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“The show home and sales team were great. The flat I’ve chosen has a view of London, which is very rare, especially for the price!"
Southmere is part of the ambitious regeneration project at Thamesmead
As a Building Control Surveyor, Natalie, knows a thing or two about property. So when it came to looking for a new home for herself, her partner and their two cats, arriving at a building site certainly didn’t faze her.
Already aware Peabody is one of the oldest and largest housing associations, and that it was undertaking an extensive regeneration of Thamesmead, Natalie first viewed her home at Crane Court, Southmere, when the building was still under construction. But walking down to the lakeside, she knew this was a place she could see herself moving to. After viewing the state-of-the-art Southmere marketing suite with comprehensive plans of the ambitious regeneration project at Thamesmead and the show home, Natalie was sold.
The flat I’ve chosen has a view of London
“The show home and sales team were great. The flat I’ve chosen has a view of London, which is very rare, especially for the price! I chose the orientation and aspect based entirely on the model in the sales suite, and got exactly what I wanted. I actually gifted the sales team one of my homemade candles to say thank you for all their help and support!”
Natalie bought a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment at Peabody’s multi-award winning Southmere development through Shared Ownership. Running an ethically sourced, small batch home fragrance business on the side, the spacious interior allowed Natalie to help her business flourish.
“I wanted to create something with my maternal heritage of caring for ourselves and our community in mind, whether it’s gifting, relaxing in the bath by candlelight or just chilling in the evening. I founded a candle brand in 2020, when were all spending more and more time in our homes.
The brand is called Ina Spence Home 1888, named after my great, great grandmother, who was a community midwife, and her year of birth.”
An easy journey to the city from Abbey Wood
Natalie was able to make her move to Southmere after purchasing an initial 35% share of her Crane Court home. Shared Ownership is a part buy/part rent scheme that makes it possible for first time buyers to purchase a property that otherwise would not have been affordable. It is a government-backed scheme launched in 2006 for people who are unable to afford to buy a home at full market value, a valuable asset to get Londoner’s on the housing ladder.
“I researched Shared Ownership a lot and it seemed like the right thing for me – I don’t see how it’s any different to a regular purchase. Once all the affordability checks were done, it was a straight forward process.”
Renting with her partner in Plumstead, Natalie knew the South East London area well, but was looking to move somewhere with better transport connections. Living between two stations, the commute was becoming untenable, with an easy journey to the city a must-have with Abbey Wood only moments away. With the opening of the brand new Elizabeth Line in Spring 2022, Natalie couldn’t believe her luck.
Peabody were one of the first housebuilders to revise their pet policies
She explains; “Funnily enough, Crossrail opening didn’t even factor into our decision! When we first viewed Southmere, there wasn’t even an opening date, we were really happy with the transport that was already available from Abbey Wood.
“The Elizabeth Line opening before we completed was just a bonus – I can get to the office in Canary Wharf even quicker than planned, and it’s a direct journey!”
Additional factors to Natalie deciding to buy at Southmere include the fantastic resident amenities, with a podium garden, concierge service and residents’ lounge, alongside meeting rooms and workspaces. Natalie noted Peabody’s forward-thinking pet policy was also a huge draw.
“With two cats it was a big thing for me. Peabody were one of the first housebuilders to revise their pet policies and a lot still don’t allow them – or only let you have one. Both cats had a few unsettled nights when we moved, but are doing well in their new home.”
There are year round community based events at Southmere
Homes at Crane Court are positioned off Cygnet Square, where Thamesmead Arts and Culture Office (TACO) has moved to - a place for people to meet, socialise and get creative with a packed calendar of events, contributing to the neighbourhood’s growing arts and culture scene. With new services and shops set to open in the near future and a lakeside public library and community space opening its doors in spring 2023, the square will provide places to eat, drink, socialise and shop as well as the opportunity for markets.
A calendar of year round community based events at Southmere provided Natalie with the chance to fit into her new community and meet her new neighbours, kicking off with a interior design workshop held by boutique interior designers Suna, for both new and future residents and to gain expertise about decorating her new home.
“The workshop was a great experience, not only to meet the interior design team and visualise our home, but also to make friends, including prospective buyers too. I met some of our neighbours at the event, which was lovely - we’re all first time buyers so in the same boat and going on a bit of a journey together!”
Southmere is rare in delivering a new London neighbourhood with a lakeside setting
Pairing the best of blue and green living, Southmere is rare in delivering a new London neighbourhood with a lakeside setting and an abundance of green space, offering over 240 hectares of parks and green space, five lakes, and seven kilometres of canals. Currently undergoing a £2.5 million renovation, Southmere Lake will provide access to a new Boat Club, ideal for paddleboarding, kayaking or sailing. The local area was a big attraction for Natalie with Southmere allowing her to live the well sought after London life with the peace and quiet of nearby nature.
“Once I’d reserved, we would take a stroll through the nearby Bostall Woods and come and see how the build was going. It was exciting to see my home going up and getting closer to completion as the weeks went by - and drop in the Abbey Arms for a drink on the way home!
“Southmere is the best mix between suburban and urban life. You can go and have a wander and enjoy the canals, and the Thames is about 15 mins walk which then has the Thames Path to enjoy. But if you do want to go into central it doesn’t take much time to get there at all.
After settling into her new home and surroundings at Southmere, Natalie comments “I see this as a long term investment – I can’t imagine ever selling this flat.”
Find your dream home
At Peabody, we have a number of homes available to buy with Shared Ownership throughout London. Use our property search to discover a home for you and to register your interest.