Success Stories: Annika

Annika had been renting in Willesden, North West London, with her then-boyfriend (now-husband) for a year and a half. She loved her flat and adored the area, but she was eager to own a place of her own.

She says “Our old flat was great, but the cost of our rent was pretty horrific and I was struggling to save a big enough deposit. I knew I wanted to get on the property ladder, but I just wasn’t sure how it was going to be possible.”

Annika, a Freelance Educator, bought a 40% share of a one bedroom flat with a balcony at Hornby Court, Willesden. She bought her home through Paradigm after finding it on Share to Buy, the UK’s largest portal for Shared Ownership homes: “I knew a bit about Shared Ownership beforehand, but I had no idea where to start with it all. One night, I was reading the Evening Standard and came across an advert for Share to Buy. I looked up the website and was so impressed that I registered straight away!

“I’d got it into my head that finding a Shared Ownership home would be quite a painstaking process, but Share to Buy made it so easy. I liked that you could do everything online – there was no posting off forms or long phone calls. The website was very visual, with plenty of photos, and it was so simple to use.

“As someone who didn’t know much about Shared Ownership or the different housing providers, it was extremely helpful to have all of our options next to one another, rather than having to trawl through each developer’s website.”

She continues: “I was set on staying in the area, and by happy coincidence, a new Willesden development by Paradigm had just launched and was available on Share to Buy. It all seemed like everything was falling into place!”

Annika’s sister, Birgitta, was living with their parents at the time, and was also itching for a place of her own: “My sister was living with our parents in Hertfordshire and had decided she wanted to move to London too. I recommended Share to Buy, and after hearing how positive my whole experience had been, she soon registered with them and applied for my same building. She ended up being only a few weeks behind me in the application process. I moved in on December 1st and before the New Year, Birgitta was living two doors down!”

Annika explains what she loves about her home and the area: “Our apartment is so spacious and bright – we even have a winter garden balcony, which is like having an extra room!”

“Willesden is such a vibrant place to live – it really gives you a taste of bustling city life. I move around a lot with my job, but thankfully the nearby transport links are fantastic. My apartment is only a short walk from both Neasden and Dollis Hill tube stations, and there’s a bus stop right outside, so I’m always easily connected to central London.”

Looking to the future, Annika is making the most of having a place to call her own: “We are happily staying put for the time being. Who knows what will happen in a couple of years – we are only in a one bed at the moment so perhaps we’ll want somewhere bigger or even somewhere outside of London – but for now we couldn’t be happier with where we are.”

Share to Buy is a one stop shop for first time buyers looking to get a foot on the property ladder. Start planning your future today and check out our available properties, or visit our helpful FAQs and guides to find out more about Shared Ownership.