After getting married last year, Archie and Laura Coffield were keen to find a new family home for themselves and their ten year old son Joe.
But before they could go ahead and buy a new house, they both needed to sell their own apartments – each in a different part of Newbury. Archie’s flat sold quickly – but Laura’s proved harder to sell, which was frustrating because they were anxious to move quickly: They already had a house in mind and their hearts were set on it.
But fate took an unexpected hand in the proceedings and by the time Laura’s apartment was eventually sold, complications had arisen with the house they’d hoped to buy. When this scheme finally fell through, Laura says they were all devastated:
“It was bad enough for us two, but Joe had really been looking forward to moving into the new house. He was so disappointed.”
Eventually, with the two apartments sold and no new home to move into, the family temporarily put all their belongings into storage and moved into a furnished apartment.
And fate stepped in once more: The couple happened to be driving through Newbury soon afterwards, when they passed St Bartholomew’s Grange – Linden Homes’ development of new and refurbished homes built on the site of the old St Bart’s School.
Laura was a former pupil at St Bart’s and knows the area well. On a whim she suggested going in to see what was available.
Laura and Archie looked at two houses that day. One wasn’t suitable for them, but when they walked into the second – a four bedroom townhouse - they were delighted by what they found. Archie says it was a very pleasant surprise:
“When we were standing outside looking at the house, we weren’t sure if there would be enough space, but inside, it was like a Tardis. We loved the quality of the build and the extremely high standard of the interior fixtures and fittings. The house came with two parking spaces and a good sized garden, where Linden Homes had even thought to have a shed and a water butt installed!”
Laura says they both liked the location – near to a school for Joe and within walking distance of the centre of Newbury.
“The house had two good sized bedrooms on the first floor. The master bedroom had its own dressing room and both bedrooms had their own ensuite bathrooms. But what really sold it to me was the additional bathroom and further two rooms on the second floor – which would be ideal for Joe and all his stuff.”
They liked the house so much that the day after they’d seen it for the first time, they reserved it. Their mortgage plans – from the house that had fallen through – were still in place and they were in a rented home – so they felt ready to move in. After they saw the house for the first time they moved in just six weeks later.
The couple say that they were particularly impressed with Linden Homes’ Enhance service. In the Enhance studio they were able to use the vouchers Linden Homes gave them to upgrade things like light fittings and flooring. Laura says it was a fascinating process:
“We’d never experienced anything like this before – we drove down to the Enhance studio in Southampton where we spent two hours picking our wardrobes and some of our light fittings. I spotted a sample of beautiful carpet – somehow I’d managed to spot the most expensive one (it was handmade in Belgium): But we had the vouchers to spend, so we went for it and we knew that we would be staying in this house – so we decided to choose what we really wanted. We also picked a beautiful charcoal Karndean flooring to match the carpet, which we had fitted throughout the entire ground floor and also in all the bathrooms ”
But throughout all these plans and negotiations, Laura says they kept the new St Bartholomew’s Grange house a secret from Joe:
“He had been bitterly disappointed when the last house fell through, so we decided to keep this one as a surprise. On moving day Archie, my dad and I took all our stuff to the house while my mum looked after Joe. I remember that it was the day the Olympic torch passed through Newbury and Joe had wanted me to take him to see it – I had to make an excuse. He had no idea that we were busy setting up his bedroom in the new house.
“Later that day my mum brought Joe to St Bartholomew’s Grange and he spotted my car parked outside. She told him to knock on the door and as he did, he said ‘is this our house now?’ He couldn’t believe it when he got inside and all our furniture was there. It was a great surprise – especially when he saw the rooms at the top of the house for him. He’s got his own TV and his Wii all set up in there now – it’s his space.”
Since they’ve moved in, Archie and Laura have been busy adding the finishing touches to their new home – and outside they’ve even got Linden Homes’ landscape gardeners at St Bartholomew’s Grange to lay out their garden for them. With that done, they’ve really made their beautiful new home their own.
For more information on St Bartholomew’s Grange houses and apartments, please come and visit the sales and marketing suite on site, or call 01635 521607
For further information, contact Claire McCowan or Tracy Mannion at Remarkable Public Relations on 01962 893 893 or Claire.email@example.com
11 October 2012