No longer living in aunt's spare room
Daniele Ludovisi has worked his way up the property ladder in less than two years from lodging with family to owning the majority stake in an apartment in Brixton — his ideal location. He lives with his girlfriend, Veronica Castroro and was renting his aunt’s spare room in Norbury, south London, while he saved for a deposit before he found his first London home at The Junction, a Network Homes development, quite by chance. “I really love Brixton and we spend a lot of time there,” he explains. “One Saturday we came here for the evening and just saw the construction site.” Daniele contacted the builder and discovered Shared Ownership homes would be available at The Junction.
He put his name down and in October 2015 paid a £30,000 deposit to buy a 50 per cent share in the property, worth £174,000. In December last year Daniele, 34, a senior CGI artist, was able to “staircase” and buy another 25 per cent stake in the property. Eventually he hopes to buy the whole place outright. Monthly costs, including mortgage, rent and service charge, come in at about £1,300, and he believes he and Veronica, 28, a nursery school teacher, could not rent a home of similar quality for less than that. The flat, meanwhile, has increased in full value from £349,000 to £415,000 which means he has been earning equity all the time. For now, however, he and Veronica are very happy at The Junction and have no plans to cash in. “My background is in interior design and I am very impressed with the design and layout, as well as the standard of finishes and attention to detail,” Daniele adds. The couple also love living an easy walk from the centre of Brixton. The Tube and railway stations are only five minutes away, making commuting a breeze. “I can get to my office in Mayfair in less than 10 minutes, not many people can say that,” says Daniele. There are plenty of green spaces nearby, he points out, despite this being an urban area. “Brockwell Park, Kennington Park and Clapham Common are really great for seeing friends or just relaxing. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. “If it wasn’t for Shared Ownership, I definitely wouldn’t be sitting in my own place now, as it seems impossible these days to buy outright.”