osing her job during the pandemic seemed like a disaster at the time.
But the upset triggered a life-enhancing journey from Zsofia Horvath, and one which has freed her from the renting cycle.
Zsofia, 36, is originally from Budapest, Hungary, but moved to London in 2015 to build her career. She moved from rental to rental (and spent nine months working in Amsterdam). By 2019 she was happily settled in a £1,250pcm flat in Kingston upon Thames and working as a scheduler for a television company.
“When the pandemic began I lost my job, and I had to start looking for something else,” said Zsofia. One of the jobs she applied for was a project leader for a technology company based in Cambridge — a city she had never previously visited. “I got an offer I couldn’t resist,” said Zsofia. “The pay was twice what I used to earn, so I had to take it even though I didn’t know Cambridge at all.”
In October 2021, Zsofia packed her bags and headed to uncharted waters. She quickly discovered that, price wise, Cambridge is almost as expensive as London. The flat she found to rent cost £2,100pcm.
Settling into the vibrant, cosmopolitan, university city was easy. “I loved the life here,” said Zsofia. “I found friends through work — in London it is really hard to find friends and when you do it is really hard to meet up with them because you end up having to travel for an hour and a half to get to them. Here it is easy.
“For me London is too big and I love the smaller city life and vibe, with still lots of things to do. I love that combination.”
By last year Zsofia was established enough in Cambridge to decide she was ready to buy her first home. And in January she became the proud owner of a modern two-bedroom flat around a mile north of the city centre and close to the River Cam and Jesus Green.
The property cost £425,000 and Zsofia raised the deposit using savings plus a little help from the bank of mum and dad. Her timing was excellent because she had secured her mortgage before this year’s series of crippling interest rate rises, giving her a couple of years breathing space.
“I don’t think I could have done this in London — I love having my own place,” said Zsofia.