How Help to Buy enabled Tom to go from fridge-sharing with flatmates to a place of his own!

Published: January 2019

Tom Mogridge had dreamed of living on Bristol’s harbourside for years. His morning run took him around the waterfront and his mind would wander to the prospect of living there one day. But at this time it seemed very much out of reach. He says:

“I moved to Bristol seven years ago and had lived in a few different parts of the city, and when I was living in the centre I was not far from the floating harbour. It quickly became my favourite place to spend time, and I used to run there often. The idea of living on the waterfront itself was a bit of a fantasy but I assumed I wouldn’t be able to afford it.”

In early 2017 Tom decided he had rented for long enough and it was time to get a foot on the property ladder. He had heard about Help to Buy and saw it as an opportunity. He says:

“I was approaching 30 and, while I had enjoyed my years renting in Bristol, I decided my fridge-sharing days were over. I knew Help to Buy was an option for me but hadn’t realised it isn’t available on all new build developments. None of the new builds that I liked at the time offered Help to Buy and it didn’t take long for me to lose momentum as a result.”

After a six month hiatus, Tom revisited his search earlier this year. When an online search revealed that Brandon Yard was on the market with Help to Buy support, he was excited. He explains:

“It was like a dream come true. I knew Brandon Yard from when it was still derelict and had kept an eye on its development. It was easy to see what an amazing place it would be to live but I didn’t think I would find anything there in my price bracket. When I realised it was a possibility I moved pretty quickly, arranging an appointment with the sales office, and I reserved my apartment there and then.”

Tom bought an apartment in Brandon Yard’s New Retort House. Vicky Dudbridge from Savills comments on the scheme:

“Occupying one of the last frontline plots on this stretch of the floating harbour, Brandon Yard is a striking scheme, incorporating the conversion of the late 19th century Grade II listed gasworks warehouse, alongside the creation of a brand new building. Characterised by glazed panels and brickwork, New Retort House is a stylish and complementary addition to the historic harbourside. Together with the beautifully restored Oculus House, the buildings celebrate Bristol’s maritime history. Both have fantastic stand-out factor along the banks of the harbour.

“Offering a rare opportunity to own a piece of Bristol’s history, an enviable location on the waterfront and the high quality specification Acorn is known for, it’s no wonder the scheme is proving so popular”.

Jessie Rowe, Senior Negotiator at Knight Frank says: “Brandon Yard is an exceptional scheme that has attracted a range of purchasers, from first time buyers like Tom, to downsizers looking for their forever home close to the city centre.”

Robin Squire, Regional Managing Director of Acorn Property Group’s Bristol region says “Our team has worked exceptionally hard to deliver Brandon Yard, so we’re delighted that over 70% of the homes have already been sold off plan. Help to Buy is a fantastic scheme, not only does it allow first time buyers get on the property ladder but it helps make aspirational homes in desirable locations more accessible. We’re pleased that Tom’s been able to purchase his first home with us using Help to Buy and we hope he’s very happy living there.”

Tom adds:

“The scheme is fantastic. I wanted to live in a new build home and Brandon Yard goes above and beyond my expectations in terms of design and finish. Its character and history adds something special – old and new come together to great effect.

“Location is a huge part of what makes it for me. The atmosphere on the harbourside is always lively and there is so much to do within walking distance.”
Tom found the Help to Buy scheme to be easy to navigate and the buying process has been straightforward. He says:

“I really can’t wait to make the move. It’s not long now and I’ll be moved in time to take advantage of everything that spring time on Bristol’s harbourside has to offer. Most of all, I’m looking forward to kicking back my terrace. I never thought I’d be able to say that and I’m thrilled.”

There is a selection of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments still available at Brandon Yard starting from £299,950. The marketing suite is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 4pm.