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Stress-Free and Simple

Edyta Finds her Ideal Home at Erith Park


41 year old Edyta Szatanik had wanted to own her own home for a long time, but felt intimidated by the ‘horror stories’ of house buying stress and misery, which she had heard from friends.  Fortunately, thanks to an impromptu visit to Orbit’s sales suite at Erith Park, and some assistance in the form of a Help to Buy: Equity Loan, she is now the relaxed and happy owner of a brand-new one bedroom apartment.

Edyta explains:

“I’d been daydreaming about buying my own place, making plans and searching for a long time, but despite looking hard I had never found quite the right place. Then one day I happened to pass by this fabulous looking development, and decided to walk into the sales office on the spur of the moment.”

Despite working for a City financial institution herself, Edyta confesses that even she found the idea of buying her own home, and the associated bureaucracy, a “petrifying undertaking”. However, as she quickly discovered, she needn’t have worried:

“I met Jeanette, the Sales Advisor, as soon as I walked into the office and she couldn’t have been more friendly and approachable. There was no pressure, and I genuinely felt she was there to help me decide what the best course of action for me would be, not to try to persuade me into buying a certain type of property.  She talked through my options, and what was available to me at Erith Park, and then introduced me to Mark, an Independent Financial Advisor, who was hugely knowledgeable and supportive in helping me to sort out my mortgage.”

“Mark explained that I was eligible for help to fund my home purchase, in the form of a Help to Buy: Equity loan, which means the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of buying a new build home, so you only need a 5% cash deposit (rather than the minimum of 10% usually required) and a mortgage for the remaining 75% to make up the rest.  For me, it meant that I was able to get on the property ladder, within commuting distance of London, on a single person’s salary.  Thanks to Mark’s expertise, I had my mortgage offer sorted out in less than a week.”

As well as the financial advantages of buying a new build apartment at Erith Park, Edyta is delighted with the size and location of her new home, as well as the friendliness of the community of which she is now part.  She comments:

“I feel so lucky to have found this place.  I looked at lots of other properties that were half the size of my new apartment, but certainly no cheaper, and none of them were the short walk from a railway station that I needed. I have to commute into central London each day, and the last thing I wanted was to have to pay for station parking.  From Erith Park, I can get to the local railway station in five minutes, and hop straight on a train to work.  It’s taken a lot of stress out of the daily commute, and makes it easy to get home quickly in the evening.”

For Edyta, getting home quickly is key, because as well as a busy full-time job, she is studying for a post graduate law degree.  This means that uninterrupted peace and quiet, and space to work at home are also very important to Edyta.  Fortunately, Erith Park has not disappointed her:

“There’s a great community feel about this development,” she says, happily.  “I have super neighbours, who keep an eye on my home if I am away, and there is a genuine sense of respect for one another. It’s easy for me to study in peace here, because the rooms are so spacious that there is plenty of space for a desk. The soundproofing is excellent and, because everyone is so considerate, on warm days I can read on a lounger on my balcony without being disturbed by noise.”

Edyta sums up her experience of buying a new home at Erith Park as follows:

“It’s been so much simpler and stress-free than I would have dared to hope. I simply couldn’t have wished for better people to help me through the purchase process, and I feel safe and secure at Erith Park, and able to concentrate on my studies without worrying about where I am going to live.”

More information about Help to Buy:Equity Loans is available here


The Quiet Life

Why Michael Sleeps Easy at Erith Park


In his fifties, and living in rented accommodation, Senior Paramedic Michael Ellis (53) was terribly concerned about long-term stability for him and his then 16 year old youngest daughter Miranda.  Two years later, Michael is well established as a happy homeowner at Erith Park, having bought a two bedroom apartment through shared ownership with Orbit.  Happier still, two content residents have become three, as Michael is about to marry his fiancée, professional artist Samantha (‘Sam’) Kavanagh.

“I needed a more secure future, particularly because my daughter Miranda lives with me, and it was important to provide her with a stable home though her school exam years.” Explains Michael, continuing:

“Private renting can be a real headache, and I was constantly worried about future rental costs, because it is just so expensive to live this close to London.  I’m in my fifties, so I have to be realistic about what life will be like when I retire.  Whilst I will have a reasonable pension, it simply won’t be enough to allow me to rent anything remotely decent and still be near my family and friends in the area where I grew up.” 

Michael was particularly keen to get himself out of the vulnerable position that private renting can sometimes present, having had a bad experience with a previous landlord. He recalls:

“I’m very particular about living in a clean and tidy environment, so I asked if I could redecorate and carpet the property I was renting.  I was given permission to do it, at my own expense, but as soon as I had the place looking presentable the landlord decided he wanted the flat back.  I found myself effectively homeless and out of pocket, so it wasn’t an experience I was keen to repeat.”

Initially, Michael thought the solution might be to move to a cheaper area, but even with a Help to Buy Equity Loan it wasn’t the ideal solution, as he explains:

“I’d heard that there was government support available, to help people to get on the property ladder, so I initially looked into buying through Shared Ownership near to where my mother lives in Sussex. However, even though it would have been cheaper than renting in Erith, living in Sussex just wasn’t practical for me to get to work in St Paul Cray, where the ambulance service I work for is based.”

Fortunately, Michael’s wish to buy his own home was soon granted by Orbit’s Erith Park development, where he was able to buy 35% of a two bedroom apartment, which was easily affordable, while still allowing him to live within easy commuting distance of work.

Buying through the government-backed Shared Ownership scheme allows working people like Michael, with a household income of less that £90k per annum, to purchase a share of a new home and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder.  They can then increase their owned share, should their financial circumstances change in the future, through a system known as ‘Staircasing’, up to 100%.

Michael is very happy with his life at Erith Park, commenting:

“Part of the appeal of buying an apartment here was that there is a maintenance contract for the grounds and public areas.  It’s absolutely worth paying a little extra for, because the building is beautifully maintained, the gardens look great, and I don’t have to worry about other people making a mess of shared spaces.  This is particularly handy when you work in a high stress job, because you don’t always have the time or energy to get involved with DIY or gardening.”

As a Fast Response Paramedic Michael does shift work, so having the peace and quiet to be able to sleep during the day is of paramount importance to him.  Fortunately, his apartment at Erith Park ticks this box too. “It’s very peaceful here.” observes a relieved Michael, continuing: “As well as the apartments being well very constructed, with excellent insulation and soundproofing, we’re also fortunate to be surrounded by very considerate neighbours.  All the people we have met here are lovely, and there is a genuine sense of community and people having respect for their living environment.”

The great sound proofing in Michael’s apartment has been a help to artist Sam too, as they have been able to replace the lounge carpet with hard flooring that allows her to paint at home. 

As Michael explains:

“The bedrooms and lounge are huge, so while there is plenty of space for Miranda to study, and for Sam to work from home, I didn’t really fancy the idea of oil paint all over the carpet!  Again, because of the quality of the building’s construction, we didn’t need carpet down to avoid disturbing our downstairs neighbours, so Sam can have a working studio here that’s also easy to keep clean.”

So, it’s no surprise that Michael and his family are happy to recommend shared ownership with Orbit Homes, and life as part of the community at Erith Park to their friends and family. “Buying here has been the perfect solution for us,” smiles Michael, “and I can relax, knowing that by the time I retire I will have paid off my small mortgage, and only have a very affordable partial rent to pay on my ideal, long-term home.”