A Carlisle-based couple have purchased their first home together just in time to celebrate both of their birthdays, thanks to housebuilder Story Homes.
Samantha Wall, a sales executive for Lloyd MINI Carlisle, and her partner Jamie Hope, an engineer for Crown Bevcan, purchased their dream home in December, opting for a four-bedroom detached ‘Durham’ house type at the Aspen Grange development in Carlisle.
The couple moved into their new home six days before Jamie’s birthday and seven days before Samantha’s.
Samantha said: “We’ve certainly had our best birthdays yet. Although the house took priority over our usual celebrations, we were just ecstatic to be in our new home for our birthdays and celebrated by having some of our friends round for food and wine.”
The young couple – who have been together since the age of 15 – were previously living with their families, and had been saving to buy their own property. The decision to purchase a bigger home was a strategic move for the pair, as Samantha explained:
“Having been together for over six years we have been waiting and saving for the perfect time to move. You just know when you are ready for your own space. We really wanted a bigger house as we didn’t want to go through the usual process of buying a two-bedroom house and then a three-bedroom house and so on if our family expands in the future. We didn’t want the hassle of moving or the added cost of the stamp duty that comes with it.”
Jamie continued: “When we were shown the plot at Aspen Grange we immediately fell in love with it, as its position on the development and the structure of the Durham house type perfectly suited our needs. The built-in garage was something that I really wanted and the fact that it had four bedrooms meant that it ticked all the boxes. The Durham uses the space in the house really well and all of our friends and family have complimented the bright and specious layout.”
The couple opted to use the Help to Buy scheme to purchase their new home. Samantha explained:
“We used Help to Buy which meant only providing a 5% deposit, so we could use the rest of the money to buy everything we needed for our new home. It was all very easy and both Story Homes and Butterworths Solicitors made the whole process stress-free.”
The scheme allows buyers to reserve a home with a deposit starting from just 5% of the total purchase price. The government will lend the buyer up to 20% of the value of the new home via an equity loan, so they will only need a 75% mortgage. The equity loan is interest-free for five years and it can be paid back at any time or upon the sale of the home.
The couple both had their hearts set on a new-build home as they liked the idea of everything being fresh and ready to move into. The couple both work full time and would have struggled to find the time to invest in an old property.
Jamie wasn’t the first person in his family to purchase a Story Home. He explained: “In 2016 my family purchased a Story Home at Crindledyke and had a stress-free move and purchase – we wanted the same. With Story Homes being a local company and having a good reputation as being a quality developer in Carlisle, we knew if we were opting for a new-build then we were going with Story Homes.
“Aspen Grange worked perfectly for us as it is really close to both of our places of work. We love the open plan kitchen and dining room – it is such a great space to host friends and family. We had Christmas Day at ours and enjoyed having both of our families together at Christmas for the first time – it meant so much to us. The bi-fold doors into the garden are also a great feature leading onto the patio and we can’t wait to have them wide open this summer.”
Samantha summarised: “We have been very happy with the whole purchase of our property. At times it can be stressful buying a new home, especially with being first time buyers, as the whole experience was new to us and we were unsure of what to expect. However from start to finish Story Homes has been extremely helpful and not just throughout the buying stage of the journey. The aftercare has been outstanding. I have to give a special mention to our assistant site manager Joe who works effortlessly to correct any niggles we had when we moved in – which may I add has been very small. We are over the moon with our home and still pinch ourselves that it is ours.”
Hayley Blair, head of sales at Story Homes, said: “We are delighted that Samantha and Jamie are enjoying their new home and were able to benefit from Help to Buy, which continues to be a popular scheme with our customers.
“A new-build home is ideal for young professional couples who perhaps don’t have the time to renovate an older home. With high specification features such as fully integrated kitchens, AEG appliances and Porcelanosa tiling it’s great to see that a Story Home at our Aspen Grange development was the perfect choice for Samantha and Jamie. We wish them every happiness in their new home.”
For further information about the current Story Homes offers please get in touch with the sales executive at the development in which you are interested, or visit www.storyhomes.co.uk.
For more details about Aspen Grange please call Tracey on 07970 498924 or email AspenGrange@storyhomes.co.uk. The show home and marketing suite is open every day from 10.30am to 4.30pm.