When finance manager James surprised his partner Becky by proposing in front of their plot, it made their ‘dream house’ even more special. The couple had just finished their first hard hat tour, a VIP look behind the scenes to get a feel for the layout before the build is completed.
“We’d stepped inside what we hope to be our forever home for the very first time, and were so excited,” says Becky. “Then James got down on one knee on the path outside and asked me to marry him! It was a shock, but of course I said yes!”
James had prepared his future father-in-law beforehand, and family and friends were waiting to congratulate the happy couple in a nearby pub. “It was a high-risk strategy,” says James, “but I knew Becky would love it. We had been looking forward to buying a house and moving in together for a while, and we’d found the perfect property and location.”
Having moved into the home earlier this year, the couple can still see the spot where he proposed from their living room. “It makes the house even more special,” adds Becky.
There was a particular moment when James and Becky thought: ‘this is where we want to be’.
“We were sitting in a pub beer garden overlooking a local common on a beautiful sunny day,” describes James. “Families were picnicking and playing ball games on the green, and we thought: this is where we want to be. We stopped looking elsewhere.”
The couple had wanted to find somewhere midway between Bristol and Bath, with all the conveniences of an urban area, but the quiet calm and community spirit of a village location. James grew up in Bristol and loves the city, while Becky has always lived in the countryside, and wanted somewhere that had a rural feel. The Frenchay Gardens development on the outskirts of Bristol ticked all the boxes, whilst being close to the ring road with access to the motorway, making it easy for the couple to commute and visit family up North.
“We did look at other locations but nowhere else measured up,” explains Becky. “And we viewed other houses in the area, but those needed a lot of work, so we set our sights on the Redrow development.”
“Moving into our Redrow home was effortless. We thought Redrow was a reputable housebuilder, and the name gave us confidence. We know people who have bought from Redrow before and recommended it, and friends in the building trade spoke highly about the quality of the construction, which gave us further peace of mind. And we were right to be confident. It’s great living here.”
After setting their sights on the Frenchay development, Becky and James couldn’t reserve a spot initially.
“The development is popular, and most of the properties were snapped up quickly,”comments James. “But we kept an eye on the website ‘just in case’. One Saturday evening we spotted that a house was newly available as someone had withdrawn their offer. We called first thing Sunday morning and from then on it was smooth sailing.”
The couple found the reservation process very straightforward, and say the sales team were friendly and always willing to help. The online platform was particularly useful, according to James: “It was much simpler than we thought. The systems are easy to use, and the help from staff also made the house-buying process easier than it was when I’d bought a house before.”
Apart from the location, the main selling point was the space and lay-out of the property, which is a four-bed laid out over three floors. And the view, as James describes, is the icing on the cake: “The wow factor for us is being able to look out on a stunning green space”.
The couple added some optional extras onto the specification; upgrading doors, work surfaces and finishes to their taste. Becky says they looked around the showroom several times for inspiration, even after they reserved their property: “The sales staff were really accommodating in allowing us to visit the show home and look at samples for the finishes.
“Our new home had been built up to the ground floor when we were able to reserve it, and because of its positioning on the road, we were able to drive by and see it go up over time. We were really excited to check its progress over weekends, and even did our ‘hard hat’ visit twice – although the first one was more memorable!”
“Our neighbours are all really friendly and there’s a strong sense of community here. As each new family moved in, we’ve introduced ourselves and got to know them. It’s very sociable.
“All in all, this feels like our ‘forever home,’” declares James.
“I loved my previous house, which was also a new build,” adds Becky, “but this has so much more. With the location, extra space, and the community, I can really see a future here.”