• 11/10/2022

Researcher finds perfect shared ownership home in Watford

A new shared ownership owner inside his property

Danilo, a Researcher in cell and pharmacology, recently moved into his brand new two-bedroom apartment on a new development in Watford. 

Can you tell us about your background before moving here?

Previous to moving to Watford, I lived in Camden for two and a half years. I moved to England in 2009 to finish my postgraduate studies and I have lived in private rented accommodation until August last year, when I finally bought my first apartment.

What do you like about the area where you live?

There are a few things that I like about living in Watford:

  • It’s very close and well connected to various parts of London
  • I have Carpenders Park close by, so I can enjoy long walks in the park whenever I want, which is very relaxing
  • I can find almost all the main shops in the area, so I never have to worry if I need something
  • It’s quiet and clean and the air is much less polluted than a lot of areas in London.

What’s your connection to the area?

When I decided to apply for this shared ownership home, I didn’t know much about Watford. I’ve always lived in London but 2-bedroom flats in nice areas of London were simply unaffordable for me.

I discovered Watford when I started looking for flats on sale around London, and I thought it could have been a good location for me based on the house prices and the good connection with both London and some airports such as Luton and Heathrow.

I like having Cassiobury Park super close to home, as well as being close the high street with all its shops, which is very convenient. Also, some of my friends live in north west London and I can reach them more easily than before now that I live in Watford.

How did you feel when you found out your offer was accepted and you were going to become a homeowner? 

When I found out my offer was accepted, I felt extremely happy. After saving money and making sacrifices for so many years, I was finally about to own my own space and shape it according to my taste. I also felt somewhat scared as things went very quickly and I wasn’t sure whether I was ready for this step. The excitement prevailed of course and buying the flat is a decision I don’t regret.

What did you like about the house when you first looked round?

I was impressed with the balcony. I’ve never had a balcony while renting. In addition, I also liked the floor plan and the big windows that make each room bright and cosy.

What would you say to someone struggling to find somewhere affordable and considering shared ownership?

I know it’s hard to buy a property if you don’t have any external help. When I started considering buying a flat, I was purposely discarding all shared ownership solutions as I thought it would have been more expensive in the long term and I would have still felt like I was just renting.

Shared ownership is a good way to get on the property ladder, and I am now considering buying out the remaining shares in a few years to fully own the property. I would recommend shared ownership to anyone who is struggling to buy a property as it gives you the possibility to have your own space. 

How have Hightown staff been to deal with? 

Hightown staff have always been helpful and nice with me, in particular Lindsey from the Sales team.

Where do you work?

I work as a researcher in cell physiology and pharmacology.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time I like going to concerts and art exhibition. In addition, I enjoy long walks in wildlife areas. I’m also a conservation volunteer for Royal Parks.

What difference has this home made to your life?

My life has greatly improved since I bought my flat. I'm happier now as I’m finally living in a space created by me, where I feel at home. Renting privately throughout the previous 10 years has not been a fun experience, and it started becoming very expensive. Even though my commute is longer, I like the fact that I finally enjoy spending time at home. Watford is also an ideal place to live in as it’s very close to London, so I don’t miss living there, but it is much quieter, clean and relaxing.