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My first home buying experience

By Attitude Magazine


Dominic Collett (pictured) is a PR at Sky Arts and recently moved into a bijou apartment complex called Carney Place in the trendy London of district Brixton. Here, he tells us how he set about making the leap from renting to buy a home of his own.

So when did you decide it was time to buy your own place?

One day I woke up thinking, god I need to change my life somehow. I was happy with my Job, living in London, loved my friends, so thought what is there left to change but where I live – oh and my love life, but that’s a different story.

 Was it a nerve-wracking time?

No, not at all. Everyone thinks it’s going to be tough. I found it a very easy process. This is because of two factors: I was looking for a flat to buy by myself. I could make quick decisions and I chose a new build over something older with a chain of people waiting to move. The most nerve wracking thing was looking at Farrow and Ball colour chart and thinking should I paint my bedroom in Elephant’s Breath or Smoked Trout. I left it white in the end.

Did you know where to start?

I chose the area I wanted to live in and worked from there.  I wanted to be in a place which reflected my personality. The fun busy hub of Brixton just appealed to me. I love the Village Market, the great bars and cafes and the fun things which go on there.

What were you looking for initially?

I was looking for a blank canvas. Something I could put my imprint on.

Was it an easy process? Take me through how you got started…

I bought a brand new shared-ownership one bed apartment off plan. The process couldn’t have been simpler. I booked an appointment to look at the show flat and signed on the line the very same day. They even helped sort out mortgage advice and solicitors.

How many viewings did you go for?

I only went for one viewing with an estate agent to look at a flat. It was grotty, above a chicken shop in the middle of nowhere. The viewing was short. From that point I knew I wanted something new-build.

Was the estate agent helpful?

No. He was my worst nightmare and a stereotype. Cheap suited slime ball full of lad banter and bullsh*t who didn’t even remember my name. You should know your audience sweetheart! The sales agent at the new build properties was honest, open and thoughtful. Perfect.

Did you have lots of questions?

The sales agent covered everything I wanted to know. Even though I was looking around a show flat and buying off plan, he knew what to say and predicted the questions I was going to ask. When I was leaving, he pulled me back in because he’d forgotten to mention that the layout of my flat was slightly different to the show flat – the kitchen was a couple of centimetres wider so there was a built-in wine rack to fill in the gap. He wanted to make sure I was ok with that.


Did you have an idea of styling – what is the idea behind it?

My style is a colour shitstorm. I just love colour!

Where did you get your furniture?

I looked everywhere, but ended up playing the Ikea fun game. Going backwards around the show room bumping into bickering couples. I got loads of bright fun furniture from there. A secret tip if you pay a small charge you can get the Ikea staff to pick the items in the warehouse for you and then they deliver them to your door the next day. Less time lugging boxes around and more time for meatballs!

 What advice would you give other people looking to buy?

Go with your heart. If you like a place and it feels right, grab it while you can.