Press Release: 01 August 2022
Arts worker secures dream first home in Barking with Pocket Living
Hannah Evans (29), a corporate partnerships fundraiser for the Royal Albert Hall, has had her sights set on owning her own home in London since she was 21 but firmly believed that in order to buy she would have to move out of the capital and leave a job that she really enjoyed.
“For me, it was either rent in London and remain at a company that I love or move out of London and become a homeowner, I really didn’t think I could have both. During the pandemic, I found myself looking for jobs outside of the Capital just so I could have a fighting chance of getting on the property ladder. There are similar companies in Manchester, for example, but for me it is not the same as London”, says Hannah.
Before learning about Pocket Living, Hannah rented for five years in Vauxhall. “It was a brilliant location, but I found it unaffordable to buy. I don’t dare to even try to work out how much I spent in rent during that time.
“Working in the arts, I have to work to make my salary go far, but I have always worked hard to save my money and had both a full time and part time job. I also started doing small things such as swapping bank accounts because you get the £100 switching bonus - for 10 minutes of admin it is worthwhile doing”, notes Hannah.
Hannah heard about Harbard Close, a Pocket Living development in Barking, in December 2021 after reading about a current resident who had purchased there in a London newspaper. “I spotted the starting price and it was the first time I had seen something within my price range. I immediately registered and booked in a viewing. I put in my expression of interest two or three days later and it was accepted on the Friday. It all clicked into place and just made sense.”
Harbard Close is just half a mile from Barking town centre and is available exclusively to first time buyers either living or working in London. They are available at a 20% discount compared to the local market, and purchasers own 100% of their property.
“When looking for a home I knew that I wanted something with space and light, as well as a view but I appreciated that was asking for a lot. Yet when I visited Harbard Close and looked out the window I was greeted with a view of Canary Wharf. I could also see the BT Tower, the Shard, the Walkie-Talkie building, I was quite surprised about how much of the city was visible, says Hannah.
“My favourite thing about my home has to be the big windows and the view – we already have had some stunning sunsets as I am on the west side of the building. When the sky is clear it is absolutely beautiful.”
Building thriving communities
At each development Pocket Living strives to create thriving new communities, which Hannah noticed as soon as she moved into her new home.
“The really good thing about Pocket is that everyone moving in is a homeowner. We’re all invested in ensuring it continues to look presentable and we’re quite sociable. As well as the resident app, which helped me get to know who my neighbours where, I was also invited to join a resident WhatsApp group. People help each other out - just the other week I had a delivery guy call me and I just said in the chat is there anyone in who can buzz him in, and one of my neighbours replied immediately. It is the little things like that which you really appreciate, and I am really looking forward to when the weather improves so I can sit in the outdoor spaces with my neighbours in the evenings.”
Hannah hadn’t considered Barking as a location before reading about Harbard Close but decided to explore the area when she came for her viewing. “The thing that really surprised me was just how nice everybody is as you don’t always experience that in big cities. Just seeing the amount of regeneration in the area was also a plus, there’s new flats popping up everywhere so you know there will be more restaurants, bars and things to do coming soon.”
Harbard Close is less than a 10-minute walk from Barking station, which has access to the District and Hammersmith & City lines and the London Overground.
“I love the arts. The main reason I moved down to London was for the theatres, so to have that connection not feel too far away from me was hugely important. The District line is fantastic, it is like an artery of London and you can pretty much get anywhere,” concludes Hannah.
As of August 2022, all of the 78 one-bedroom discounted Pocket homes are reserved but apartments are available at Pocket Living’s latest scheme in East Croydon, where prices start from £250,000. Each home benefits from well-designed open plan kitchen and living spaces, separate bedrooms and Juliet balconies.
Inside the building, significant attention has been placed on the amenity spaces to create an environment that Pocket’s residents not only love to live in but enjoy socialising in with their neighbours too. To that end, residents have access to three outdoor gardens, including a landscaped communal roof terrace on the 9th floor, a 20th floor Nordic Garden and a Hidden Garden on the 21st floor, each offering unique views of the city. There are also a number of internal communal spaces, which include a workspace with Hyperoptic Wi-Fi, a Residents’ Lounge, and a Wellness Room which can be used for yoga and meditation sessions, or resident get-togethers.
For more information visit www.pocketliving.com or call 020 7291 3683.
For more information, please contact:
Emily Smart at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Pocket Living
Pocket Living is an innovative housing developer, supported by the Mayor of London and Homes England, delivering well-designed, sustainable and affordable homes for London’s first-time buyers.
Pocket is currently the only UK developer dedicated to building and selling grant-free affordable homes. Established in 2005, Pocket sells one-bedroom homes to those on moderate incomes, people who are essential to London’s economy but who cannot afford to buy on the open market and earn too much to qualify for social housing.
Pocket homes are sold outright to buyers at a 20% discount to the local market. Purchasers must live or work in the local area and will own 100% of their property from day one. Buy-to let investors are excluded and Pocket leases ensure the homes remain affordable in perpetuity by asking Pocket owners to prove they are residents in their homes and are not sub-letting.