It’s impossible to find complete property perfection but one professional couple have come pretty close with a classical apartment at Noble Park, Epsom, which balanced their contrasting desires for town and country, new and old.
Dominic Zammit (23) and Mary Johnson (25) bought their property from Linden Homes off-plan in Greenbank Court – a beautifully refurbished red brick Victorian building boasting high ceilings and original features.
The couple are engaged to be married next year and are both first-time buyers at Noble Park, which has a stylish mix of apartments and two, three, four and five-bedroom houses. Surrounding them are acres of parkland with subtly lit curving roads and pathways passing charming wooden pavilions and clumps of mature trees.
The couple had previously been renting in Surbiton which was handy for where they both worked in London. Dominic is website editor for an international law firm and Mary is national marketing coordinator for an international health and safety training provider.
Dominic said: “Noble Park offered us the best of both worlds. It’s commutable to London and also has the countryside nearby – it fitted all of our criteria. We are both active and like to get outside, either to run or go on walks - Noble Park is ideal for this and has beautiful surrounding countryside.
“But we also chose our apartment because it was a refurbished property retaining the original character of the building – big windows and very striking from the front. The specification for Noble Park was the best of any new-build in the area and the interior refurbishment of the apartments is quite sympathetic to the original features.
“It is a well-sized apartment – the dimensions of both the living room and bedroom are well proportioned and are a good size for a new-build development. Linden Homes’ room sizes were bigger than others at Noble Park and that was attractive. The way the layout’s been designed is also very user-friendly.
“Originally we wanted a bigger apartment but we compromised because of the character and quality of the development as a whole. We wanted to make sure that we were going to be in an area where there would not be any trouble.
“My future sister-in-law visited the development, as did our parents before we decided to go ahead with buying our apartment. I showed friends the details online and everyone was very impressed with the site.”
The key to unlocking a successful purchase, however, was making use of NewBuy, the government-backed 95 per cent mortgage scheme that is helping buyers – both first-time and experienced.
“We decided to go for the apartment because we could still get the NewBuy sale,” explained Dominic. “The NewBuy scheme has worked out really well. We could afford the mortgage re-payments but it’s the deposit that we needed help with. Linden Homes took us through the process and it was not particularly daunting.”
The couple also used the Linden Homes Enhance service which gives customers the chance to choose their decor with help from a face-to-face consultation with a design expert.
Dominic said: “We got to choose our flooring, walls, fittings and lighting. It was a nice process and is one of the best things about buying new – you get to choose early. Obviously if you buy later on you do not have that flexibility.”
Noble Park is thoughtfully laid out and full of eye-catching architecture: sitting proudly in the centre is the listed six-storey historic water tower – a landmark that can be seen from afar with its French chateaux-style roof, red brick dressings and decorative corbels.
Epsom itself offers a wide choice of boutique stores, high street shops, eateries and a twice-weekly market. Close to home is also the internationally famous and prestigious racecourse, and the champagne extravagance of the annual Derby.
The M25 is handily close and the train station, a mile away in Epsom, is just a 35-minute journey from Waterloo or Victoria.
Dominic and Mary bought through NewBuy, but the government-backed Help to Buy initiative can give extra support – even to those with a deposit as small as five per cent. It applies both to first time-buyers and people looking to move further up the property ladder.
It works by the government providing an equity loan of up to 20% of the value of any new-build home worth up to a maximum of £600,000. This can be repaid at any time or when the home is sold, with the added benefit of the loan being interest free for the first five years!
With the equity loan added to their deposit, buyers are in the easier position of only needing to agree a 75 per cent mortgage from a bank or building society to secure their dream home.
For current owners tempted by Noble Park’s charm, Linden Homes’ Part Exchange scheme offers one quick, hassle-free agreement that takes out estate agents’ fees and the problems with chains which can scupper even the most secure-looking move.
Within seven days eligible buyers will have their property valued by three local estate agents and a cash offer made, as long as their current property is not more than 70 per cent of the value of what you want to buy. Once agreed, the only thing left to do then is set a move-in date and get packing.
To find out more call the sales centre on 0844 488 1854, open daily 10am-5pm.
For further information, contact Sam Nickerson or Louise Perfect at Remarkable Public Relations on 01962 893 893.
References to “we”, “us” or “our” are to the part of the Vistry Group (including Linden Homes, Bovis Homes, Countryside Homes, Drew Smith, Vistry Ventures or one of Vistry’s joint venture companies) from which you are intending to purchase a new home. References to "you” and “your” are to the prospective buyer or buyers of a new home from us.
All images are used for illustrative purposes only and are representative only. They may not be the same as the actual home you purchase and the specification may differ. Images may be of a slightly different model of home and may include optional upgrades and extras which involve additional cost. Individual features such as windows, brick, carpets, paint and other material colours may vary and also the specification of fittings may vary. Any furnishings and furniture are not included in any sale. Please check with our sales consultants for details of the exact specifications available at the development(s) for each type of home and the associated prices.