Great Choice for First Home Together

Charlotte Alexander, 30, and her partner Chris Yates, 31, had three essential factors in mind when they started house-hunting together. They wanted a spacious, three-bedroom home that would suit them now and far into the future, they needed off-road parking, and it was essential to be able to commute easily into London where Charlotte is an executive assistant at a financial services company and Chris is an insurance broker for private medical insurance.

“We really wanted to be within walking distance of a railway station where could get the train to London easily,” says Charlotte. “We also wanted to move into a new-build property so that everything would be already done and we wouldn’t need to do any work on the home.” The couple found what they were looking for at Fernham Homes’ Pearsall Place development at Borough Green near Sevenoaks in Kent, just a short walk from Borough Green & Wrotham station.

Southeastern already offers train services from Borough Green & Wrotham station to London Victoria in as little as 46 minutes, and to London Blackfriars in just over an hour, as well as trains to Ashford International for connections into Europe, and local services to Canterbury. However, a new service from Govia Thameslink, due to start next year, will offer direct trains from Borough Green, to London Bridge, then to Blackfriars, Farringdon and onward to Cambridge, opening up a whole range of new commuter possibilities.

Finding the right new home in what can be an expensive area of Kent was certainly a challenge for Charlotte and Chris. Charlotte grew up in Sevenoaks, while Chris was from Crowborough, and they wanted to stay within easy reach of Charlotte’s parents at Ightham. “We originally started looking in Tunbridge Wells, but the train fares were so much more expensive, and we thought about moving to London, but we couldn’t afford to live in a nice area,” says Charlotte. “We also looked at property within walking distance of Sevenoaks station, but when we found Pearsall Place it just seemed perfect for us.

“Borough Green is a nice little town that has really come into its own over the last few years. It still has a village feel, but has lots of places to go for lunch, a Sainsbury’s Local and everything that we need on the doorstep. It’s so quiet, that sometimes if we’re at home during the day you can’t hear anything except the birds!”

While Chris was a first time buyer, Charlotte bought her first property, a shared ownership flat in Dunton Green near Sevenoaks, shortly after the couple got together. “I really wanted to get on the property ladder, but as we hadn’t been together that long we weren’t ready financially. Shared ownership was a great way to take a first step on the property ladder, but I always knew it was going to be a short term thing until we could afford a whole home together,” she says.

“We are planning to live here long term – perhaps 15 years or so – so we wanted somewhere we would could really put down roots, with a good commute and local amenities. We hope to start a family in a few years’ time, so it was important to have the extra rooms ready and waiting. The new train service should mean that the property will be a good investment, too; you always hope that your house will go up in value!”

All the houses at Pearsall Place are reserved, but Fernham Homes’ development at Boughton Park in the pretty village of Boughton Monchelsea is also in a great location to take advantage of the improved transport links from Maidstone East station, which is just a couple of stops further down the line from Borough Green, five miles away. The setting has the same mix of village life and easy access to amenities, including an Ofsted-rated Good primary school a stroll away.

“When it comes to location, Boughton Park has it all,” says Lynne Smith, Head of Sales & Marketing at Fernham Homes. “There’s a thriving village community and a great school you can walk to, but bustling Maidstone, the county town of Kent, is just up the road and is ranked in the top five shopping areas in the south east of England, with more than a million square feet of retail space. The planned improvements to the already excellent rail service, which will make commuting into London a breeze, are only going to increase the appeal of Boughton Park.”

The development comprises a selection of 20 four and five-bedroom homes starting from £399,995. All have garages and private gardens, kitchens with integrated Bosch appliances and Quartz worktops, and are beautifully finished throughout. Fernham Homes has recently opened a new show home, enabling visitors to look around the superb five-bedroom, three-storey Redwood design which features bi-fold doors into the garden as well as a balcony to the top floor bedroom.