It’s time to welcome you back

Fernham Homes is delighted to reopen the doors to some of its marketing suites and show homes as of 14th May 2020 – please visit each development page for details. We have introduced stringent social distancing and hygiene measures at all of our developments across Kent, taking the advice of the Government and the house building industry to create a safe environment for all.

We know many of you are placing greater emphasis on outdoor space in light of recent events, so we invite you to visit our current sites to appreciate the settings we have chosen for our new homes. Rest assured, you can reserve any Fernham-built property knowing it is complete with a private garden and will be within easy reach of some of Kent’s finest countryside. Enjoy Empire Park’s hidden valley location, surround yourself with the North Downs at Hollingbourne and Downsview or live among a patchwork of pretty fields at Boughton Park, to name a few. The choice is yours.


Fernham Homes handed a Gold Award

We are delighted to share some good news with our colleagues & customers. Fernham Homes has achieved the 2020 Gold Award in the Home Builders Federation’s customer satisfaction survey.

Lewis Catt, purchaser of a Fernham Home had this to say about the award.

“I am actually the proud owner of a Fernham Homes property and this recognition is totally deserved. Made the process of buying my first home incredibly simple and stress free. The customer care team are always quick to respond to any queries I may have. Well done to everyone at Fernham.”


Hard Work and Saving Pays off

The average age for a first time buyer has now risen to 33, according to recent statistics1, with many facing the prospect of having to pay a mortgage well into retirement. That isn’t going to be a problem for new homeowners Fiona English and Thomas Frankland, however, as in November they gained the keys to their three-bedroom house aged just 24 and 25.

Fiona and Thomas were the first viewers to visit Fernham Homes’ Lockesley Chase development in Orpington, in the London Borough of Bromley, and they loved the property so much that they put in an offer the very next day. “We just happened to walk past at the right time, so on the opening day we were the first people to view there,” says Thomas.

“We have been together nearly six years and have been living together and renting for four years, saving up and budgeting carefully all the while,” adds Thomas, who is a primary school teacher in the town. His partner Fiona works in financial planning, so putting down a solid foundation for their future was second nature. “We worked at weekends and saved all the way through university,” she says.

By the time they saw their home at Lockesley Chase, which they bought using London Help to Buy, they had saved up around £40,000. This enabled them to put down their deposit and pay for the legal fees and Stamp Duty, keeping costs down by moving themselves in with the help of family and friends and using furniture from Thomas’s grandmother.

Lockesley Chase is just down the road from where the couple were renting, but a world away in terms of comfort. “We love the location as it’s really quiet,” says Fiona. “We know the area very well and it’s easy to get to work.” Fiona is not a fan of completely open-plan living, so when she visited Lockesley Chase she was delighted to find that they could afford a home with a separate kitchen/diner and living area, as well as three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The property has a small garden with a patio and a long driveway with room for three cars – plus eco-friendly solar panels to keep the bills down.

“We have come from a two-bed flat with a damp problem and mould,” says Thomas.

“Finding something this spacious within our price range was perfect. The top-up from Help to Buy enabled us to afford something that was materially better than we otherwise could have afforded – we love the size of the rooms and that it’s at the end of a quiet road. We fell in love with it when we first looked around it.”

The budget-conscious couple were even more delighted to find that the cost of their new mortgage is slightly less than they were paying in rent, even though the property is so much bigger and a house rather than a flat. The savings habit is continuing though, as they are aware that the Help to Buy Equity Loan is only interest-free for the first five years. “We are putting money aside every month towards the Help to Buy loan as well, so we can pay a good chunk of it off before we have to pay any interest on it,” explains Thomas.

“Everyone from Fernham Homes has been really helpful,” says Fiona, who was impressed by the personal service they received throughout the process, even down to a visit explaining how all the appliances work. Speaking just a fortnight after moving in, she is delighted with how everything has gone, and plans to spend many years enjoying the new home and whatever the future may bring. “It’s much bigger than we really need right now, so there’s no pressure to move again,” she says.

“It’s so much more than we could have hoped for,” adds Thomas, “and we are very lucky to have got one of these places.” While Thomas and Fiona were particularly quick off the mark in their purchase, other properties at Lockesley Chase have also been selling fast, with just three homes remaining on Phase 1 of the development which has 23 new homes, with prices from £499,500.

