Why this couple decided to buy their new home without viewing it first

‘We didn’t have to rush any decisions’ (Picture: EPS)

Living in a houseshare can be great fun, but there comes a time when most people would far rather be in a place of their own.

The experience lost its shine for Miguel Barros and his partner Mariana Pacheco during lockdown, when they made up their minds to buy as soon as possible.

‘We were in a rented flat with friends, but when lockdown happened it was all too much – we were all stuck inside trying to work from home at the same time,’ says Miguel, 29, a property manager for an estate agency.

The couple were saving for a home but being cooped up made them determined to quickly make the dream a reality. ‘As I work in the industry, I could see how the market keeps going up, and we had enough savings to try to seize the opportunity at the right time,’ adds Miguel.

‘Owning is better than renting in the current market, and we also wanted to make the most of Help to Buy before the scheme ends – we couldn’t buy a place in London without it.’

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme, which ends next March, provides loans of up to 40% of the purchase price to London buyers who can put down a 5% deposit.

The development

Western Circus

Western Circus has apartments arranged around landscaped gardens (Picture: EPS)

Western Circus is made of up six blocks of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, each with a balcony, terrace or winter garden and floor-to-ceiling windows.

They’re arranged around landscaped gardens and there will be a café and Lidl supermarket on-site.

One and two-beds are currently for sale, from £427,000 and Help to Buy’s available.

Find out more with Barrett London.

It’s available on selected new homes costing up to £600,000, with lower regional price caps across the rest of the country, where the maximum loan, which is interest-free for five years, is 20%.

Miguel and Mariana, 27, who works as a consultant in the construction industry, were hoping to stay in Acton where they were renting: ‘We already knew and loved the area, and also had a good idea of the way the local area was improving,’ says Miguel.

Do the maths

For a similar one-bed apartment:

Purchase price: £427,000

5% deposit: £21,350

40% Help to Buy loan: £170,800

Mortgage: approx. £983 pcm

Service charge: approx £137 pcm

Monthly spend: approx £1,120

After looking around, they bought a one-bed apartment at Barratt London’s Western Circus development off-plan, and hope to move in this June.

‘As we are buying off-plan we haven’t seen the actual home, but we have seen the marketing suite and that looks very good, with high-quality materials,’ says Miguel.

‘We aren’t in a hurry. We didn’t have to rush any decisions and had plenty of time to take the next steps forward as well as to save more money towards our new home.

‘It’s next to East Acton Station so commuting is very easy, and HS2 will be coming to the area, which means it will develop even more, so buying here is a great investment.’

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