This is What I Own.
Last week, we heard from Dario who lives in Stratford Upon Avon, but this week we are chatting to two other second-time buyers, Charlotte and Alex Beddows, who moved from Coventry to Liverpool last year.
The couple now live in a two-bed flat on Liverpool’s famous Albert Docks and pay £1,776 a month for their mortgage and bills.
Here’s what they had to say about their property journey…
Tell us about yourselves.
I’m Charlotte, a 29-year-old writer who lives just outside of the city centre of Liverpool with my husband Alex who works as a game developer in the AAA game industry. We have a six-year-old Labrador, Whiskey, who is absolutely spoiled rotten and loves to try and jump in the water whenever he can.
Where about is your property? What do you think of the area?
We’re based in Liverpool, more specifically on Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock, next to the Ten Streets regeneration area. We love it so much, we live on the west side of Tobacco Warehouse with a river view of the Mersey, which means we’re very lucky to have beautiful sunsets almost every evening.
The area is definitely very quiet at the moment but very up and coming, we’re fortunate to have some incredible local businesses nearby such as Ten Streets Social and Ricardo’s cafe down at the Make center.
When did you move in?
We moved in at the end of February 2022.
How much does your property cost?
Our property is two-bedroom and is 1,340 sq ft and cost £365,000 including an underground parking space.
How much was your deposit?
Our deposit was £73,000.
What is the monthly cost of living here now; both mortgage and bills?
Our total monthly cost of living here now is approximately £1,776. That’s including: mortgage, council tax, service charge, water, electricity, heating and food shopping. Our bills were slightly elevated due to the energy crisis, but even then the increase from our previous home isn’t as much as we thought. Tobacco Warehouse is connected to Mersey Heat heating network.
How did you save up for your deposit?
We both worked full-time and overtime to save up, so we had some savings that went towards our deposit. The rest we knew would come from the equity gained from selling our first house.
What was the process of getting a mortgage like for you? Did you find any parts challenging?
We’ve always found mortgages quite confusing and a little bit intimidating but Logic Estates, in partnership with Tobacco Warehouse, put us in touch with a great mortgage broker who knows the building very well and found us a fantastic rate.
They were very helpful and kept us updated and at ease throughout the entire process which, for someone who worries like me, was very reassuring.
What mortgage did you go for?
It’s fixed at 1.41% over 30 years.
Where did you live before this – were you renting or living with family?
In a house that we had bought in Coventry.
What made you want to buy rather than renting?
With owning our previous house and already being on the property ladder we felt that it was the right decision for us to stay on the property ladder and buy. We’ve never rented as we lived with our parents until we could buy our first home which was a fixer-upper, and knew this time we wanted a home that was ready to go.
How did you find this property? What made you choose it?
We were invited to stay with a friend who relocated to Liverpool in early 2021. Then another trip to the city confirmed our decision to move. An online property search portal Zoopla threw up some initial options: including this property at Tobacco Warehouse.
Something about it just caught our eye. We were both drawn to it and followed the links through to the website. It looked amazing – absolutely unique and so impressive. The virtual tour of the show apartment was helpful and let us see easily the layout and gave a feel for the space, but it didn’t prepare us for what we then saw.
We did not know Liverpool very well before we moved, but Tobacco Warehouse and Stanley Dock are just so unique. The location is ideal, being close to the city centre, but also far enough away too. The Titanic Hotel is just across the Dock and we have made use of it on quite a few occasions already – we really enjoy sitting on the dock-side terrace looking back at where we now live, plus residents get a discount, which is great.
There is also still so much set to change in the area too, with Bramley Moore Stadium due to open late 2024, the regeneration of the Ten Streets and the exciting prospect of Liverpool getting its own Central Park, just south of Collingwood Dock. It’s exciting to be here, the only thing I miss is my Mum in Coventry and our old local café.
How have you made the property feel like home?
I like to think that I’ve put my own mark on our home through painting and decor, the walls were grey when we first moved in and wanted to brighten it up with some white and colour. I think most of our decor is quite personable, we love trinkets and little nods to our hobbies and interests which you’ll find scattered across the apartment, it’s always a great talking point when new people come over and spot something odd or interesting!
What’s the inspiration for your interior decor style?
I love our brick wall in the living room, it was a big inspiration behind our style; we really wanted to lean into the Manhattan loft style with the brick wall and the steel beams but still have it feel warm and homey. I love plants and greenery so I have tried to fill the space with foliage and natural materials such as wood, metal and different fabrics to try and bring some warmth to such a large space.
What’s your favourite room and why?
The living room is my favourite, it plays such a central role in all aspects of our life, whether that’s playing games with friends, crafting something new or reading on the window seat. It’s so open and bright that I love spending time there with the room to do anything we want.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
More than enough! Our front door is always open to friends and we regularly have them over for Dungeons and Dragons on Friday nights, and we’ve had parties of 25 people (and more) comfortably.
Do you have plans to change the property?
I would like to renovate the bathrooms and change the kitchen eventually. The bathrooms are too monochrome for my taste, I’d like not to have all the walls tiled so it was easier to switch the colours up. The kitchen I’d like to change the cupboards for something a little more farmhouse but that’s a way off yet, and it’s all down to personal taste, I think the kitchen that we have right now is great and I’m in no rush to change it.
Are there any problems with the property that you have to deal with?
There were a few problems when we first moved, but minor things like the thermostat not communicating to the radiators but this was fixed within a few hours; we’re very lucky to have our heating supplier be Vital energy who are on call free of charge 24/7 if there should be any issues. Any issues we had were seen promptly by the on site team.
What do you want people to know about buying a home?
It seems so scary but there’s so many people involved in the process that there’s always someone who will know the answers to all your questions. Having used a mortgage broker for our first house and now our second, I’d always suggest talking to one to find the best deals on the market as they can sometimes get rates that you can’t find yourself; they don’t usually cost you anything either to use them so it’s always worth it in my opinion.
Do you want to feature in Metro’s What I Own?
What I Own is a Metro.co.uk series that takes you inside people’s properties, to take an honest look at what it’s like to buy a home in the UK.
If you own your home and would be up for sharing your story, please email [email protected].
What are your plans for the future, in terms of housing? Do you plan to stay here long term?
We plan to stay here long term, we’ve definitely put down roots and can’t imagine living anywhere else for a very long time. I think the space we have is unmatched and we’re very fortunate to have our friend group within such close proximity being in the same building – we’re definitely making the most of it.
Shall we take a look around?
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