Set in the ancient parish of St Mary Cray, to the north of Orpington, the homes have easy pedestrian access to schools, parks and leisure facilities and excellent commuter links – St Mary Cray railway station is a 15-minute walk away and offers services to London Bridge in just over 20 minutes, while the fabulous shopping destination of Bluewater is only 25 minutes away by car. Orpington’s lively High Street, a cinema complex and Nugent Shopping Park are all five minutes’ drive away, adding to the convenience of the location.

Lynne Smith, Head of Sales & Marketing at Fernham Homes, is not surprised that the homes at Lockesley Chase are being snapped up: “These houses, which come with gardens and parking, offer great value for Orpington, and give buyers the chance to move into a proper house for the price they would often have to pay for an apartment. With so many amenities within easy reach, these are the perfect properties for first time buyers, as well as upsizers looking for more space for their money in the tough London property market. With the availability of the Government’s Help to Buy Equity Loan this means that many of the homes at Lockesley Chase can be purchased with just a 5% deposit.


Kentish Housebuilder Bags Bronze at Industry’s Most Prestigious Event

Fernham Homes has been awarded bronze in the coveted category of Best Small Housebuilder at the prestigious WhatHouse? Awards 2019. Presented this year by Britain’s most famous astronaut, Tim Peake; and comedian and television presenter, Dara O’Briain, the WhatHouse? Awards are widely considered the housebuilding industry’s most prestigious event.

The award, received by director Michael Canham alongside additional members of the Fernham team, marks the end of a successful year, which has seen the launch of an innovative bespoke homes scheme and the launch of four new sites, including Lockesley Chase in Orpington.

Judges praised the housebuilder for quality specifications throughout its developments, alongside the thoughtfulness of design: “It is clear the directors set the mood and the standard, passionate about product and specification, but also about developing their employees and building a respected brand in the south-east, with Fernham’s distinctive pink livery.”

“Its designs, although varied and bold, pay due respect to the local vernacular such as Wealden-style timber weatherboarding. Its homes range from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom houses, with attractive street scenes creating a strong sense of place.”

Michael Canham, Director of Fernham Homes comments: “Receiving bronze for Best Small Housebuilder at one of the most prominent awards in the new homes industry is a real privilege and we are delighted to have been chosen by the expert panel. Creating quality homes which sympathetically designed to fit in with local architecture is of pivotal importance to us, and we are incredibly proud to be recognised for our successes.”

Fernham Homes provides stylish new build homes in Kent, each one built to the highest quality. Founded in 1997 by Ian Fern and Michael Canham and later joined by David Masters, the company has been building homes throughout Kent for over 20 years, after securing an initial site in Paddock Wood for five houses.

Each development is spacious and well-laid out, and every home is designed to be energy-efficient. Fitted with designer appliances, and featuring impressive interiors, including kitchens with fully integrated Bosch goods, the housebuilder strives to make each home individual and unique. Part Exchange, Assisted Move and the government-backed scheme Help to Buy are available on eligible properties, and each Fernham home comes with a 10-year NHBC warranty.


School Children and School Dog “Step up for Safe Streets”

In preparation for Road Safety Week, Fernham Homes, the housebuilder behind the new Boughton Park development on Church Road, donated reflective armbands to 30 pupils aged 9 and 10 from Boughton Monchelsea Primary School. Lyra, the school dog, was gifted a light-up collar, allowing her to support the pupils in their road safety education.

Road Safety Week takes place from 18th November and is the UK’s biggest road safety campaign, designed to promote lifesaving messages throughout the week and beyond. As the winter nights draw in, the message for pupils to be easily seen on the school run is all the more important at this time of year.

Lynne Smith, Head of Sales and Marketing for Fernham Homes, comments:

“Young children are looking to get more involved in making a difference when it comes to climate change. Walking to school is a simple way to achieve this, but it is very important to stay visible whilst doing so. We are extremely proud to be able to support the pupils of Boughton Monchelsea Primary School, who are based just along the road from our development, in their road safety education. We have also installed a puffin crossing, which we hope will make the children’s journeys even safer.”

