Saturday, March 15, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #217] Movin' on Up

Well I'm movin' on up (well, I'm moving)
To the east side (to East London)
To a deluxe apartment (well, it's new build)
in the sky (eight floor [ninth in American], that's pretty much as 'sky' as you get in London)
Movin on up (well, over)
To the east side (yup, thataway)
I finally got a piece of the pie (more like a crumb, actually...)

Yup, I am buying a flat! Well, technically I am buying a 125 year lease to a flat*. And, well, technically I am only buying 35% of the flat**. But that's how things are done here in this mad city of eye-watering property prices. I will be leaving my dearly loved Clerkenwell, which I will definitely miss, but I am excited about putting down roots in gritty, edgy East London, Chavwell*** specifically.

The flat could charitably be called "cozy", even by London standards. But it is bright, modern, nicely finished, comes with stunning views, and it is literally across the street from the DLR and 200m from the temporarily closed East London Line. Twenty minutes to Tottenham Court Road and 15 minutes from door to desk. I officially "complete" on or around 31 March, so look for that to be the official peak of the London property market.

So, starting some time between 15 April and 25 May, my new address will be:

Flat ##, Kelday Heights
2 Spencer Way
Tower Hamlets
London E1 2PW



1. th01 - my building from the North
. th02 - building from the South, DLR train in front of it
3. th03 - future lodger's room
. th04 - my future room
. th05 - hall leading into the living room
. th06 - living room/kitchen (waste of space, as far as I'm concerned!)
7. th07 - living room/balcony
8. th08 - the other side of the living room (I love the floor-to-ceiling window)

9. th09 - another view of the kitchen (couldn't they have cut it down by half and left me a nice dining nook?)

10. th10 - The View! (There's one of Canary Wharf off the balcony, too, but I somehow lost that pic)

11. th11 - out the window
12. Picture 1 - floor plan

*British law wants there to be an ultimate owner to property, so most blocks of flats are 'leasehold', where the building is owned by a company, housing authority or estate and you buy a lease to a flat. It's just a way to ensure a line of ownership if things go badly. In practice leases never run out because when you get down to around 80 years on a lease, you pay £50 or so to file paperwork to re-extend the lease back out to its maximum.

**As you know, London property is ridiculously expensive. As a way to help first time buyers and key workers get on the property ladder, they introduced shared ownership schemes. Essentially I am buying 35% of the flat and the housing authority is buying the other 65%. I will then pay a subsidised rent to the housing authority for the portion they own. After six months, I am free to buy an increasing share in the flat as finances allow.

***Most likely misspelled 'Shadwell' in your AtoZs.

Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its so lovely! I've seen bad Euro places, and this is definately not one. What a cute little gem.- steph