Nightingale Bowden Resident Profile: Meet Sakura Lim

18 January 2023

Veterinary nurse Sakura Lim got a sneak peek of her new one-bedroom apartment at Nightingale Bowden in late August. The 25-year-old will move in with her two dogs, Cheddar and Coco, in September, after securing an affordable pathway to home ownership via an innovative partnership between Housing Choices South Australia, Renewal SA, SA Housing Authority and not-for-profit, Melbourne-based innovator Nightingale Housing.

All 36 of the carbon-neutral Nightingale Bowden apartments were offered to the market as affordable housing options.

Here’s what Sakura had to say after seeing the near-finished product she will soon call home.

Sakura will move into her Bowden apartment at the end of September after returning from Canada, where she will complete in the World Dodgeball Championships.

Q: So, what did you think of your new digs?

A (Sakura): I thought it was really great. It was so good to see everything in the flesh. I could mentally start decorating!

Q: How long have you been searching for a home?

A (Sakura): I think I was looking for about a year and a half before I learnt about Nightingale. With my income, a lot of the places I would have been able to purchase would have been far north [of the city]. A drive to work, I would have been looking at an hour and a half. I would have been away from my family, my friends. And certainly the ecological impact of driving that distance every day… [and being] weighed down financially, but also morally for me as well.

Q: Tell me about your pathway to home ownership.

A (Sakura): Obviously, I am a young person. This is a first home purchase for me. And it’s really great that I’ve got this opportunity to put my foot into the housing market. I’m what I consider to be a low-income worker, I’m a veterinary nurse, and I’m able to purchase something by myself which is something I’d have never been able to dream of if not for Nightingale.

Nightingale sell their apartments based on a ballot. Fortune was on my side. I was lucky enough to be picked out of one of the priority ballots. That’s something that they offer to people who benefit the community. I was very lucky that they considered veterinary nursing to be part of that.

Q: What was it specifically about the Nightingale Bowden development that appealed to you?

A (Sakura): What initially drew me to Nightingale was really their values. They truly aligned with my own. They are there for people, not for profit. I loved how ecologically minded they were. The fact that it’s carbon neutral is one of the main pluses and just how community minded they are as well. I absolutely love that I’m going to be friends with my neighbours, and I look forward to sharing and giving a hand when needed.

Q: So, it’s safe to say you’ll be spending a lot of time on the communal rooftop garden getting to know your neighbours?

A (Sakura): Yeah, absolutely. And I love that it’s got the dividers as well, so there is privacy if you wanted to host a private party. I just love that there’s a space for everyone to gather together.

Q: What have Nightingale and the other project partners been like to deal with?

A (Sakura): They’ve been with me every step of the way. You know, it’s very daunting purchasing and they’ve answered all my questions and made me feel safe. They’ve gone this is the time to get a broker, this is the time to get your conveyancer involved. I feel like my hand has been held throughout the entire process, so it’s great to feel so supported. They’re definitely a company that I can trust.

Q: Why Bowden?

A (Sakura): Bowden is such a beautiful place, such a great location and the fact that I’ve been given the opportunity to have such a wonderful apartment that I can live in guilt -free in terms of the environmental impact that I have, it’s so wonderful and I’m so thankful that this is something that I’ve been presented with.

Q: What would your life look like if this opportunity hadn’t presented itself?

A (Sakura): Well look, I would still be renting, and I think I would be renting for many, many years to come. It’s just so hard to save when a good chunk of your income is going towards someone else’s pocket. That was one of the driving factors that made me look into buying because I knew that because rent was going to be so high, I may as well start investing in myself and looking to buy a property.

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