When he started to view shared ownership homes in the area he was initially put off by the thought of high-rise living – but then he visited Aw4ken, a development of just 12 one- and two-bedroom apartments over three storeys, in a quiet residential area. “It’s a safe, leafy area neighbourhood, surrounded by nice houses, and I was really taken by one of the properties on the second floor,” he said. “I visited some 12-floor tower blocks in Acton and Kew and wasn’t sure about them. Here I don’t feel like I’m towering over people – the development fits in rather than sticking out.” Alex in addition to the location and type of building, was also instantly impressed with the internal layout of his new home, which was quite different from others he’d seen. “So many places I looked at elsewhere had completely open-plan living rooms, with the kitchen in one corner so you can see the sink from the sofa - I really didn’t like that. Here, the kitchen and living room are separated by a half-wall so you don’t have to see any of your cooking mess! I also love the super-large open balcony, which has already been put to good use. Everyone who visits comments on how light it is inside; I have huge windows letting in the sun so that it's bright inside from dawn to dusk.” Aw4ken, in W4, is a short walk from three Zone 3 London Underground stations. Chiswick Park is the nearest, with District Line services to Kings Cross taking 48 minutes, while Gunnersbury, around a 20-minute walk, has Overground services to Stratford in less than an hour. Alex’s trip to work is 45 minutes door to door, a far cry from the commute endured by those moving to the suburbs.