First-time buyer: ‘Shared ownership got me on the property ladder years earlier than I’d expected’

Like many of us, Anastasia found herself attending a local football stadium to receive her Covid vaccine last year. Her visit took an exciting turn when she returned home from her trip to AFC Wimbledon Stadium not just with a jab in her arm, but her eyes set on her future home…

With two months left on her rental contract in Battersea, Anastasia had a short time frame to find a new home, but hoped this might be the opportunity she could get on to the property ladder.

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Anastasia comments, “Knowing I didn’t have long left on my tenancy, I quickly began hunting for homes in my area. Purchasing a home had long been a goal of mine, so I had consciously been putting money aside into savings for the last few years.”

A notoriously expensive place to buy, Anastasia was struggling to find a home in Southwest London that was within her budget.

It wasn’t until she visited the new AFC Wimbledon Football Stadium to get her Covid vaccine that she came across Catalyst’s new Shared Ownership homes at The Switch – part of a masterplan delivering 633 new homes around the new football stadium – and she found her future home.


Name: Anastasia Gurnell

Age: 25

Occupation: Banker

Purchased: A one-bedroom apartment at The Switch

Cost of home and % bought: £105,000 for a 25% share of a one-bedroom apartment (FMV: £420,000)

Deposit: £10,500

Monthly rent: £722

Monthly service charge: £165

Mortgage costs: £348

Total monthly cost: £1,235

Anastasia adds, “I hadn’t seen any Shared Ownership apartments in the area under £450,000 until I came across The Switch. I was so surprised at the quality and location of the apartments– I decided to enquire straight away!”

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The Shared Ownership scheme was perfect for Anastasia, as she didn’t have a huge amount of savings to put down for a deposit. Plus, with her one-bedroom apartment priced under £450,000, she was able to use her lifetime ISA bonus to boost her budget.


“I couldn’t believe I could buy a home in Wimbledon with just a £10,500 deposit. Shared Ownership seemed like the perfect option for me – buying a portion of my home, and paying rent on the rest. After looking around the show home and seeing the high quality specification, I registered my interest straight away.”


Anastasia purchased a 25% share of a one-bedroom apartment at The Switch – Catalyst’s collection of 181 one to three bedroom Shared Ownership apartments. A joint venture between Catalyst and Galliard Homes, residents are buying into a new cultural hotspot in Southwest London, set to deliver new retail and leisure space alongside the stadium and homes.

Having now spent one month in her new home, Anastasia has settled in quickly and is delighted with her property.

Anastasia says, “My favourite part about the flat is the view into AFC Wimbledon Stadium. As a football fan, being close to the stadium was a real bonus for me. But equally, when it isn’t match day, you’d have no idea you were so close to a sports venue.”


The Switch is located equidistance between Earlsfield and Wimbledon, an area Anastasia was already familiar with, but is enjoying exploring further.

“I absolutely love this area. I’m around the corner from some of my closest friends, as well as being near to Earlsfield High Street. It’s really calm and tranquil – not what you’d expect from living in London – yet also only 45 minutes from my office.  I’m really looking forward to exploring the area more, and I’m particularly keen to visit food spots like Tooting Market.”

 Anastasia found the Catalyst sales team to be helpful throughout, ensuring her buying process was as seamless, and speedy, as possible. She comments, “The fact I managed to find, purchase and move into my home in such a short space of time is a testament to the Catalyst team! They were really supportive and answered any questions I had along the way.”


Discussing her plans for the future, Anastasia adds, “I’m really proud to call this home my own. In an ideal world, I hope to staircase to 100% and then own my home outright.’

 Anastasia concludes, “I couldn’t be happier to have found The Switch, and to have got on to the property ladder by myself in Southwest London – it’s a real achievement.”