Everyone knows the housing situation in London and the fact that there is a lack of space for an ever growing population. A look at property sites will show you the astronomical prices people have to pay to move to London, as well as some properties that think a toilet next to your bed is an ideal way of life – accommodation in London is a stressful situation.
One concern for me though, with accommodation, in general, is low ceilings. I’m 6’5 so I have a habit of subconsciously ducking my head every time I walk into a house. An annoying habit you might think is that I just moan, but if I don’t, I’ll give myself multiple concussions.
When I discovered Croydon’s latest development from Pocket Living, something stuck with me. At 38m² and about 3.5m wide (about the same as a subway), it looked like an absolutely tiny apartment.
READ MORE: Inside the house which is just 9ft wide and on sale for £1.3million
Pocket Living describes them as pocket homes, homes designed to maximize space and only for first-time buyers. These are certainly issues affecting Londoners who may feel like they are being pushed out of the area and could be a way for them to stay in the city they love. I felt compelled to visit.
As I walked towards the new development in Addiscombe Grove, East Croydon, I was instantly impressed with the exterior of the property. Standing in the skyline (the building, not me), I looked up at the 21-story building wondering what was inside those walls.
Upon entering the property, you are greeted by common areas on both sides, which Jenny Anson, sales manager at Pocket Living, says they wanted to pay special attention to. By putting community spirit first, talking to your neighbors and fostering harmony, Pocket wants residents to be able to interact and get along with each other. Optimistic thoughts in London I imagine.
Jenny showed me one of the houses and as I walked through the hall it looked more like a hotel than a selection of houses to me. Wide corridors and identical doors, I had the impression that I was going to treat myself to a luxurious experience. As I walked through the doors, I realized there was no need to lower my head.
What was this new feeling? I thought I was lucky so I walked in and out a few times just to confirm and surprisingly they were big doors.
Upon entering the kitchen I was greeted by a burst of natural light, something that should be a given but is also becoming rarer with many developments. The house had two large windows in the front room which helped light up the interior giving it a very warm feel.
I was immediately amazed at how spacious the house was. The open-plan living room meant the kitchen was joined to the front room while maximizing space.
The kitchen was big enough for me to bend over and open several cupboard doors plus the fact that I wasn’t even close to the ceiling. The fact that this place was only 38m² amazed me because in my head I imagined it would be no bigger than a subway car and I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The house is big enough for one person but could certainly accommodate a couple and if you are an average size person you might even be able to bring a pet in.
The bedroom is large enough to accommodate a double bed with two bedside tables on each side. If you’re feeling fancier, you can even get a king-size bed and sacrifice a nightstand. Again, I didn’t have to bend down when entering the room, so that was a major selling point.
Another large window adorns the room providing wonderful light and a good wake-up call if your alarm fails you.
The bathroom consists of a shower, sink and toilet, and it doesn’t seem too cramped.
Horrifying images of a fridge right next to a toilet stick in my memory for a long time, but luckily in a Pocket Home you shouldn’t encounter such a sight. I was able to stand up in the shower and felt like I wasn’t breaking anything with my height so that was a big plus. There was just everything.
Another problem some have encountered while living in London is the lack of open spaces attached to your property. Pocket Living does not have this problem. Located on the 9th, 20th and 21st floors, terrace spaces offer residents different vantage points over the London skyline and the opportunity to relax or bask in the sun.
From the 20th and 21st floors you can see the city and Canary Wharf on one side, Crystal Palace in the distance and the greenery of Surrey on the other. The contrast is a nice touch and having that option certainly makes life here a bit more appealing.
Overall the house is separated into three different rooms but makes good use of the space. My only concern was that my phone signal was virtually non-existent, but Jenny mentioned that this might be an issue with new building developments in their initial stages.
House prices start from £260,000 and are exclusively for first-time buyers who live and work in the borough. They also get a 20% discount off the local market rate and offer owners 100% ownership.
I’m someone who has always believed in the saying “nothing good happens south of the river”, but Pocket Homes may have made me a believer.
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