Buying together: Why siblings Katy and Andreas chose their joint first home at Abbey Quay, Barking

Buying a new home with a friend or family member has become an increasingly popular way to escape the rental rut and achieve homeownership. Katy, a 28-year-old lawyer and development manager, and her younger brother Andreas, who works in data analytics, recently purchased their first home together at Abbey Quay, Weston Homes’ 6-acre riverside urban village in Barking. Their decision to buy together was driven by the desire for financial stability and independence from landlords, as well as the opportunity to invest in a property that met their needs and aspirations.Abbey Quay offers an exciting collection of 1,089 new one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments of mixed tenure, all with their own private balcony or terrace, alongside 22,281 sq ft of commercial and leisure space which is planned to include a new pavilion restaurant, local shops, cafés, gymnasium and community hub.

Katy and Andreas had been renting a flat in Stratford, East London, since their university days. However, they found themselves trapped in a cycle of rising rental costs and unreliable living conditions. “Our social lives revolved around Zone 1,” says Katy. “We both wanted to enjoy London and renting was easy. You get in a rut, though – you don’t have any responsibilities, but you are always at the mercy of your landlord”.

Although renting offered the advantage of minimal responsibility, the escalating energy bills made it an impractical financial choice: “With bills, it was a big part of our salaries,” Katy recalls. “A lot of rented houses are not modern. Many old, period homes have bad insulation, and all the heating goes out of the windows. I have friends paying £400 a month for electricity who are still unable to heat their homes and dry their clothes.”

Pooling their resources, Katy and Andreas embarked on the journey of homeownership together. They knew they could trust each other and were both responsible and tidy individuals, making them ideal homebuying partners. “Putting our money together meant we could afford a bigger property, so we looked for a three-bedroom apartment,” says Katy.With a maximum 30-minute commute from central London in mind, they focused their search on new-build homes in the east, where they could find more space and better value. “New-build homes might be a bit more expensive initially, but we knew we would save money on bills,” says Katy. “When you move into an old home you always find things that need doing.”

Their search led them to Barking, an area undergoing significant regeneration and investment, transforming what has been an old and neglected industrial Thames-side town into a fresh Opportunity Area, bringing thousands of new jobs, new homes and a town centre with shops, public spaces and creative design. Once they began their property search in the area, Abbey Quay immediately caught their attention.

The thoughtful design, spacious interiors, and abundance of natural light made the development the perfect fit for their aspirations. “We looked at a lot of brochures and digital photographs,” says Katy. “But Weston Homes was our choice from the get-go. They had three-bedroom apartments, the measurements were the best, there are big cupboards, extra storage, the living space is open plan, light and airy. I loved the big windows and natural light – and the big balcony is a rare thing.”Furthermore, Weston Homes’ commitment to quality appealed to Katy and Andreas. The fully fitted designer kitchen and high-quality integrated appliances made the homebuying process seamless for first-time buyers like them. “As a first-time buyer, I’ve never had to buy an oven. I have no idea how to buy one – or a fridge or dishwasher. I just would not know where to start. But they were good brands, I was told by my friends, and everything was included in the price.”

Opting to buy off-plan was initially a daunting prospect for Katy and Andreas. However, after thorough research and positive interactions with Weston Homes’ sales team, they felt confident in their decision. “We were fortunate to be involved at the very early stages of the development,” Katy reflects. “Eighteen months later, we still firmly believe that Weston Homes is the best choice for us.”Customisation became an exciting part of the process for Katy, who admits she is not a natural interior decorator. Presented with a range of options for colour palettes, finishes, and furnishings, she made decisions that reflected their preferences and lifestyle. “One thing I did know was that I did not want beige,” she laughs. “We had rented enough flats over the years to know we wanted to stay away from beige.” Katy instead opted for a cool-toned palette that would create a contemporary and inviting atmosphere in their new home.

Purchasing property with a friend, partner or family member can sometimes be complicated when deciding how the costs are split, however, for Katy and Andreas, their ownership deal is strictly fifty-fifty: We split everything down the middle. It won’t be that different from the way we live now. We are both tidy. We live separate lives, but we know each other very well.”

However, sensitive decisions have to be faced when two buyers put in equal amounts of money. “There are three bedrooms but only one en suite,” says Katy. “I’ve always had the bigger bedroom in the past, so I have decided Andreas can have it this time. Nice sister!”As equal partners in this purchase, Katy and Andreas took the necessary steps to protect their shared investment. With legal arrangements in place, they set clear expectations for the ownership and maintenance of the property. “We did the figures before we bought. Our mortgage broker gave us a tool that enabled us to put down all our earnings, how we spend money and be real, so we know where we stand.”

With Weston Homes’ straight-forward approach and commitment to energy efficiency, Katy and Andreas have a comprehensive assessment of the running costs of their new home. “Weston Homes has been transparent about everything, and they are so energy-savvy.” The company’s high EU Energy Efficiency Ratings are achieved through its passionate commitment to sustainable homes.

Providing riverside living at its very best, Abbey Quay has been master planned to provide a new urban village for Barking. Abbey Quay directly overlooks the River Roding, a tributary of the River Thames, and is bordered by London Road and Abbey Road, overlooking Abbey Green park, just a short walk from Barking’s mainline and London underground station.

Loxford Plaza, a large public square overlooking the river, is the centre of the urban village with a pavilion restaurant, outdoor seating and river views. Central to life at Abbey Quay is the village Community Hub, with its concierge service, comfy seating areas and flexible leisure spaces. Maker’s Yard is a second public square, bordered at ground level by employment space for creatives and business start-ups, complete with cafes and space for outside exhibitions and market/deli stalls.All the elegant apartments at Abbey Quay feature contemporary, open plan living areas, opening onto balconies, complete with bespoke designer kitchens and luxury bathrooms, all finished to the highest specification with modern living in mind.

The homes offer a premium fully inclusive specification and are equipped with superfast full-fibre broadband. The contemporary kitchens by Oakwood Kitchens have quartz stone worktops and splashbacks, a wide range of integrated appliances and stainless-steel sink, Fascino tap, instant boiling and chilled water tap and neat integrated soap dispenser. The bathrooms have Arctic white suites, walk-in Fascino smart showers or bathtubs, heated towel rails, integrated vanity storage, a mirror with de-mist feature and a choice of floor and wall tile colours and finishes.Suzanne Aplin, Group Sales & Marketing Director at Weston Homes says: “For individuals like Katy and Andreas, buying a home with family or friends offers a viable path to homeownership, combining resources and sharing expenses. Abbey Quay, with its exceptional location and well-designed properties, has provided the perfect setting for them to achieve their dream of owning a home in London”.

The first phase at Abbey Quay has sold out. Phase two has now launched with prices starting from £332,000 for a private sale apartment and from £336,000 for the Discount Market Sale apartments available to local buyers working or living in Greater London. For further sales information contact Weston Homes on Tel: 020 4502 3079 or visit:

How can we help you?
Do you have a question? Get in touch with our friendly team today.