Sharing can be wearing




House shares can be fun when you’re young, but the novelty can soon wear off, especially if you work anti-social hours and have to try to sleep when your flat mates are awake. That’s exactly the scenario that 32-year-old Cosmin Sabau found himself in before he was finally able to move into a home of his own at The Apex in Fulham. “I was living in a shared house in West Acton, it was in a lovely area, very clean and green. But when you are in a shared house you do end up living with a real mix of people. I was working long hours and needed my privacy, plus I really like things to be clean and tidy. It was becoming difficult and stressful, especially as I was working shifts and other people were making a noise and enjoying a drink when I was trying to sleep. All of that was driving me to really want my own property.” Cosmin works in property management for luxury developments in central London, after moving to the UK from a Romanian seaside town six years ago. The luxury homes he looks after mainly belong to foreign investors and even royalty – but it made him despair of ever managing to buy a place of his own. “Prices in London are crazy and simply not affordable for ordinary people,” he says. “A lot of investors are coming from overseas and purchasing properties as an investment and pushing prices up unrealistically high. Fortunately, shared ownership provides an affordable way to buy a property.” Cosmin had been saving hard for several years, and when he joined forces with his brother Flavius they were able to purchase a 25% share of a two-bedroom apartment at The Apex with a full market value of £612,500. “It wasn’t a sudden decision, I had been putting my money away for six years, working like crazy, with no days off, to save up a large deposit. I knew what I wanted and that kept me going and I never gave up,” he says. The first thing on Cosmin’s wish list for his new home was to be a little nearer to his job. “All my work was in central London and I cycle everywhere as I don’t have a car. I was feeling exhausted cycling from West Acton over to Green Park or Kensington every evening, so I wanted something closer to my work. When this development came up I was really excited by the location, and when I visited it seemed ideal for me.” Everything initially seemed to be doing well – Cosmin had a mortgage in principle from a major bank and a good sized deposit. But then came a series of hitches that put his perseverance to the test. “When I made the full application it turned out that the bank had already lent on many properties there and had reached its limit. I had been so happy and excited, but then I was told it was not possible after all, which was a pretty hard for me. I was so sad, but I didn’t give up.” A broker also failed to come up with a suitable deal but Cosmin kept trying until eventually HSBC arranged a video call with a mortgage advisor who was able to help. “It was so stressful keep being turned down, but when you have a big dream you don’t want to give up – difficult times in my past have made me fight even harder for what I want.” Now he has moved into his new home all the struggles have been worth it. “I love the fact that the appliances are all new and they have guarantees. Everywhere is clean and the carpet is all new so that makes me happy - I love living somewhere clean! The inside of my house is lovely and I can see the trees and the park from the kitchen. Best of all, when I close the doors and the curtains and want to rest I can just go straight to sleep.” The Apex is a contemporary four-storey apartment block with 12 two-bedroom homes, all with generously sized balconies. Constructed using attractive red and grey brickwork to fit in with neighbouring buildings, the homes have solar panels on the roof and low-emission gas fired boilers for heating and hot water. West Brompton railway station is nearby. There are no homes currently available at The Apex, but resale shared ownership homes are available in nearby Shepherds Bush with prices starting from £95,000 for a 25% share. For more information visit