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Bake Off champ David Atherton talks buying his first home this year


David Atherton saved all his adult life before finally picking up the keys to a place of his own this year (Picture: Channel 4)

Baking requires a fair amount of patience – and luckily it’s a trait that David Atherton has in spades.

Last year’s Great British Bake Off winner has needed to be patient when it comes to buying a property, saving all his adult life before finally picking up the keys to a place of his own this year.

David, the man the nation loved to watch on TV, tells Oliver Stallwood all about his new home, how baking kept him calm through the buying process and his furry friend who is moving in.

Tell us about how you bought your first home?

Actually, I’m buying my first home right now with my partner at the age of 37. Buying in London means you need to have a substantial deposit and I’ve worked most of my life in the charity sector so it is difficult to save.

Buying a home in the UK now usually means relying on inherited wealth and when you don’t have this the barrier to getting on the ladder is high.

How does it feel to be in the process now?

Buying a home in the UK is anxiety ridden. Once you’ve had your offer accepted but before you’ve exchanged there is the period of unknown. You don’t want to allow yourself to get too excited as you know it could still fall through.

We’re right at the end of the process now so we’re keeping our fingers crossed – and of course I’m already shopping for furniture.

How has Covid changed the buying process?

We found a lot of viewings were only available as an online viewing. I felt sorry for the people trying to sell if shielding as most people wouldn’t agree to buy a property from an online viewing; we certainly wouldn’t.

David Atherton was crowned Great British Bake Off 2019 winner

Did you find baking kept you relaxed during the process?

Baking and cooking will forever be my meditation and has certainly kept me calm in this process.

Tell us about your new home…

The place we’re buying is in Catford and is owned by an architect and a member of the Masterchef team so it is stylishly and perfectly finished, and has a lovely kitchen.

We’ve decided that we like all the colour choices, and they will all go well with a grey cat so we’ve already located a grey kitten. I’m only half-kidding; we really have found a grey kitten.

The best bit is we will finally have a garden. It is only small, but big enough hopefully to be dripping with tomatoes next summer.

What sold it to you?

I love light and we visited on a lovely sunny day. When choosing which properties we were going to view we always looked at the aspect as we want natural light for most of the day. The kitchen is flooded with natural light and this is important as the kitchen is also my daily office.

Why buy now?

We both want to be contributing to our own property instead of paying off someone else’s mortgage. More importantly we want the freedom and security of owning our own home, and being able to put our stamp on it.

Advice for first-time buyers?

Don’t go with a cheap solicitor. They are your advocate in this process, so choose well. Also chase, chase, chase. The communication routes in the buying process are awful so you need to chase shamelessly.

Contestants for the new season of Bake Off, starting September 22 (Picture: Mark Bourdillon)

What did you look for in a kitchen?

For me, the kitchen really is the heart of the home and the room I spend the most time in. Apparently three in five Brits actually think the same.

I wanted somewhere that had lots of surface space for food preparation as well as good storage for ingredients and equipment. Given that I’m often cooking lots of dishes and bakes at the same time, I also needed an oven that would let me multitask. We managed to find all this our new home and I absolutely cannot wait to get in.

⬛ David has teamed up with Samsung to celebrate its Dual Cook Flex oven

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Get in touch by emailing metrolifestyleteam@metro.co.uk.

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