First-time buyer describes Hemel Hempstead as the perfect place for first home

Apsley Quay is a development of one, two and three-bedroom apartments

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:28 pm

After what may have seemed like a never-ending search for the perfect new home, one first-time buyer has finally found the right place at Bellway’s Apsley Quay development in Hemel Hempstead.

Tax consultant Vishal Patel had been looking to buy since 2018, taking his time to look through multiple homes and developments all across London and surrounding areas.

Apsley Quay, which enjoys a peaceful canalside setting, offered him all that he was looking for – and he moved into his new two-bedroom apartment in January.

Vishal Patel outside Bellway’s Apsley Quay development in Hemel Hempstead

Vishal, 28, said: “After viewing so many different homes, I found myself becoming very picky with what I was searching for, but this apartment came very close to perfection for me.

“As I work in central London, I could have bought a property closer to the centre of London with the funds that I had saved, but the overall cost of living in the city would have been too much.”

“An easy commute into work in Blackfriars was the most important thing for me, which is why I chose this place. Plus, now I get to enjoy the greenery and open air that you get from living further away from the city.”

Apsley Quay is a Bellway development of one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

Vishal’s search was given a push in early 2020, after he found himself working from home, whilst living with his family, in Harrow, North London.

He said: “The lockdown kicked me into gear. I realised if not now, then when will it be the right time for me to finally get my own place.

“When I was renting, I could not believe how expensive it was, I was burning money and hardly able to save anything on top of that. The experience was not suited to me personally.”

“It makes more sense for me to be able to pay my mortgage every month, knowing that I am investing into myself.”

An advantage of buying a new-build home was that it enabled Vishal to use the Help to Buy scheme, a Government initiative that allows buyers to purchase their first home with a minimum five per cent deposit and 75 per cent mortgage.

The remaining 20 per cent is provided in the form of an equity loan, which is interest free for the first five years. The scheme is now only be available to first-time buyers, with a regional price cap of £407,400 for the East of England, which covers Hertfordshire.

Vishal said: “The major benefit I had from using the scheme was the extra cash flow I had remaining, which helped with the added expenses of moving out.

"Without the scheme, everything would have been a lot harder to do. And of course, the incentive of no interest for five years was also a very attractive add-on.”

“I was so relieved and felt a huge feeling of accomplishment when I received the keys to my first home, to have finally got to this point before turning 30. I have the freedom to make my own choices here and do whatever I want, in my own time.

“Currently, my favourite room is the open-plan living and kitchen area. The large windows allow so much light to shine through during the day.

“I am at the age now where I can start thinking about settling down eventually and this would make a great home to start a life in when I get married one day. For now, having the extra space means I can use the second room as an office, to continue working from home.”