After moving out of her former home in Richmond to live with her sister’s family, Dorota Bialy realised it was time to find her own space again.
“I hadn’t planned on living with my sister long term – it was just a stepping stone while I looked for a place of my own, but it’s nearly impossible to buy in London as a single person.”
Having moved from Germany two years ago, she considered leaving the UK if she couldn’t find a new home.
“I didn’t want to ?make sacrifices on quality or location to get on to the property ladder. Before I found Shared Ownership, I was seriously thinking about going back home to Germany, but I’m so pleased I was able to find somewhere in London to lay permanent roots.”
Dorota took her first step onto the property ladder purchasing a 25% share of a studio apartment at Catalyst’s ARRO in Southall.
Discovering Shared Ownership whilst working at Barclays, she comments:
“I heard about Shared Ownership at work – I picked up one of the educational flyers we have in our branch, and decided to look into the scheme further.”
“I first viewed the studio show apartment and loved it immediately – the design was so chic and didn’t feel like a typical studio. The development’s proximity to the canal and green spaces was another tick on my checklist. I gave the sales team my details right away to start the process.”
Studio apartments at ARRO feature contemporary open-plan layouts, with spacious bedroom, lounge and kitchen areas, and a separate stylish bathroom. An unusual addition for a studio apartment, each home has a private outdoor space, whether a terrace or balcony.
“My studio apartment fits my needs perfectly – it’s just the right size for a single buyer, and has been built to a very high standard. There’s also a big balcony with a view over the park, where I love sitting with a good book and glass of wine – it is one of my favourite parts of the apartment.”
Southall is a growing hotspot for first-time buyers looking to get on to the ladder in the capital. The future arrival of Crossrail has spurred an ambitious redevelopment programme invigorating the neighbourhood, delivering an array of shops, entertainment options, and unlocking the potential of the Grand Union Canal.
The area’s bright future is what drew Dorota to put down roots in Southall, saying,
“I didn’t know much about Southall before finding ARRO; I was initially drawn to the area due to its affordability. It’s calm and quiet, and feels miles away from the busyness of the city, but it’s so easy to get into Central London, and Crossrail will only make the journey speedier.”
Whilst the journey to becoming a property owner can be quite a challenging one, with Catalyst’s team on hand, it proved surprisingly straight forward for Dorota.
“The whole process only took eight weeks, from my first viewing to getting my keys! Catalyst were excellent with communicating, keeping me updated with the process, and connecting me with different professionals so that all the necessary legal and mortgage work was in order. It was so helpful to have a team of experts available to guide me every step of the way.”
Without Shared Ownership, Dorota couldn’t have become a homeowner in London, and now enthusiastically recommends it to all her co-workers and friends.
“I was amazed that I could get so much for my money through Shared Ownership. I would never have been able to purchase a home like this without part-buy, part-rent. I tell all my colleagues about it, and now a few are thinking about buying through Shared Ownership!”
Dorota concludes, “One day I hope to staircase to 100% ownership of my apartment. It’s exactly the kind of home I dreamed of having as my first home, and I’m so pleased that through Shared Ownership, I was able to achieve that dream.”