Actively looking to buy her first property, Harrow resident Siobhan, 31, a hair technician at Madame Tussauds in central London, was intrigued when she heard that the former Kodak factory, a well-known local landmark, was to be redeveloped as a residential quarter. As homes at the Eastman Village development were available via Hyde New Homes’ shared ownership scheme, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss so Siobhan took the plunge and reserved a top floor, one bedroom apartment while the building was still under construction.
“Everything came together really well, thanks to Hyde’s shared ownership scheme,” explained Siobhan. “When I first started looking into buying a home, I intended to get a standard mortgage. However, I am a single homeowner and wanted to live in Greater London, and there are slim pickings available for the amount of mortgage I would have been able to secure. I discovered other buying options, including Help to Buy, shared ownership and an equity loan, which opened up my scope much wider and meant I could be eligible for properties that better fitted my criteria.”
“When I compared Help to Buy to shared ownership, I saw that the latter was way more affordable for me on a month-to-month basis,” Siobhan continued. “I was more than eligible for both schemes, but shared ownership frees up my earnings and means I have more disposable income at the end of the month.”
A major new residential development, comprising 2,000 new homes, offices, restaurants, cafés, shops and amenities in a landscaped setting and close to Harrow on the Hill, Eastman Village had a special significance for Siobhan thanks to a family connection to the Kodak factory. “Grandad worked as one Kodak’s first computer managers, so we always think of him when we go past,” she explained, adding “It is also thanks to him that I was able to buy my home here as I used an inheritance he left me as a deposit.”
By registering her interest at an early stage, Siobhan was able to have her pick of apartments at Eastman Village. She settled on a south-westerly facing top floor one bedroom apartment. “It was slightly more expensive than the apartments on the lower two floors but worth it to me as it is bright and light and offers uninterrupted views.”
After speaking to a specialist mortgage adviser recommended by Hyde, Siobhan decided to purchase a 30% share of her home. “I found it useful to see their chart which explains the sliding scale of costs depending on how much deposit you contribute,” said Siobhan.
As a first-time buyer, Siobhan felt supported by Hyde throughout the buying journey. “Shenka, my sales consultant at Hyde, was brilliant. I’d often pop along to the marketing suite for a chat and see how my apartment block was progressing from the outside. She also sent me a buyer’s pack which had useful information on the development and the buying process plus a breakdown of my overall costs per month. I also received a timeline so I could see what would be happening on a week by week basis.”
While she waited for the sale to complete, Siobhan planned the interior of her new home. “I used Hyde’s floor plan to work out what items to order and where to put them!”
Siobhan has injected her creative style into her home with dark furniture, jewel tones, varied textures and an array of houseplants. She has also set up an Instagram profile @thatkodakflat to inspire others. “People comment that it looks like I’ve lived here for years when it’s only been a couple of months,” Siobhan laughed.
Siobhan’s apartment also makes a great base for socialising. “It’s so close to central London that I can just hop on a bus and be in town before I know it, plus it’s convenient for friends to come and stay,” she said.
With her parents just 10 minutes’ walk away, Siobhan is pleased with her decision to stay in her local area. “It’s filled with happy memories,” she commented, adding “My Grandad is buried in Pinner Cemetery which overlooks Eastman Village and I know he would be very happy that I have ended up living here.”
Eastman Village offers a collection of beautifully appointed, contemporary homes designed for modern lifestyles. Built around a landscaped park, one, two and three bedroom apartments and three and four bedroom houses are available through shared ownership, with prices starting at £82,750. A minimum deposit of 10% is required plus a £99 reservation fee. Selected homes are rent free for the first six months, saving up to £3,432.
Eastman Village offers residents an array of possibilities for recreation, relaxation, places to visit and sights to see. This ideal balance of town and country provides access to first-rate leisure facilities, cultural destinations, historical gems and picturesque villages.
Located in London’s Zone 5, Eastman Village is well served by public transport, with Euston just 19 minutes away by train. Harrow and Wealdstone Station – around 11 minutes’ walk from the development – connects to London via the Overground, Bakerloo Line and National Rail network. Harrow-on-the Hill, West Harrow, North Harrow and Northwick Park, all on the Metropolitan line, connect to central London and the City, while nearby Sudbury Hill and South Harrow are Piccadilly line stations.
With close access to the M40, M4 to the south and M1 to the north, Eastman Village is also central to the wider road networks of both Greater London and the UK.