Being able to choose between languishing abroad somewhere hot or enjoying the verdancy of this green and pleasant land is a dream that is becoming reality for Derek and Ann Hough.
Although well short of retirement age they are looking ahead by realising plans that provide the opportunity to divide their time between an island in the sun and peaceful, rural Hertfordshire.
At the beginning of 2013 they decided to change their long standing work-life balance to create more flexibility and family time. They already own a home abroad and as they were getting ever closer to becoming ‘empty nesters’, they created plans to reduce work commitments (which they have now done) and downsize to a low maintenance, new home in Hertfordshire.
Derek and Ann had some very specific preferences about the home they would need. The house had to be detached; it needed to have at least two bedrooms; it should ideally be in a convenient but quiet location and have some private, outdoor space. On their reduced budget, it seemed like a tall order.
Derek says that they took their first step towards realising their dream when they put their existing home on the market last spring:
“We were living in an apartment conversion within a beautiful former stately home in Hertford. We knew it was a popular location but we were still surprised when we got an immediate offer based purely on the website photographs.
“Receiving an offer so quickly made us catch our breath, so the next day we went out for a drive to take stock and see what else was on the market. On a whim, we decided to drive through the village of Braughing, a village we’d never visited before, even though it was only fifteen minutes from where we lived in Hertford”.
“We saw the signs for a Linden Homes’ development called Greenleas, but all the properties were already occupied or sold. Then, as luck would have it, further into the village we spotted the beginnings of a building site with a construction notice tied to the fence. On closer inspection we saw it also had the Linden Homes’ logo. We immediately returned to Greenleas and went into the sales and marketing suite.
“Lauren, the sales executive, told us that the Pentlows Meadow site had just been launched. She was able to show us the plans and a scale model and as most homes were large, detached family houses, we asked if there was anything a bit smaller”.
“We couldn’t believe it when she told us that there was just one, two bedroom, two bathroom detached home available. It had a small, south facing garden, a garage plus parking and was set at the end of the road in a very quiet position, and not overlooked.”
“As we walked back to the car we quickly realised that if we accepted the offer on our apartment, we could reserve the two bedroom Linden Home and the financial numbers would add up beautifully for us. This house was a perfect fit: Pentlows Meadow was just quarter of an hour from where we already lived and it’s only twenty minutes from Stansted Airport – our gateway to the sun!
“When something seems too good to be true, it usually is! In the space of a day we had a fair offer on our old home and had found our ideal new home. But I could foresee a potential problem: The new house would not be ready until December so I spoke to our buyer and he asked when we were planning to move out. When I said it could be December I couldn’t believe it when he said ‘perfect’. The arrangement suited him too.”
Everything fell into place for the new home buyers: Derek and Ann reserved their perfect house at Pentlows Meadow and because they reserved it off plan, they were able to get involved in choosing many of the interior details such as the kitchen units, tiling and so on. But Derek says the best part of buying off plan was Linden Homes’ approach:
“They went out of their way to involve us in the whole process. Every two or three months we would be invited to sit down with them and go through the plans, see how they had progressed, understand the details of the build and be kept up to date with the forecast completion date. It gave us a chance to really get a feel for how our new home would look.
“We have bought three brand new homes over the years and have never had this sort of service before. It was definitely the best experience. It can be hard to visualise a new home when all you have to go on is the glossy brochure and a model of the development. But if you are given the opportunity to discuss the build at regular intervals, as we did with Linden Homes, you know exactly what you are getting for your money – and that is very reassuring. You end up being extremely confident about your new home because the builder is fulfilling the expectations they have set with you.”
Roseanne Bullen, marketing manager at Linden Homes Eastern commented: “It’s great to hear that Mr and Mrs Hough have been so pleased with our customer service. It’s something we pride ourselves on and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that the experience of buying a new home is everything and more that people want it to be. We hope they will be very happy in their next chapter and we wish them years of happiness in the beautiful village of Braughing.”
Derek and Ann know that their plans have gone remarkably smoothly. Getting a buyer so quickly was lucky; stumbling across the Pentlows Meadow site was lucky; finding the perfect house was also lucky; buying a Linden Home – that proved to be lucky too.
So when are they due to complete on their brand new house?....
....Friday the 13th.
For more details on the homes available at Pentlows Meadow, please call the sales and marketing suite on 01920 823512.
For further information, contact Claire McCowan or Emma Cox at Remarkable Group on 01962 893893.
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.