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‘Excellence As Standard’ The Way of North West Housebuilder

Posted 3 October 2018 by Keith Osborne

We speak to managing director of Duchy Homes North West, Neil Waddington, about the homes and service the company offers...

Today we speak exclusively to Neil Waddington, managing director of the North West division of Duchy Homes, about the housebuilder’s current portfolio of new homes for sale, what they offer buyers by way of assistance and customer care, and the company’s plans for the future.

Hi Neil, please tell us a little about yourself.

I joined Duchy Homes to head up the North West team in February 2018, with a background in land before my almost 12 years in managing director positions. I’ve worked for well-known housebuilders such as Barratt, Miller Homes and Prospect (GB) but I was really attracted by the exclusivity of Duchy Homes and its customer-focused approach. It’s really exciting to be involved in the company’s ambitious growth plans and I have always enjoyed the early challenges of growth and development as companies deliver their first homes.

What developments are you currently looking after, and what can people find there?

Our first site, The Grange in Bunbury, is nearly sold out now, with just one luxury apartment left. It’s a really beautiful development and each house type is unique. The four apartments at the front of the development give an incredible feeling of stature on arrival – and they have amazing views!

Our second development, The Paddock in Milton Green, has just recently been launched and comprises of just ten new homes – seven executive five-bedroom detached homes and three three-bedroom Shared Ownership mews houses – in an idyllic Cheshire hamlet. Buyers can secure an exceptional new home here from just £254,999.

Is there one in particular that you're really proud of, and why?

I believe our first sites at Bunbury and Milton Green both reflect the attention-to-detail and high quality that Duchy Homes always strives to deliver. Both sites offer homes with the opportunity to experience amazing quality and luxury specification.

What differentiates a Duchy Homes property from the competition?

It’s a combination of always picking great locations where people actually want to live, including high-quality features as standard, and choosing not to over-populate our sites so the plots are generous and the developments feel exclusive. We pride ourselves in offering inspirational space that delivers contemporary living and luxurious design. That’s why we have consistently won in the NHBC Awards year-on-year for our high standards and quality, ever since Duchy Homes was established in Yorkshire nearly a decade ago. 

Do buyers have choices of colours/finishes and options for upgrades if they reserve at the right time?

Absolutely. If clients reserve before roof stage they can enjoy choosing their dream kitchen style and tile colours etc – it’s a really exciting time for our customers and we love it when they have the opportunity to get involved in making it their home. 

We don’t offer a long list of upgrades because the specification of the homes we build is already premium – clients enjoy turfed and landscaped gardens, granite or quartz worktops, AEG appliances, and there’s always a master bedroom walk-in wardrobe, executive en suites and luxury fittings as standard.

Are there incentives and assistance schemes that buyers can use, and have they been popular this year?

We can offer Part Exchange on most properties, as well as move-assist, which is when we instruct reliable estate agents to vigorously market your property on your behalf.

Earlier this year we also introduced Help to Buy on our properties under £600,000. Many people thought the government Help to Buy scheme was only available for first-time buyers but it’s a great way for us to also support existing homeowners looking to upsize to a new property and invest in better quality. 

At our Milton Green development, we have also included three mews houses that are available with Shared Ownership. The build quality is consistent with the other properties at The Paddock and we’re really proud to make homeownership accessible at this exclusive Cheshire location.

Can buyers - particularly those buying a first home - expect good customer service with Duchy throughout the buying process and afterwards?

Duchy Homes has always been focused on ‘excellence as standard’ and everyone in the company understands the value of our clients. As we have grown, we have been able to invest in ways we can improve the experience even more, and in the last 12 months every customer touch point – from our new website and hardback brochures to our personalised handover manuals –  has been refined to reflect our attention-to-detail and the value we place in our customers’ satisfaction. 

We have also introduced new services to our customers, such as access to an online reservation manual that provides useful plot and development information throughout the homebuying journey. 

We provide a dedicated two-year customer care policy and in October 2017 we began NHBC surveys to monitor our performance as we endeavour to be recognised as a HBF 5-star builder at the end of our first survey year. To date, we have scored 100% on the all-important question, 'would you recommend Duchy Homes?' and we are exceeding the industry standard benchmark for our category! 

Are you able to tell us about some upcoming developments that you are planning to launch over the next few months?

The team is looking forward to our next schemes in Winterley and Bowgreave, plus there’s lots of exciting growth for Duchy Homes beyond that, with some really prestigious developments in great locations that are in the planning stages – watch this space!

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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.

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