Wintringham – From London to the Cambridgeshire Countryside: Gabriel’s Journey to Homeownership
Gabriel, an NHS nurse, traded renting a one-bedroom flat in Greenwich, London for home ownership in the Cambridgeshire countryside. He is now the proud owner of a two-bed apartment in Durkan Homes’ Wintringham development in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. The move has given Gabriel the rural lifestyle he has always wanted, while retaining easy access to London, just 40 minutes away.
“I’ve always had aspirations of home ownership,” explains Gabriel, “but this had never felt possible while I was living in London. Renting in the city was so expensive it became hard to save money, and apartment prices are increasing all the time. Combined with the busyness, noise and poor air quality, living in London was adding to the stress of my job as a Clinical Practise Lead at John Howards East London NHS Foundation Trust.”
After visiting a friend who had relocated from the city to St Neots in rural Cambridgeshire, Gabriel started to consider a move out of London. “I’ve always loved the countryside and could see that my friend’s quality of life had massively improved since leaving the city,” says Gabriel. “I started to seriously consider following in their footsteps, and I researched a range of properties and housebuilders.”
“Not only did St Neots offer the tight-knit community that I didn’t have living in a big city, Durkan Homes’ site at Wintringham gave me the choice of properties that just weren’t available to me in the capital. I was impressed with the quality and variety of what Durkan Homes’ was offering, and its team was able to give me a same-day appointment to view the new homes. This was the perfect start to finding a new home and I instantly fell in love with the apartments they had on offer” recalls Gabriel.
Soon after visiting the Durkan Homes team on site, Gabriel fulfilled his dream of home ownership by purchasing a two-bedroom apartment at the housebuilders’ Wintringham development in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. “I feel so lucky to have been able to move to this beautiful area, and the high-quality finish and clean design of my new home just makes it all the more perfect,” Gabriel continues. “The customer service from Durkan Homes has been brilliant from the beginning, and they even paid for a solicitor to oversee my purchase, so I didn’t have to.”
“Having two bedrooms means that the apartment itself has excellent storage space, which is a big change from the one-bedroom flat I was renting in London. And I don’t have to worry about energy bills because the home is so well insulated. In fact, I rarely put the heating on, even in winter!” says Gabriel. “This means that the property has allowed me to continue the apartment lifestyle I was used to in London, whilst also giving me access to outdoor spaces which I didn’t have in the city.”
“I was given a choice of laminate flooring and carpets, which really allowed me to make the apartment my own,” Gabriel adds. “Durkan Homes even included a washing machine free of charge, which gave me one less thing to worry about when moving.”
“But it was also the small things that made my moving experience that bit smoother. I remember struggling with my new induction hob. To help, Harriet from Durkan’s team popped over to give me a new cooking pot, and a few pointers,” laughs Gabriel. “I’ve just never had that level of service before.”
Gabriel now works at St Neots Neurological Centre, which he describes as “a job that was perfect for this point in my career”. Both Gabriel and his daughter, who visits regularly, already feel at home in the local area, which boasts a range of independent shops, cafes and eateries. Most importantly, they now have easy access to green public spaces and the countryside, something they didn’t have in London.
“Now the weather is getting warmer, having the countryside on our doorstep means that we can enjoy being outside every day,” Gabriel says. “My daughter loves how much green space there is on offer, and there are lots of family events on. But if I do ever need to return to London for anything, or friends want to visit, the city centre is just a short train ride away. We even have our own terrace so are able to enjoy the outside from the comfort of our apartment.”
As Gabriel continues to settle into his new home, he is looking forward to getting more involved locally, particularly during his weekends and with a church community in the area. He concludes: “Everyone here is so friendly, and I’m enjoying living in such a relaxed and welcoming environment. Durkan Homes have helped me find the perfect balance between the apartment-style living I was used to in the city and the access to green spaces that St Neots offers. For anyone considering the move from London to the countryside, I say do it! It was definitely the right choice for me, and my quality of life has already improved. I can’t wait to see what the future holds as I continue to build my new life in a Durkan home at St Neots.