LoginSubscribe to Alerts

Pandemic Switches Thoughts To Living Outside London

Posted 20 July 2021 by Keith Osborne

A London couple started looking further afield once they decided to buy their first home during lockdown...

Waseem Al-Jaf and his wife Rasha have purchased a large three-bedroom semi-detached house at L&Q’S Saxon Reach in Milton Keynes, using a 20% Help to Buy equity loan to secure the perfect place for them.

The couple decided that 2020 was the year they would purchase their first home. Having saved for their deposit whilst renting a one-bedroom apartment in London, the couple began to look at Help to Buy apartments in the capital that fell within budget. Living in London their whole lives, Waseem and Rasha had always enjoyed being so close to their work and the busy London lifestyle, however once the pandemic hit, the couple began to work from home permanently, and realised that their priorities had shifted.

Waseem explained: “It always made sense for us to live in London. We’d been there our whole lives, and had never considered moving due to it being such a practical location for work. We had discussed maybe looking at Watford, but when we started working from home, we branched out and decided to look slightly further afield to see how much more we could get for our money.

“We started researching areas ​north of London with good transport links into the capital, and discovered that Milton Keynes was perfect for us. It’s such a modern town, and the grid system means you can be anywhere in 10-15 minutes maximum. It’s also a very multi-cultural place, and really does offer the best of both worlds with its huge variety of parkland and green space as well a buzzing city feel. We decided Milton Keynes was the town for us, and booked viewings at a few developments to see what ticked our boxes.”

With some key areas in mind, Waseem and Rasha found Saxon Reach and booked a viewing with the sales teams, as well as some viewings elsewhere. Upon comparison, the couple decided to put an offer down at Saxon Reach, determining that the development offered more for their money.

“We knew that we wanted to live somewhere with good access to the M1, and focused our search on Wavendon, Broughton and Brooklands. We viewed Saxon Reach and instantly fell in love, but decided to view a few other developments before finalising our decision. After viewing different properties, we realised the other homes were incomparable to Saxon Reach, given the inclusion of so many appliances and finishes at no extra cost.”

“These perks were a no-brainer to us – without having to pay extra, we would have a turfed garden with ​a shed, integrated appliances throughout the whole kitchen, carpets and quality flooring, as well as an extremely spacious house ​– we just couldn't find this anywhere else. We knew that Saxon Reach was the place for us, and put down our offer.”

Saxon ReachLocated on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, Saxon Reach will ultimately deliver 225 one- to five-bedroom homes available through Shared Ownership and Help to Buy, creating a thriving new district as part of the wider Glebe Farm development area.

When discussing the buying and moving process, Waseem explained his positive experience with L&Q. “We were really lucky to be able to view both of the show homes with social distancing measures in place, and once we decided to put our offer down, we actually got to see ​the property that would become our home. As we weren’t buying off-plan, our house was almost finished so we knew exactly what we were moving into. The sales team were extremely supportive, and even helped us finalise a furniture pack which saved us a lot of money when moving in!”

When asked what their favourite features of their new home are, Waseem remarked: “The master bedroom on the top floor of our home is nothing like we’d seen anywhere else. It’s much bigger than the other master bedrooms we had viewed, and is accompanied by an en suite with waterfall shower which is more than we could have asked for! Every room is so spacious, as is the garden, which we can’t wait to use once summer comes around. The house is also really well insulated so our bills are much lower than we’d previously been paying!

“It’s also really exciting to be part of a new growing community, as we were one of the first houses to complete. Our neighbours are all so lovely and welcoming, and it’s great to see the progression of the site now that we’re here. The park will be open soon, and there will be a school here next year, and we can’t wait for Saxon Reach to continue to grow.”

Concluding on his new life at Saxon Reach, Waseem can’t believe he hadn’t considered moving out of London prior to the pandemic: “We feel so much healthier in Milton Keynes – just having this access to so much green space is incredible. We’ve had family come to visit, and my sister in law and her husband actually loved our new home so much that they have now bought their own home here. That says it all really. We’ve finally found a home that we love in an area that we love, and we’ll absolutely be staying here for the long term.”

Find out more about Saxon Reach at lqhomes.com.


Find retirement homes in Buckinghamshire
Find Help to Buy homes in Buckinghamshire
Find new homes in Buckinghamshire


Michael, Louise, Angela and Libby at home
15 August 2022
A family of five living have come together to make the most of flexible space in a brand new home at Fernwood Village...Read more
The McDonnell family at home at Dargavel Village
10 August 2022
The McDonnells have swapped city life for a the proximity to countryside by purchasing a new home at Dargavel Village...Read more
Brendan and Duncan at home at Wellington Place
9 August 2022
A brand new home at Wellington Place in Market Harborough is a perfect work-life balance for Brendan and Duncan...Read more
Sign up for email alertsGet the latest properties and updates sent directly to your inbox daily, weekly or immediately you are in control.
Subscribe to Alerts
A Guide To Part Buy Part Rent
With Home Reach you buy a share of your chosen newly built home and pay a monthly rent on the part you don’t buy. Your budget will decide the size of the share you buy, rather than the size of your home. So, you might decide to buy a bigger share of a lower priced home or a smaller share of a more expensive home.

Click here to see your activities