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Renter Returns To Property Ladder At Warfield Development

Posted 22 September 2023 by Helen Christie

After being initially opposed to the idea of a new build development, Lisa has now purchased a home at Berkeley’s Woodhurst Park…

Yimbyism is a label often applied to ‘radical’ millennials who widely embrace developments being built in their back yards. For many, they are struggling to find affordable places to live in increasingly smaller and exclusive communities as housing prices and rents rise.

Lisa Smith, 45, was firmly in the ‘Not in my back yard’, or ‘Nimby’ camp, originally sceptical to the idea of welcoming a new build development in Warfield, even writing a letter in opposition when the first phase was in its very first consultation phase.

However, having rented in the area for the past seven years and a change in family circumstances, Lisa, a HR director, found that her views had altered, and WhatHouse? Award-winning developer Berkeley’s Woodhurst Park offered an opportunity to settle down in an area she had called home for over 16 years. The development’s ecological credentials, architectural design and formation of a new tight-knit community were major draws for her, and many others, with the site consistently selling out its phases ahead of the homes being build complete. She took the plunge to purchase a four-bedroom home to get back on the property ladder with a sizable deposit, thanks to an accumulation of savings and equity from a previous house sale.

The only snag was her mortgage. After her initial mortgage rate expired, Lisa decided to commit to a new five-year rate of 3.25% in order to complete on her home: “I am an optimist - mortgage rates are always on a cycle and I am confident they will drop again. My house hunting search had already been delayed by the pandemic and I was increasingly conscious of the difficulty of obtaining a decent rate as I get older, so this five-year deal was the best choice to keep my costs lower and we will reevaluate our situation when the renewal comes through.”

Lisa continues: “Having rented for a significant chunk of the last decade, taking out a mortgage and having the security of a home was personally worth the added payment every month. I was paying quite a high rent per month to my landlord, however, I know of people on the same road paying up to double that, and ultimately you are at the whim of your landlord. My mortgage is now only slightly higher than what I was paying per month but what I have access to makes all the difference. My experience with Woodhurst Park has been a real eye-opener – the development really surprised me as to how well it blended into the local area despite my initial preconceptions. Aesthetically, it fits right at home with its landscaping and socially, the community that has been grown here over the past few years has seamlessly integrated into the wider area and has been so welcoming to myself and my daughter. Having lived in and around the area for the past 16 years, I wanted somewhere that we could put down our roots for good in the area and grow with our new home as our lifestyle changes in the long term.”

Woodhurst Park (Berkeley)

Remaining in the area was key for Lisa. Woodhurst Park sits in over 65 acres of parkland, with a landscaped greenway running through the centre, idyllic riverside trails and a village green and duck pond. The site includes a primary school, where her daughter now attends, play areas and nature walks, providing the perfect example of how new communities and nature can thrive together.

Lisa explains: “My primary concern was space – as my daughter gets older having an en-suite is a welcome addition, I have an office as my work schedule remains hybrid, and we even have a games room that can double up as a guest bedroom if we need it. Our new home is far more family friendly so we can host relatives especially with the downstairs kitchen-diner – it’s a blank slate where we can start afresh and that was incredibly appealing coming from renting for so long.”

Benjamin Ivey, sales and marketing director for Berkeley Homes, comments: “Lisa’s story is a true testament as to how well Woodhurst Park has integrated into the local community and underlines the extent to which the development has been crucial in contributing homes in an area where renting costs remain high. We are proud of our homes here at Woodhurst Park – they are of superior quality and finish so every purchase can be made in confidence that these properties are a sound investment in the market.”

The development is less than two miles from Bracknell Railway Station, from which London Waterloo can be reached within the hour. Maidenhead Station, a 15-minute drive away, is part of the new Crossrail line reaching London Paddington in 16 minutes. For journeys by car, key roads including the M3 and M4 are nearby, providing access to destinations such as Heathrow in 30 minutes.

There are currently a selection of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes available, with two, two-bedroom apartments and two, four-bedroom ‘The Starling’ houses which are ready to move into this summer. 

Prices start from £345,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.

View more developments currently available from Berkeley


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