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A first-time buyer couple is over the moon after purchasing their first home in Bedfordshire after being priced out of their hometown. Beth Cook (25) and Tom Laland (26), first-time buyers from Hitchin, picked Henlow as the ideal place to get on the property ladder. Proving the quaint village is anything but run of the mill, the couple has secured their three-bedroom home at Annington’s’ Mayflower Park development.
The couple, who both grew up in the county, decided the time was right to get a place of their own but were faced with ever-increasing prices in their current location, limiting option. So, in a bid to move out from their parents' home sooner rather than later and find the perfect family starter home, they expanded their search.
Beth explains: “We were quickly becoming priced out of the market in Hitchin; we were looking for a two or three-bedroom home that was within budget yet still close by to our families and friends. We looked at the pros and cons of moving slightly further away, and it quickly became apparent that living in Henlow would only enhance our quality of life. Plus, Mayflower Park itself is such a find. It's so nice and quiet but close enough to walk to the local shop and the train station. We are very happy with our choice.”
After saving for 2.5 years, Beth and Tom put down a deposit of 10% of approximately £26,000 and purchased their three-bedroom home for £266,500. Beth comments: “It's perfect for us; I don’t think we ever thought we could get a spacious and high-quality home with a large garden within our budget. I can’t believe we own it.”
Tom adds: “We were so excited to find out we could afford to purchase a home instead of renting as we didn’t want to waste our money. Annington put us in touch with a mortgage advisor who was really helpful and gave us all the information we needed. When you’re a first-time buyer it’s quite a scary process, especially as we’ve never made a purchase quite this big before. He made us feel at ease which just added to the overall customer service Annington provided.”
Located on Station Road, Mayflower Park comprises a collection of 80 three-bedroom homes, situated close to RAF Henlow. The emerging community is one example of Annington giving a new lease of life to former military married quarters, by lightly refurbishing them to provide homes for local first-time buyers and growing families.
Beth continues, “It's great to have a chance to be a part of the community being built here. Tom and I were one of the first to call Mayflower Park home and as more people start to move in its slowly starting to feel like we are part of something. A few of us have created a Facebook group to keep in touch and get to know each other; that's exactly the sort of place we wanted.”
Beyond the homes, Mayflower Park is a rare opportunity to enjoy a picturesque countryside environment within easy reach of amenities and Central London, which has not been lost on Beth or Tom. Tom comments: “For our everyday essentials there is a local corner shop which we can walk to in five minutes or less, for more groceries there are bigger supermarkets roughly a 10-minute drive away. We also have access to a post office, pharmacy, barbers and a few takeaway shops on our doorstep.”
He continues: “Although we like to keep quite local, when we want to head into London it’s quite an easy journey. London St Pancras International can be reached in under 40 minutes and London King’s Cross is just 47 minutes away via Thameslink at Hitchin Station.”
Looking to the future, the pair are keen to start a family in their new home. Beth comments: “We’ve been together for six years and we’re ready for the next step. It was important to us to find a home that could accommodate a growing family but also had access to good schools. Derwent Lower School is opposite Mayflower Park and nearby SPLAT Day Nursery is only five minutes’ drive from the development.”
Louise Saunders, Sales & Marketing Manager for Annington, comments: “Mayflower Park is such a rare opportunity for first time buyers to step onto the ladder. We’re excited to be launching a final release of homes and expect to see these be snapped up over the coming weeks, so would advise anyone looking for a family home in the Bedfordshire area to act quickly.”