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Customer case study: The Spencer

October 2022

We caught up with our customer, a retired project manager, who recently downsized into the 3-bedroom Spencer at Strawberry Grange in Cockermouth. Having designed and built his previous property from scratch, he knew what to look out for when it came to a new build home.

Read our Q&A to find out what he thought about the quality of a Story home and what he loves about The Spencer.

Or if you’re short on time, read the top 3 things to love here. 


The Spencer at Brougham Fields, Penrith

Tell us about your move.

“I lived in my previous house for nearly 30 years, it was a very large 5-bedroom family home. We built it from scratch whilst raising two young children and it took around 10-15 years to get it where we wanted. Although it was a fabulous family home, after getting divorced and retiring from my career, it was time for a change. It was also getting to the point where everything needed work. For example, the boiler needed replaced and the kitchen updated, there was a huge garden too, so it took a lot of maintaining. I wanted to enjoy life rather than spending all my time on the house.

“I wanted to downsize to somewhere low maintenance, I’d just spent years building and maintaining our previous home, so I wanted something I could just move into. I also wanted to be in Cockermouth where I was close to friends as well as my parents who need help day-to-day to be able to stay in their own home.”

What do you love about The Spencer?

“Before you get the keys you don’t really know what you’re moving into, but as soon as I opened the door, I just felt at home. I love the hallway, it’s a decent size and feels spacious. The stairs are wider than a usual house, even my old house, so the combination of the stairs and the hallway makes it feel welcoming and it doesn’t feel tight.

“I was pleasantly surprised about how my existing furniture fit in The Spencer, I have a 7ft oak kitchen table and it fits great in the dining space – there’s plenty of room. The second bedroom is a good size and I use this as a guest room whilst having the third bedroom as a home office. I like having a main bathroom, en-suite and a downstairs WC too, it feels luxurious and makes things easy.

“The other thing I really like is how the electrics are designed and laid out. I have three banks of light switches in the kitchen which works so well and provides ease. Spotlights are in the busy areas alongside normal pendant lights which is great and the media plate in the lounge is on the wall for the TV. I just think the amount of fixtures you get is generous, you can tell they’ve not scrimped at all.

“I chose to upgrade some things in the house, like the Seville oak doors and fitted wardrobes with mirrors which reflect the light and make it feel even more spacious. They’re really high-quality and I haven’t seen any wardrobes better than them.”

Why did you choose a new build over second-hand?

“Both my son and my niece have bought a Story home, one at Edgehill Park and one at an older development, Water’s Edge in Whitehaven. I was involved in the handover for my son’s house and was very impressed with the quality, fixtures and fittings. Then my niece moved into her home at Edgehill Park and I was really impressed again. I had the feeling more than ever that I wanted to move into a Story home.

“Just being able to move in with no work to do was what I wanted. I didn’t want to buy a second-hand property that I’d have to do up again, but I was apprehensive about what I could afford if buying new. I was pleasantly surprised when the Sales Executive, Sam, took me through my options and found I could afford a Spencer.”

“The only other housebuilder I’d consider in the area is Lovell Homes, but I didn’t like the location of their development as much as Strawberry Grange and a Story home was more appealing. I don’t think I would be anywhere near as happy if I wasn’t in a Story home.”

How did you find the customer journey?

“Although I was going through a stressful time, the Sales Executives, Sam and Gemma, made the process fun. I can’t underestimate the help and assurance that Sam provided at the time, she went above and beyond.

“When I got the keys and first moved in, it felt absolutely perfect, and it still does. Sam helped with all the choices, nudging me towards what was best for me.”

How do you find living on a Story Homes development?

“I really like the whole estate at Strawberry Grange and how the houses are different. The houses across from me are brick whereas mine’s render and I love the feel when you drive through the estate.

“Everybody is friendly and smiles at each other when passing, it’s lovely. There is a real mix of people on the development; first-time buyers, young professional couples, families, older retired couples, people on their own, so it’s a nice community. It’s quiet, but not too quiet.”

Would you recommend us?

“I recommend Story Homes to everyone that comes round. From start to finish the whole thing has been absolutely brilliant and I’m delighted with my house. Although I did have some snags, they were sorted out quickly. People say to me in town that they’d love to live in a Story home which just goes to show how highly regarded  the company is in the local area.

“One thing that I’ve really noticed, and appreciate from my career managing a team, is that everybody I have met on this site has been superb. From the Sales Executives, Sam and Gemma, to the Site Manager, Tom, and subcontractors carrying out work. They’re all polite and take the time to stop and talk to you. If you need something, they’ll stop what they’re doing and help you out if they can. They work extremely hard and the commitment really does shine through.”