On Friday 1st November, the children from Year 5 and Lyra the dog put their road safety skills to the test and visited the housebuilder’s Boughton Park development. They took great care in crossing the road when walking to the development and their reflective gear came in handy on their return to the school. The children enjoyed refreshments in a completed property, whilst part of the construction site had also been fenced off, to give the children chance to look safely at the machinery, which included a digger and a forklift.

Ruth Roberts, Headteacher at Boughton Monchelsea Primary School adds: “We would like to thank Fernham Homes for their generous donation of reflective gear to our Year 5 pupils and to Lyra the dog. The children have all had a wonderful time seeing what goes on behind the hoarding and will be able to walk to and from school more safely thanks to their new armbands.”


Healthier Lifestyle at Clean and Green Empire Park

IT’S not surprising that parents worry about children spending too long on their screens and too little time playing outside. Research suggests that not only is the average child heavier, weaker and less fit than 18 years ago1, but just 22% of children take enough exercise outside of school, spending around four hours a day on screen compared with only an hour and half in active play2. In fact, shocking figures3 suggest that three quarters of British children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates!

Add to that worries about mental health of young people spending all their time on social media4 and it’s clear that developments where children can safely play and roam have a big part to play in improving the health of the next generation.

One place where children are happily enjoying the great outdoors is Fernham Homes’ Empire Park development at Greenhithe, part of the exciting new Ebbsfleet Garden City masterplan. It’s where Vikki Goodwin, 34, and her children Eve and Logan, aged six and two, have made their new home – and former teacher Vikki is delighted at how the move will help her children to have freer and more active lives.

“We used to live in Swanley, which is only 10 minutes’ drive away, but it’s nowhere near such a nice area. I didn’t want to stay there as the kids got older, as I knew I would always be worrying about their safety,” she says. “The whole environment is so much better at Empire Park. I’ve already met the neighbours, and it’s lovely to see all the children playing together outside, running in and out of each other’s houses and being able to go out on their scooters and bikes in a safe environment. Our big garden is also perfect for the kids, and seeing them running around happily out there makes me confident that I made the right choice to move here.”

Vikki, who now works as an administrator for a stonework and restoration company and as a personal organiser in her spare time, sold a three-bedroom semi-detached home and upsized to a four-bedroom detached property at Empire Park. She liked the Ebbsfleet Garden City area, but found that some of the developments were rather too large and impersonal for her taste. Instead, she loved Fernham’s more human scale, with just 28 new homes, as well as the personal touch from sales staff who helped her to sell and complete on the new property in a whistlestop 10 weeks.

Because she bought her property at an early stage, Vikki was able to personalise aspects of it to her taste. For example, she could choose the colours of her kitchen, with grey gloss and a geometric patterned floor, to make the heart of the house just the way she liked it.

As well as the gardens and green areas at Empire Park itself, Ebbsfleet Garden City as a whole has seven different parks with impressive views and new Thames-side walkways that will give the public access to the waterfront for the first time in more than a century. Beacon Wood Country Park and Swanscombe Heritage Park are also close by, offering lots more possibilities for youngsters to let off steam. Bluewater shopping centre is just two miles away and has 300 shops, 50 restaurants, a 17-screen cinema and an adventure park and soft play for the kids.

Homes at Empire Park are selling fast, thanks not only to the green spaces, but also the great location, just 10 minutes’ drive from Ebbsfleet International station. As well as direct links into Europe, the station also offers high speed services into central London taking from just 17 minutes. The stations of Greenhithe and Swanscombe, which also offer trains into the capital, are within walking distance, and there’s a new network of cycle paths, bus routes and walkways that have been designed as part of the Government’s Healthy New Towns initiative at Ebbsfleet.

Lynne Smith, Head of Sales & Marketing at Fernham Homes, comments: “Empire Park has so much to offer families who are looking for a healthier lifestyle with plenty of outdoor space, but need to be within easy reach of London. The commute is short, giving families more time to spend together, and the house prices are a pleasant surprise in comparison with the London market – house hunters will be amazed how much space they get for their money here.”

