In less than 2 weeks, me and Sarah will have bought and moved into our first house. This has been one of the most stressful times I've ever experienced. But I still highly recommend Shared Ownership to first time buyers living and buying in England.
In total me and Sarah have spent roughly just over 2500 pounds in solicitors fees, house deposit, mortgage arrangements, etc to secure the house from viewing to exchanging contracts. Not bad if you consider stamp duty alone could have cost us 1500 pounds plus if the house was not in Woolwich. Our solicitors Barnes Morley were pretty good. There online transaction checker was good but slow to update, I dont think its really integrated into there way of working yet. But the emails back and forth were always answered quickly and fully at stupid times of the day (for me answering emails at 7-8am would be a nightmare come true). Even when we asked the most simple and basic questions, our solicitor totally understood and made it as clear as possible for us first time buyers.
So from Novemeber its goodbye leafy Beckenham and hello urban Woolwich. Some of the things to look forward to is the near future for Woolwich. The Woolwich Arsenal DLR which has started work already and is due to end in 2009 will provide a train link straight into Bank DLR/Tube station. Then we have the olympics in the east end of London in 2012 which will include the woolwich area. I think there's some river things planned for charlton and greewich which is the next areas along. And the last thing which is also going on is the Thames gateway scheme, which includes a bridge a little bit down the road in Thamesmead and a whole host of other projects.
So all together, theres quite a lot of things going on in the area and us buying a place there might have been a really good idea for the future.