lifestyle

Why relocating to the Home Counties was the right move for us


The couple met in south London but have moved 70 miles away. (Picture: Richard Eaton)

As house prices continue to soar to even greater heights, many prospective buyers are finding that uprooting themselves from the capital and moving to areas they’re unfamiliar with is the only way to get a foot on the property ladder.

For Ovi Toderita, who’s 30, and his wife Ionela, 28, buying their first home meant relocating over 70 miles from south London to the more affordable Buckinghamshire town of Aylesbury, where they discovered they could get a lot more bricks and mortar for their money.

They’re now settling in to a three-bed house at Shanly Homes’ Merchant Place development, under a mile from Aylesbury station.

Prior to finding their dream home, Ovi, a project manager in the construction industry, and Ionela, a patient co-ordinator, had been renting a one-bed maisonette in Croydon.

‘We’d rented for three and a half years and the decision to buy in Aylesbury wasn’t an easy one, but we knew that it was the best thing for us and our one-year-old son, Achim,’ says Ovi.

‘We started our property search looking in Croydon and surrounding areas such as Beckenham and Bromley, but found that the most we could buy on our budget was a second-hand two-bed flat that we would have to renovate to make it our own.

‘We’d rented for three and a half years and the decision to buy in Aylesbury wasn’t an easy one.’ (Picture: Merchant’s Place)
‘Working in construction myself, I appreciated that the build quality was far uperior to any new home I had seen before.’ (Picture: Richard Eaton)

‘As Ionela’s family already lived in Aylesbury, we decided to turn our attention to properties in that area, as we thought that further from London we would be able to get more for our money.

‘For the same budget, we found a brand new three-bed house at Merchants Place, which is much bigger and just what we were looking for.’

The family viewed over 100 properties before making their reservation. ‘We had been trying to find a home for a really long time before finding this one,’ continues Ovi.

‘Merchants Place ticked all our boxes, not least because the houses looked fantastic both inside and out.

‘Working in construction myself, I appreciated that the build quality was far superior to any new home I had seen before, and it was clear that Shanly had spent a lot of money on fixtures and finishings to make it look beautiful.’

And he’s pleasantly surprised by the new location.

Open-plan living is a bonus. (Picture: Merchant’s Place)
Modern interiors. (Picture: Merchant’s Place)

‘I didn’t know much about Aylesbury prior to moving here, but now we’ve had a bit of time to discover the area, there’s so much for us here.

‘The town centre is great for shopping, and as a family we’ve explored Wendover Woods, parks and green space, and Whipsnade Zoo, which is really close by. There are definitely plenty of places for people to enjoy in Aylesbury!’

Most of all, he loves the security that home ownership brings.

‘We’re really feeling the benefit of owning our own home rather than renting,’ he says.

A perfect family home. (Picture: Richard Eaton)

‘The most important factor is that our monthly payments are now going towards something that is ours, rather than into someone else’s pocket, and we can put our savings towards something that will really benefit us, as well as our son, in the future.’

Merchants Place has now sold out but a few one and two-bed apartments are left at The Arc, another development from Shanly Homes in the heart of Aylesbury.

Each has a private balcony or terrace, and prices range from £187,500 for a one-bed to £259,950 for a spacious 726sq ft two-bed, two-bath apartment with allocated parking, and as all are under £300,000, first-time buyers have no stamp duty to pay.

shanlyhomes.com

Do the maths

(For a two-bed, two-bath apartment at The Arc)

Purchase price: £259,950

15 per cent deposit: £38,993

Service charge: approx £128pcm

Mortgage: Approx £897pcm

Monthly spend approx: £1,025

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