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Contemporary Design Wins Over Period Character

Posted 6 August 2021 by Keith Osborne

Initially aiming to buy a period property, a family found all they wanted in a brand new award-winning townhouse...

Andy and Sarah Henley who had been living in Wimbledon before moving to St Albans, have now found their perfect family new build home at Meyer Homes’ Gabriel Square – having initially seeking a period house.

Meyer Homes has created a selection of award-winning contemporary-styled townhouses and apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms at St Albans’ first garden square development – Gabriel Square. Redefining design-led living for the city, the scheme seeks to make a connection between nature and modern living, whilst recalling the iconic layouts of grand Georgian and Victorian garden squares in London.

Many residents moved into their new homes at Gabriel Square during the pandemic, including Andy (37) and Sarah (37), who paid £1.05million for their four-bedroom townhouse. Having sold their two-bed house in Wimbledon in 2020, the couple moved to St Albans and enrolled their eldest child in a local primary school where they rented initially so that they could be a chain-free buyer.

When property hunting for their next purchase, they had their sights on a period property brimming with character but soon saw the benefits of purchasing a new build home instead, which has since proved very useful for working from home as a result of Covid-19.

Andy said: “We weren’t looking for a forever home when we began our search as we always knew we were going to outgrow somewhere. My wife was also adamant that we bought a period property because they generally offer more character. We had actually had an offer accepted on a property elsewhere in St Albans initially, but everything fell through at the last minute. We came across Gabriel Square quite by chance and it ended up being our saving grace for so many reasons!

“The moment we stepped into the garden square on route to our townhouse, both my wife and I fell in love with it. The main draw for us was that we could have so much more space than in the older style properties we had been viewing. The townhouses are also very well designed, offer superior décor, are equipped with smart technology and have no radiators. We were worried about lack of character, but we have brought that into our home ourselves.

“Being new build, it also means everything is chain free, especially as we were a chain free buyer too. Everything is also brand new, we benefitted from the remainder of the BLP building warranty plus on top of us being able to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday, Meyer Homes made a contribution towards the levy too.

Gabriel SquareGabriel Square

“Coming from London where our garden was very small, Sarah and I definitely wanted plenty of outdoor space for our children in our new home. Gabriel Square doesn’t disappoint in that respect. Not only do we have our own private garden and a rooftop terrace, but we also have access to the gardens within the square. This communal area allows us to immerse ourselves in a comfortable and spacious environment of public and private-access lawns set against a backdrop of evergreens, dynamic planting, natural play elements for our children and public art installations by award-winning sculptor, David Harber. Our children spend a lot of time playing here with our neighbours’ kids, whilst my wife and I love a morning cup of tea or an evening tipple sitting on our terrace and admiring the panoramic views.

“As an added bonus, especially given the times we are in now, we have a separate study. Now that I’m working from home this is ideal for me – especially given the train station is a three minute walk away should I need to go into the office. I wasn’t looking for this initially as working from home has never really had any appeal, but I have actually grown to enjoy this new trend as it has allowed me to have more time with my family.

“Furthermore, St Albans is a super city to live in. We still have the urban aspects we love but are surrounded by stunning countryside and a balanced lifestyle that we can enjoy as a family. Walks, cycle trails, cinema and a variety of cuisines on our doorstep are all things we love to do here. The local primary school is also excellent.

“Charlotte from the sales team at Meyer Homes looked after us really well. Even during a pandemic, she offered us safe viewings and a super-efficient process from beginning to end. I also appreciated Charlotte’s frankness and honesty, which was very refreshing compared to challenges we had had with other estate agents. As a result, we are absolutely delighted with our new home.”

There are now just five four-bedroom townhouses left for sale at Gabriel Square, with prices starting from £960,000. The sales office is open for appointment-only visits, with Covid safety measures still in place. Find out more at visit www.gabrielsquare.com.


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