Relocation services agent Min Seok Koo, who works for Samsung, and his wife, Mi-ra Kim, a researcher for the Korean Trade Centre, were keen to get on the property ladder and find a new home within easy reach of their two boys’ school in Wimbledon, but with a deposit of just £11,000 and an average Wimbledon apartment price of £585,898 (according to Foxtons’ July 2023 figures), buying a home seemed out of reach.  This was until they discovered the Shared Ownership scheme available at Square Roots Kingston and were able to leave the rental market.

The development has been designed with contemporary family life in mind. Using their £11,000 deposit, Min and Mi were able to purchase a 25% share of a spacious two-bedroom apartment worth £590,000. They are now paying £2,050 per month including mortgage, rent and service charges, compared to £1,900 monthly rental fees for an apartment in Wimbledon. 

Min explains: “We wanted to buy a new home within our budget located near our boys’ school in Wimbledon, as well as our South Korean church in Raynes Park and our oldest son’s table tennis club in New Malden. We discovered Shared Ownership was our best option and were delighted to find Square Roots Kingston. We chose a two-bedroom apartment located on the third floor of Darent House, which includes a balcony and enjoys excellent views across the local area.” 

Min continues

“I love the fact that the tiles and kitchen appliances are so modern, and the apartment feels super stylish. Previously we all shared one bathroom, it’s so nice having our own ensuite. It’s always been something we have dreamed of but now it’s a reality."

The location of the development was also a major plus point. London’s largest Royal Park – Richmond Park, covering nearly 2,500 acres – is just a short stroll from the apartments. With Min being a keen runner and the children loving spending time on their bicycles, such easy access to nature was a real bonus. 

The icing on the cake for Mi and Min was the eco-friendly nature of their new home. Min drives a BMW I3 EV, which he previously had to charge at work. With an allocated parking space complete with an electronic charging point at Square Roots Kingston, he can now charge his car at home, removing low battery-related worries. The homes, which are rated B for their energy efficiency, also provide scope for lower heating bills.  Min comments: “Every visitor we have had is very surprised at how warm our home is and can’t believe that we haven’t had to turn on the heating yet”. 

With Kingston-upon-Thames town centre a 20-minute walk away, the family has plenty of opportunities for shopping, dining out and socialising, as well as riverside strolls. Min has shared his experience of buying with Square Roots with the congregation at their church and they are enjoying getting to know their neighbours. They have joined the Square Roots residents’ WhatsApp group, and the children enjoy playing at the onsite communal green open space during the warmer months

While all homes at Square Roots Kingston are now sold, purchasers can register their interest in a future development in Kingston and in the studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at Square Roots Hendon

Meanwhile, at Square Roots Lewisham, Shared Ownership apartments with one to three-bedrooms and two-bedroom duplex apartments are currently available. Prices start from £103,750 for a 25% share of a one-bedroom apartment with a full market value of £415,000. 

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