This is a sponsored article on behalf of Catalyst.
Let's not beat around the bush: buying a home in London can feel like a Herculean task. Especially if it's your first time navigating this competitive property market.
Ideally, you want somewhere with plenty of charms on its doorstep — ample green space, quirky independent businesses, and a close-knit community feel — without sacrificing convenient transport links to the city centre. But properties in such sought after neighbourhoods are usually way out of reach for first-time buyers.
There are exceptions, though. Including this one: Muswell Hill's The Folium.
With its dozens of acres of greenery, thriving high street, and proximity to some of the capital's most iconic spots, Muswell Hill is one of northwest London's best-kept secrets.
Thanks to leading housing association Catalyst, this urban village has just become a whole lot more accessible to new buyers. They've created The Folium, a smart new development in the neighbourhood that boasts an array of spacious and modern 1-2 bedroom available via Shared Ownership.
Shared Ownership gives first-time buyers the chance to purchase a 25%-75% share of a property, rather than its full market value. Via this part-buy, part-rent scheme, both your deposit and mortgage payments are based on the share you purchase — giving you a much more realistic savings goal. What's more, the average Shared Ownership deposit is just 5%-10% of the total share value, which reduces upfront costs even further.
At The Folium, this means your deposit could be as little as £6,906. That's based on a 25% share of a two-bedroom apartment, which starts at just £134,375 (full market value: £537,500). As and when you can afford to, you can then purchase additional shares, all the way up to full home-ownership.
So what kind of properties are we talking about, then? At The Folium, Catalyst's usual high standards apply — think top-of-the-range fixtures and fittings, clever open-plan layouts designed to maximise space, and sleek integrated appliances. You even get your own private balcony.
Need somewhere bigger than a two-bed? The Folium also boasts an exclusive collection of luxury four-bedroom townhouses, available through private sale.
At The Folium, you're within walking distance of some truly magical green spaces, from Haringey's ancient Bluebell Wood to the nature reserve and former highwayman haunt of Coppett's Wood. The first section of the Parkland Walk, London's longest linear nature reserve, is also on your doorstep.
All that exploring is sure to work up your appetite. Luckily, Muswell Hill has plenty of gorgeous little shops, cafes, and restaurants. Choose from 200 types of fromage at the legendary family-run Cheeses of Muswell Hill, paired with wine from Amathus. W. Martyn Tea and Coffee Merchants will sort out your caffeine fix, or you can wet your whistle in charming local boozers like The Clissold Arms or The Famous Royal Oak.
In terms of culture, there's an Everyman Cinema, a lovely family-owned indie bookshop in the form of The House of Books, and the iconic Alexandra Palace — which is just a 30-minute walk away from The Folium.
As a matter of fact, the development is surprisingly well-connected, given how tranquil it feels, with two tube stations and a mainline rail station all reachable on foot in under 35 minutes.
>The Folium, Muswell Hill. Prices start at £167,000 for a 40% share of a one-bedroom apartment (FMV: £417,500) and £134,375 for a 25% share of a two-bedroom apartment (FMV:537,500).