Commute free life lets first-time buyers save for new home
Florence, a Sales Coordinator, and her partner Russell, a Store Manager, had been renting a two-bedroom apartment in Maidstone for over two years with their son Forrest. When the Coronavirus pandemic took hold, they suddenly found themselves working from home and on furlough.
With work typically based in central London, the couple quickly decided to reallocate the money they were saving from not commuting every day towards a house deposit. With the ability to leverage Help to Buy and the Stamp Duty holiday, Florence and Russell managed to save for a home in a matter of months, choosing to purchase a four-bedroom Wilmington-Semi at our central Maidstone development, The Mill at Springfield.
Florence explained: “We were never intending to purchase a home until lockdown when we realised how much money we could put into savings each month from not commuting to London every day. Our season ticket costed approximately £6,000 each, so we were able to put almost all of this money to one side and save a sizeable deposit quite quickly.
“At the time we were living in a small apartment with no garden and with a young child, so we decided it was definitely the right time to purchase a house, somewhere with more space. Particularly when the Chancellor announced the Stamp Duty holiday, we knew we had to make the most of the opportunity and buy now.”
Through the Stamp Duty holiday, Florence and Russell saved just over £5,499, and with the combination of Help to Buy, the couple could afford a bigger property with the space they required to grow a family.
Commute still counts
Commuting to London was still a key factor for Florence and Russell. With a community of homes by Maidstone’s two train stations, less than an hour’s commute from central London, The Mill at Springfield offered the perfect spot.
Florence explained: “Although we’ve saved so much money from working from home, Russell and I will both be returning to our respective workplaces once lockdown lifts, particularly my partner as he manages a shop, so a good commute remains hugely important to us.”
The Mill at Springfield is in the ideal location for those working in both Maidstone or London, with the town being just a ten-minute walk from the development and the station providing links to London Victoria in upwards of 45-minutes. Florence is based on Oxford Street and Russell is a Store Manager in Stratford. While Florence will look to balance her time between office-based and remote-working, Russell’s role in retail is reliant on going into work.
Purchasing their home off-plan meant Florence and Russell could customise several aspects to reflect their tastes and personalities. This included floor-to-wall tiling in all the bathrooms, siltstone kitchen worktops, sliding wardrobe doors, Amtico floors and turf for the garden.
Florence explained:“Buying off-plan essentially enabled us to personalise our home as it was being built, which was such an exciting prospect and a fun process. Our home is now styled and finished exactly to our tastes, so it feels like it’s truly our home.”
Buyers are able to select a number of extras and upgrades via MyRedrow, our digital platform which enables buyers to select flooring, tile colours for bathrooms and kitchens, upgrade appliances, fixtures, and fittings, fitted wardrobes and most recently, home office furniture.
The Wilmington-Semi is semi-detached and split across three-floors, boasting four-bedrooms, with the principal suite spanning the entire top floor and a fourth bedroom that could double as a home-office. Downstairs benefits from an open plan kitchen-diner to the front of the home with separate utility cupboard, paired with a spacious living room to the rear which opens out onto the garden.
The Mill at Springfield is a new 295-home community, set on the site of the former Whatman Paper Mill. The site’s historic past is incorporated into our scheme, with the former paper mill’s iconic Grade II listed chimney, Rag Room and listed beam all being retained and restored. The homes at The Mill reflect the characterful brick exteriors of the existing buildings and are from our Regent Collection, boasting spacious and modern interiors.
In the heart of the Garden of England, Maidstone has an abundance of orchards, hop gardens and romantic villages, and vineyards, such as the renowned Biddenden Vineyards. Maidstone is also home to a vast array of leisure and entertainment amenities, including two shopping centres, eateries and music and food festivals.