Elicia Cooper (23), a health care worker, and her partner Ashley Farmer (25), a lorry driver, were recently able to step onto the property ladder thanks to Crest Nicholson’s Home Reach part buy-part rent scheme, in partnership with heylo. The couple were renting a two bedroom house in Mildenhall and decided it was time to upsize to a three-bedroom property, purchasing an Elmswell house type at Crest Nicholson’s St John’s Mead development, providing more space to grow and play for their son, Noah (2).
The couple’s tenancy agreement was coming to an end and that is when they discovered the development in Elmswell, Suffolk, which offered exactly what they needed to get onto the property ladder. “We were finding it hard to save up for our deposit, but when we learnt about the Home Reach scheme, we realised it could allow us to buy the house of our dreams,” Elicia said. “The scheme allowed us to purchase 50% of the £299,500 property whilst having to put down only a £7,000 deposit, and we’ll look to staircase up and own 100% of the property in the future. The Crest Nicholson team was incredibly helpful and helped us out throughout the whole process and answered any questions we had.”
Home Reach provides the security of home ownership with a lower initial financial commitment, making it a more affordable way onto the housing ladder. Home Reach is a part-buy, part-rent process that allows buyers to purchase a share in a property, with the possibility to increase the share over time up to 100% ownership. The remaining interest in the property is owned by heylo, which acts as the landlord and grants buyers a 125-year lease.
Speaking about the property, Elicia continued: “Ashley’s parents were living in Stowmarket and we used to drive to Elmswell all the time because Ashley plays football in the area. Once we decided to own a home, we knew we wanted to live close to his parents and found the right fit at St John’s Mead. We realised how much of a priority a garden and extra room was after living in a two bedroom apartment throughout lockdown. We have a lovely bay window in the kitchen which overlooks the fields - a very relaxing view when drinking my morning coffee.” A big selling point of the Elmswell for Elicia was the extra bedroom, “we’ve converted it into a playroom for Noah, which has a reading nook, meaning the chaos of having a toddler is contained in one room and not scattered across the house,” she adds.
Set along distinct tree lined streets, the homes at St John’s Mead are traditional in style and built to complement the semi-rural village setting. The development is surrounded by greenery, creating a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the nearby town.
Elicia continued: “Having a dog, Reggie, we were adamant on getting a home with a large back garden and open green spaces nearby. Elmswell has a number of play parks, fields and walking paths nearby which we make use of on a regular basis. As the pandemic forced us indoors, when we go out for our daily walk we make the most of it to get some well needed fresh air with Noah and Reggie.”
Known for its strong community spirit, Elmswell is a thriving village in Suffolk. Residents at St John’s Mead will enjoy a variety of amenities on their doorstep, including a Co-op, two pubs, library, post office, playing fields and a cricket and football club. Families will also be well placed with Elmswell Primary School, Little Elms Pre-School and Street Farm Day Nursery all within walking distance of the development and rated by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’. “We were ecstatic when we got the news that Noah was going to be attending Street Farm Day Nursery as we wanted to get him the best start possible into his education;” added Elicia, “there are a number of excellent schools surrounding the development which means we won’t have to travel far for his education as he grows older.”
St John’s Mead is well connected, with Elmswell railway station under a 15 minute walk from the development, offering direct trains to Bury St Edmunds in just 12 minutes, Ipswich in 24 minutes and Cambridge in under an hour. Elicia and Ashley comment: “Ashely’s base is near Elmswell but due to the nature of his work – a lorry driver - he travels around the country on a regular basis. We are extremely well connected by road as the A14 is a short drive from St John’s Mead and links us straight to Ipswich, making it an easy drive to work for me.”
Prices at St John’s Mead start from £320,000. The Sales Suite and show homes are open Thursday - Monday from 10am – 5pm. For more information, please call 01359 758 536 or visit www.crestnicholson.com/stjohnsmead.