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Two Families Find Their Ideal Homes In Kent

Posted 8 March 2021 by Keith Osborne

One family movers from London seeking more space, the other stays loyal to a housebuilder and moves from coast to country...

With the newly extended Stamp Duty holiday announced last year helping to keep the property market busy, with many people finding it the right time to make the move they wanted, which is what the Dragut and Fagg families have done at two current developments in Kent.

Calin Dragut, 52, and his family had been living in a rented two-bedroom house in Woolwich, south London for two years when a friend of theirs invited them over to see the new home he had recently purchased at Rochester Riverside. The Countryside and Hyde development on the banks of the River Medway swept the family off their feet.

“Everything at Rochester Riverside seemed to be in the right place, and it instantly felt like home, even though we weren’t looking to buy at the time. We also went on a walk around the town and immediately fell in love with the high street, dotted with small independent shops, and dramatic views over Rochester Castle and the cathedral,” said Calin.

A week later, he was on his way back to Rochester on a mission to find out more about the regeneration scheme and the homes on offer. “I was relieved to find out that a few three-bedroom houses were still available,” he said. Coming from a construction background, Calin was impressed by the quality of finishes and the level of product knowledge demonstrated by the Countryside staff. “The quality of build and finishes was simply impeccable, and I could tell they’d used good materials throughout. After that follow-up visit, I made a decision to buy my first home there without having seen anything else.”

As a result, the family put down an offer for a three-bedroom ‘Shelduck’ house, available with Help to Buy, which they liked because of its clever layout and abundant space.

One of the best things about Rochester Riverside, in Calin’s words, is its waterside location, which reminds him of the place he was born. Having lived in Romania along the River Danube, the second largest in Europe, and being close to water, he appreciates the benefits of waterside living especially for his health and wellbeing.

“Having access to water is wonderful. In addition, there’s plenty of greenery, and I often see foxes when I leave the house early in the morning. We have definitely missed being close to nature when we were living in the capital,” he said.

The community aspect was also an important part for the family. “Because of what our friend who lives here had told us, we knew we would be buying into a real community. It has a cosmopolitan feel, and people around here are nice and friendly. We are lucky to have been able to purchase a home, not just a house,” said Calin.

Another advantage of Rochester is its proximity to London and excellent transport links on the doorstep. Having previously driven to his workplace in Battersea, Calin is now able to free up some time whilst commuting into London by train, with Rochester train station being less than a five-minute walk away.

Rochester Riverside recently opened an on-site Co-op supermarket, Travelodge and Costa Coffee. Over the next 12 years, Countryside and Hyde will be providing new homes and facilities for local residents and the wider Rochester community by unlocking what used to be an industrial site along the River Medway.

Prices for four-bedroom semi-detached houses at Rochester Riverside start from £575,000. Find out more at www.countrysideproperties.com or [email protected]

Fagg familyThe Fagg family at home at Radstone Gate

Down in Folkestone, Philip and Joanne Fagg decided now was the right time to make the move to the countryside. Already living in a Pentland Homes property, the couple decided to purchase again with the developer at its award-winning development, Radstone Gate, in Stelling Minnis, set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

For the couple it was their second Pentland Homes property purchase, after previously buying at another development, Trinity Drive in Folkestone where they lived for four years. Philip, a managing director at an electrical company who specialise in construction sites, said: “We first bought at Trinity Drive down in Folkestone four years ago. At the time we were looking to downsize and chose a semi-detached property. We loved living there and we were impressed with the build-quality and unique designs Pentland put into their developments.”

At the beginning of last year, the couple decided it was time for a move and after closely following the progress of Pentland’s latest developments decided to take a tour of Radstone Gate in the idyllic village of Stelling Minnis. Philip added: “When we did decide it was time for us to move, we saw Pentland had just launched Radstone Gate and decided to take a look. We made our decision there and then. Having previously bought from Pentland and working in construction myself, it has been exactly what we expected, the standards of the specifications and finishing are impeccable.”

Mr and Mrs Fagg opted to purchase the ‘Bellflower’, a detached four-bedroom home with two en suites, utility room, off-road parking, garage and large walled garden. Internally, the home has been finished to Pentland’s signature level of craftsmanship, including sumptuous interiors, oak joinery, quartz worktops and real log burners.

Philip commented: “What really stood out to us about Radstone Gate was the fact each property benefits from a unique design in a traditional style. For us it gives the best of both worlds, a traditional exterior and modern flexible interior. The clever incorporation of the large windows at the front is a real highlight, it looks spectacular and allows plenty of natural light across the hallway and landing.”

The couple moved into their new home in November 2020 in time for Christmas. Now after being settled, the pair are delighted with their new home and getting to experience life in the countryside.

Commenting on the process of buying with Pentland Homes, Philip added: “I couldn’t recommend buying with Pentland enough. In a year that has had so many ups and downs they have remained on an even keel. Originally, we were planning to move in October, but the construction delays caused by Covid pushed us back to November. Throughout the whole process Pentland kept us in the loop and were so accommodating. The family values within the company and their care for customers really showed throughout.”

Each of the remaining properties at Radstone Gate has been fitted with underfloor heating (to the ground floor), gas fired central heating, low-energy LED lighting, landscaped gardens, intruder alarms, TV and BT points, double glazing and all homes bar one have a single or double garage with lighting and power pre-installed.

Radstone Gate combines the bliss of rural life with the proximity to some of the south’s most attractive and vibrant towns and cities. Canterbury is a 20-minute drive away, the historic cathedral city offering an abundance of restaurants, bars and shops, including Fenwicks department store, whilst nearby Ashford Designer Outlet offers further opportunities for retail therapy.

The development is incredibly well-connected with numerous High Speed train services to London in under an hour from Canterbury and Ashford stations. Ashford International station also runs Eurostar services to Paris and Brussels in under two hours.

Properties at Radstone Gate are available from £705,000 and Part Exchange and Help-to-Sell are also available.

Find out more about current Pentland Homes developments.


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