30% share of a £212,500 flat, your rent would be as little as £371.88 a month.
Don't be fooled; this isn't a method for buying houses on the cheap. Including estimated mortgage and service charges, your housing expenditure would be £842.62 a month. However, that leaves you owning a third of a property, with the option to buy more, and a much smaller mortgage than if you'd bought the entire property outright.
Of course, you may want to buy a bigger share of your flat, which would reduce the rent correspondingly. Initially, you can buy between 30 and 75% of the flat outright (any more than that and there is no reason why you should be buying on a shared ownership basis). After a year, you can begin buying in the rest of the property if you wish. These purchases can be done in up to three steps, and might be done over a few years or, if you prefer, decades.
To be eligible to buy one of these flats, you have to be a key worker. That description includes clinical NHS staff, teachers and nursery nurses, police officers, fire fighters and social workers. The properties may be of special interest to personal advisors at Connexions, as they are eligible, and one of these flats would place Southwark Connexions Centre within walking distance of the front door.
Being brand new, the flats are unfurnished, but along with carpeted bedrooms, each flat has laminate flooring throughout, come with gas central heating and a fully fitted kitchen including an electric oven with extractor and gas hob, and both fridge/freezer and washer/dryer.
With only five flats available, bids should be put in sooner rather than later.
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