The development at Empire Park features a mix of detached and semi-detached three, four and five-bedroom homes, all with their own gardens, complete with turf and patio, and either garages or parking spaces. Inside, the homes include Bosch integrated appliances in the kitchens, energy-efficient boilers and elegant bathrooms. Homes start from £420,000 for a three-bedroom house, with Help to Buy available. For more information, or to arrange an appointment to visit the show suite, call 01322 472 917 or visit www.fernham-homes.co.uk.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45651719

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46456104

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/8984614/planet-child-prisoners-shock-tv-parents/

https://www.ft.com/content/e37f876c-bdb9-11e9-b350-db00d509634e


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.


Empty Nesters Forget Downsizing at Downsview

Empty nesters whose adult children have left home are typically expected to downsize when it comes to their next move, but increasing numbers are bucking this trend, and looking for a similar or increased amount of space. According to latest NHBC research, homeowners aged over 55 are almost as likely to upsize to a new home than downsize with 40% of them opting for a four-bedroom house, despite an average occupancy of just two people.

At Downsview in Westerham, Kent, Mette and Ian Breminer have downsized by just one bedroom, with the property requiring the space they need for their various occupations. Moving from a six-bedroom detached house with a large garden in Oxted, where they spent the last 32 years raising their family, the Breminers have now bought a new five-bedroom house, built by Fernham Homes.

Mette, a freelance magazine writer, comments:

“We had been waiting to downsize for a couple of years but couldn’t find a house that had big enough rooms for what we needed. I work from home and amongst other things design needlework, and also have a collection of more than 35 miniature settings which I wanted to display. My husband insisted on having his own separate office where he could work from home, so I had to let him have a room for that. We are using ‘bedroom five’ as our formal dining room, which is about the same size as our old one, so the furniture fits perfectly. I love cooking and entertaining, so a proper dining room is a necessity. It is also very handily next to the kitchen, so Ian hasn’t got so far to go when he clears the table!”

Mette continues: “Even though we have technically downsized by just one bedroom, we are using the house like it has only two, the master bedroom and one dedicated for guests, which is perfect for what we need. The living room is almost as big as the one in our old house, so we really haven’t had to compromise on space. We ended up shutting off two of the bedrooms on the second floor in our previous property, which was such a waste so to be able to use all the rooms to their full potential here is fantastic. It is just what we were looking for and offers us the perfect balance of living and work space. An added bonus is that Ian’s office is on the ground floor, my studio is on the top so we can’t disturb each other. Our new garden is much smaller and more manageable, a further reason for the move.”

Downsview is a development of nine four and five-bedroom contemporary homes, complete with picturesque views of the North Downs. The houses have fully integrated kitchens with Bosch appliances and quartz stone worktops. They also have a garage, generous driveway parking for two cars and electric car charging points. The homes are ideal for active downsizers and growing families alike and, situated in the quintessentially sought-after Kentish town of Westerham, there is a friendly and active community, along with an enticing High Street and easy rail links to London from nearby Sevenoaks or Oxted stations.

Ian, a coffee merchant whose head office is in nearby Croydon, comments: “There is a good mix of young couples and retirees who have moved into the development so far. Friends from Oxted ended up buying here, too, so it is fantastic to know some people already. Our daughter has lived in Westerham for the last 10 years, so we knew what the historic town had to offer and love that the High Street is only an easy 10-minute walk away.”

Ian continues: “The location is ideal for me as I can drive to my office in Croydon in about 20 minutes and when Mette and I want to go into town, we can leave the car there and get the train to any part of London from East Croydon station. We are also just down the road from Gatwick Airport, which is great for Mette when she wants to visit family and friends in her native Denmark.”

Mette concludes:

“This home and location is perfect for what we want and need now, and we see ourselves living here hassle free for at least 15 years or maybe until our granddaughter leaves home (she’s six and lives just down the road). I intend to involve myself in the local community and have already joined a local WI and plan to darken the doors of the U3A once we’ve settled in completely! My old garden was opened for charity a couple of times, and, although this garden is much smaller, I’m looking forward to designing and creating a lovely patch here, too.”

Lynne Smith, Head of Sales & Marketing for Fernham Homes, comments: “With a new build home offering features such as low maintenance, low running costs, manageable gardens and a 10-year warranty, our homes at Downsview are perfect for Mette and Ian’s age group.”