Harry Fallows bought a new-build, one-bedroom apartment in the riverside development of St James Quay in Norwich at the age of 26.
To save up for a deposit, the Business Development Manager gave up his rented flat in Manchester and moved back in with his parents.
“I had lived in Norwich before but moved away to rent a place in Manchester for two years,” he says.
“I was determined to get myself on the property ladder, but soon realised that renting is completely prohibitive when you’re trying to save money to buy somewhere.
“After looking into my monthly repayment costs, I worked out what I could afford, but many of the apartments I viewed in my price range were too small, needed work doing to them or were not in the right location, so I wasn’t too sure I would actually find what I wanted.”
Explaining how he found his new home at St James Quay, Harry said: “I happened to be paddleboarding along the stretch of the River Wensum that runs right past St James Quay.
“I noticed the signs for the new homes and actually joked with my friend that there would be no way I could afford to live there.
“I had already fallen in love with the development and riverside location so I visited the marketing suite and spoke to Laury from the Hill sales team.
“We sat down and worked through some options and I was over the moon when I realised that I already had a big enough deposit to buy a one bedroom apartment at St James Quay.
“It had everything I needed and more; having my own balcony and the riverside location sold it for me.
“My apartment is east facing so I have the best of both worlds – a view of Norwich city, the cathedral, the beautiful willow trees and I can see the calming river. When it’s sunny, it’s just beautiful.
“Living here I have everything on my doorstep. I can walk along the river and take a quick trip into town to go shopping, have dinner or meet friends for drinks.
“I can take a walk over the bridge and go to the bars and clubs on the other side of the city.
“For work or travelling into London, Norwich station is about 15-minutes away on foot. Everything is so close by but I don’t feel like it’s on top of me – it’s ideal.
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“A lot of the apartments in Norwich are very similar – most are an older style, quite small and have no private outside space.
“St James Quay is impressive and the specification is super modern and very high quality.
“The balcony is a really good size and I have a nice outlook – not just a view of someone else’s window.
“Many of my friends who have purchased homes have ended up spending a lot of money doing work or buying new appliances.
“I have integrated appliances in my kitchen, Amtico flooring with underfloor heating, smart thermostat controls in each room and a huge storage cupboard, which has a washing machine and tumble dryer inside.
"My home is so well insulated that I've hardly had to turn on the heating since I moved in 12 months ago.
“And my bathroom is amazing. It feels like I am walking into a hotel every time I use it. When my friends visit, they are so impressed by the size and finish – there really isn’t any competition in the area.
"I've never heard the neighbours, and I don't mind a little party and yet they still can't hear me.
"For me, living in a new-build home offers peace of mind more than anything. I'm not a big fan of renovation work and hate the thought of something breaking and costing me hundreds or thousands of pounds.
"With everything being brand new, I've not had that worry since moving in, which has helped to provide more restful nights!
"It was also great that I didn't have to find the additional money required for the larger items such as a fridge, freezer, dishwasher and washing machine, as this was all included in the price."
Harry’s job means he enjoys a combination of working from home and travelling to London and the Midlands.
“I don’t really have a central office, so I swap between working at home, taking the train into London Liverpool Street - which takes around 1hr 40 minutes - or sometimes driving to the Midlands.
“It’s really important that first-time buyers have advice and support so that they can navigate their way onto the property ladder.
“The team at Hill were incredibly accommodating and genuinely did whatever they could to ensure the process went as smoothly as possible, I would certainly use them again and will recommend them to my friends and family.
"Call me lazy, but I plan to move from new build to new build. I wouldn't ever have a desire to move into an older home that requires work, given how stress-free the process of buying a new build home at St James Quay."
Find out more about homes at St James Quay
Interested in buying a new-build home? There are government schemes available to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder, including Shared Ownership, Deposit Unlock, First Homes, the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme and more.