February 23 2019 21:30:32
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Coach House
PersonalAfter 2.5 years of saving every penny, I've built up enough of a deposit to comfortably buy a house. After months of casual searching for properties (well before I committed to looking seriously), I realised that I'd need to look at about 150,000 GBP for my first home. Anything below this was either in a bad area, needed a lot of work doing or was mid-terrace - none of these appealed.

The area I decided upon was anywhere along the A1 north of Stevenage. As my job is based in Stevenage, this provides me with the best access to work (either by road or train). I looked around Sandy and found that most affordable houses were backed on to the A1, which was very noisy indeed. Other houses were in undesirable areas (such as right next to convenience stores).

In a three hour gap between viewings in Sandy, I decided to head to Biggleswade and enter a random estate agent. At the time, I hadn't considered "New Build" homes as friends had warned me of horror stories involving such houses (mostly concerning shoddy workmanship, but also smaller rooms than older houses). However, the estate agent informed me of a new development nearby that had a "Coach House" for sale. He gave me the directions to the site and off I went.

Upon arriving, I learned that the last plot had been sold, but a plot reserved for "affordable housing" would probably be converted into another of these plots. It sounded great, until they told me that construction wouldn't be complete until Spring 2011! Not only this, but they couldn't guarantee that the plot would be used for a coach house. I still put down a reservation as I was quite taken by the property design.

The next day I started searching specifically for new build properties and found that just 5 minutes down the road was another development site with the same style of property... only this one was still available and actually built! The drawback is that this one doesn't have a garden, however it's still a fully detached Flat Over Garage (FOG). The completion date is scheduled for December 2010 and the price is the same. Better still, the developer has agreed to give me 5% of the value of the home to add to my deposit so that I can get a Loan To Value (LTV) rate of 70%, giving me access to much more favourable interest rates.

So, without further ado, here are some videos of my chosen house!

Walking Down the Street


And here are some photos:
Dining Room 1
Dining Room 2
Brochure Front Rendering

Finally, the house plan.

Next step: Getting a mortgage!
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