First-time buyer: ‘I used shared ownership and switched travel Zone to buy my own London home’

Marketing manager Daisy Smith bought a 25 per cent share of her home in Brentford  (Handout)
Marketing manager Daisy Smith bought a 25 per cent share of her home in Brentford (Handout)

In 2021, Daisy Smith was living in a tiny studio flat — with no outside space — and paying £1,200pcm for the privilege.

By switching location, moving from Zone 2 to Zone 4, and taking advantage of the shared ownership scheme she now has a more spacious one-bedroom flat of her own, without having to significantly increase her monthly outgoings.

“It’s so nice to have your own home in London,” said Daisy, a marketing manager.

Her studio flat was in Fulham, and journeys by tube to work in Waterloo took her around half an hour.

She now lives five miles further out, in Brentford, where overground services straight to Waterloo take 32 minutes.

It was the handy transport links which persuaded Daisy, 35, to buy at The Moorings, a new development set by the Grand Union Canal.

All its flats have balconies, and there are also communal rooftop gardens.

What it cost

Property price (one-bedroom apartment): £385,000

Daisy’s 25 per cent share: £96,250

Deposit: £4,812.50

Old Fulham studio rent; £1,200 a month

New monthly costs (rent, mortgage repayment and service charge): £1,462

Daisy picked a £385,000 open-plan one-bedroom apartment, and bought a 25 per cent share for £96,250. She raised the five per cent deposit (just under £5,000) with a mixture of savings made during the pandemic, when her spending plummeted, and a little help from her family.

Her monthly costs now include rent of £662 and service charge of just over £200. Mortgage repayments add an estimated £600pcm.

Since moving in in June Daisy has been exploring her new neighbourhood, enjoying long walks to Kew Bridge and Kew Gardens.

“In Brentford, you just feel like you’re so welcomed by the local people,” she said. “There is a very nice coffee shop on the high street called Verdict and I find the people there are very friendly.”

“I love the location - living by water really makes a huge difference to my life.”

Brentford is a location which is starting to gain traction amongst buyers priced out of more expensive neighbours like Chiswick, and is seeing massive investment including new homes, and new town centre shops, cafes, and open space.