A couple have spoken of their delight at moving into their new home in Shrivenham near Swindon.
Dean Reakes and Ollie King have a three-bedroom home at Legal & General Homes’ Cross Trees Park development.
Dean said: “Ollie and I have been together for around three years now. Ollie and his family have lived in Swindon all his life and I’m originally from Cardiff.
"Before buying at Cross Trees Park, we were staying at Ollie’s parents’ house for around six months. That was great because we all get on really well and it helped us to save for a deposit. However, the ultimate goal was always to have our own space and find our forever home together.
“It was Ollie’s parents who were house hunting originally and found Cross Trees Park. When they took us to see their new home - a three-bedroom Drayton - we were so impressed with the layout, finish and surroundings that we ended up buying the house across the road from them!”
Dean and Ollie were both first-time buyers and started by viewing one of the two-bedroom homes at Cross Trees Park.
Dean said: “We decided very early on that we wanted a new-build home because our taste is quite modern, and we didn’t want the hassle of taking on an older property.
“When the sales team took us around the two-bedroom home, it blew us away. It had everything – a smart heating system, beautiful flooring and even two bathrooms with sparkling taps and a heated towel rail – and this was all included in the sale price.
"That’s not the case when you look around lots of new-build developments; there are usually so many features that come at an extra cost and chip away at your budget.
“Initially we were only considering a two-bedroom home – we didn’t think larger properties would be within our reach. But, when the sales team suggested we look around a three-bedroom Farringdon home they had available, we fell in love with the space and the potential flexibility that a third bedroom would give us.
"We were over the moon to realise that, with some support from the Help to Buy scheme and Ollie’s parents, we were able to afford a family home like this.
“Living with Ollie’s parents had allowed us to save the £16,500 needed for our deposit and, with the full Help to Buy loan of £68,000, we were able to secure a mortgage of £255,500 on the property.
"I’m so pleased we did it. We didn’t even realise at that stage how important the extra space and garden would be – we moved in a week before lockdown began in March!”
Moving from Cardiff and Swindon, Dean and Ollie were both used to urban surroundings.
“Cardiff is a great city,” said Dean, “but village life had always appealed to me and that’s the setting we were looking for in our first home.
“The area around Cross Trees Park is lovely and there’s a genuine community feel to Shrivenham. It’s exactly what you picture when you think of an English countryside village: a church, village green and thatched cottages.
"We’d considered other locations that offered a similar setting – places like Henley for example – but you get so much less for your money.
“As you can imagine, it’s been great to have so much green space on our doorstep during lockdown. Now that things have been opening up again, we’ve enjoyed walking into the village and popping into the shops, pubs and cafés on the high street.
“Even though our dream was to live in the countryside, we didn’t want to be isolated or stuck in the middle of nowhere. Good transport links that let us easily visit friends and family, as well as access to shops and restaurants, were a must.
"Cross Trees Park allows us to enjoy village life, but it’s also ten minutes from the motorway and around fifteen minutes from Swindon Railway Station, which runs fifty-five-minute trains to London. It gives us the best of both!”
More information can be obtained on 01344 772772 or via www.landghomes.com