The story that led Paul and Shirley Acford to find their dream home on the banks of the River Wey in Godalming almost ended before it began.
The retired couple had lived in the bustling Surrey market town for years, but in 2014 they left the area in favour of downsizing to Haslemere. They pined for their old stamping ground, however, and after just a few months decided to return.
Their chosen new home was at leafy Riverside, a high quality development by award-winning housebuilder Linden Homes, which during its early construction had caught their eye even before they made their brief relocation.
Shirley (67) is a former teacher and Paul (68) still works one day a week as lecturer in economics at Surrey University and Guildford College. They have been married for 43 years, with two grown-up children, plus grandchildren.
They soon accepted an offer on their Haslemere property and prepared to enjoy the rest of their well-earned retirement back in a brand new, low-maintenance house in the Godalming community they had missed so much.
But then their plans struck a rock: at the 11th hour the sale in Haslemere fell through – the move was off. And as each home was subsequently snapped up at Riverside, Paul and Shirley were running out of time to secure a place where they had set their hearts on living.
Shirley explained: “We’d initially been looking for about three years, and when Riverside was being built I was one of the first people to put my name down. But it was hard to visualise, time elapsed and in the interim we moved to Haslemere almost on a whim. It was a mistake; this is the place we should have been in from the word go.
“Selling again at Haslemere was taking a long time and the situation was getting desperate. It was nerve-wracking because we were desperate to get one of those properties at Riverside. I just thought: this is never going to happen.”
But the story didn’t end there. Instead, Linden Homes offered to shortcut the process with the Part Exchange scheme, in which it acts as the guaranteed cash buyer, paying estate agent’s fees and removing the jeopardy of property chains. Buyers can also stay in their old home until their new property is ready for moving day.
Within a few weeks of shaking hands on the deal, Paul and Shirley were unpacking boxes and drinking Champagne in their brand new, semi-detached, three-bedroom house overlooking the River Wey, with a garage, balcony, terrace and conveniently sized garden.
“It was a massive, massive relief – just blissful,” said Shirley. “We’re so happy that we could come back and I think this house is where we were meant to be. I just feel very, very, very at home here.
“The place had to have an edge to make us move twice: I love where it is on the river frontage, and I love the high ceilings and the way it’s designed. I love the sitting room, which is basically two walls of glass so it’s light and airy. It’s incredibly comfortable and the kitchen flows and works very well.
“There’s a good, very strong community here in Godalming and it’s very well served with all the amenities you could want. Our family has said, ‘This is just right for you, mum’.” It’s been a very positive move and a very positive experience.
“The team at Linden Homes have been fantastic and were central to making our move to Riverside possible. In particular, we’d like to thank Laurie Slayford who worked tirelessly to help us. All of the staff have been genuinely kind and supportive throughout.”
Andrew Reynolds, sales and marketing director at Linden Homes South, said: “I’m so pleased our Part Exchange scheme could give Paul and Shirley the happy ending they deserved at Riverside. There are only two homes left, so we’re urging househunters to get in touch now to avoid missing out.”
Guildford is less than six miles away from Godalming which has good national connections: a train station under a mile away in Farncombe runs direct to London Waterloo in about 45 minutes. The A3 links to London and the south coast, both in under an hour.
The last homes are a four-bedroom terraced house in the Thame style, and a three-bedroom semi-detached house in the Arun style. They are available to purchase buy off plan under Part Exchange to qualifying buyers.
To find out more, call 01483 494 291.
For further press information, contact Claire Cathersides, Claire Oakley or Kelly Ward at Remarkable Content 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.
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