Jo and Tara’s story

Couple swaps 1 bed rental for 3 bed house


Having found a new build home that ticked their boxes, Jo and her partner Tara ended the lease on their one-bed flat to buy a 3 bed house with plenty of space for them and their seven-year-old Border Terrier, Basil.

Operations Director Jo and Tara, a Film Art Director, were renting a one-bedroom apartment in Bushey, Hertfordshire, when they decided to buy a new home together.

The couple started their home search online, where they spotted ‘the dream’ house on a new Bellway development in Bourne End. They were determined to make living in that new build home a reality.

“When we looked at the site plan for Westbrook Moorings, we noticed that they were only building two Thespian houses and we wanted the one in the bottom corner opposite the fishing lake. We registered our interest and crossed our fingers,” Tara explained.

“When we were notified that the sales office was opening in a pre-launch event, we got there really early to make sure we were first in the queue.

“We were the first people to speak to the sales advisor and we reserved our Thespian there and then. It was a very exciting and satisfying moment.”

Choosing a trusted builder

“I had bought a new-build house from Bellway at their QEII development in Welwyn Garden City a few years ago but sold it to move in with Tara,” Jo explained.

“This meant that I knew they were a company that built quality homes and looked after their customers.

“On both occasions the customer service was very good.

“The site team and the sales advisors at Westbrook Moorings were excellent and gave us help when we needed it and kept us fully informed on every step of the way.”

Part of a close community

One of the lesser known benefits of moving into a new home is the opportunity to build a new community. Tara, Jo and their Border Terrier Basil quickly struck connections with their new neighbours.

“We were the first residents to move in on the development, but other people soon joined us, and we got to know our neighbours.

“Many of the people who live here have dogs and we bond through that connection and often say hello when we are out on walks in the area,” Jo shared.

“It is a lovely quiet place and there’s a real sense of community. We had a street party for the King’s Coronation which was a lot of fun.”

Space for a home office

As a business director, having space to set up a home office was important to Jo when looking for a new home.

Their beautiful new build home has afforded her the space to set up a home office in one of the spare bedrooms.

“At Tara’s apartment I had to create a little corner in the living room where I could set up my laptop and it was challenging, but now I have my own office.” she said.

“It means I have a much more professional working environment and can just close the door on that side of my life when the day is done.”

Country homes with great transport links

Jo works in the Horsham and the pair enjoy venturing into London to socialise. Finding a new home with great transport links was therefore fundamental.

“It is great to be here surrounded by all this greenery as it feels like we are in the middle of the countryside, yet we can still get out and about when we need or want to.

“The M25 is 10 minutes’ drive away, which is brilliant because it means I can get to our head office near Horsham and Tara can get to a number of film studios easily.

“We also love going to London to meet friends for a night out or to see a show and we can do that by jumping in a cab for a five-minute ride to Hemel Hempstead railway station, where a train will get us into Euston in about half an hour.

“I start my working day by taking Basil for a walk down the canal towpath which is great for both of us. When Tara comes home from whichever studio she is working at, we go for a run or a stroll or amble down to one of the lovely local pubs with Basil.”

Looking for a new home near you – or perhaps relocating to the country? Search new build homes available now on Bellway’s website.

New build information, advice and inspiration

More inspiration

Couple quit costly home renovations for low-maintenance new build home

Couple quit costly home renovations for low-maintenance new build home

With a history of house renovation Caroline and John always had a project on the go. However, after 50-year-old John suffered a heart attack, the couple reassessed their plans and the prospect of tackling a long list of costly tasks seemed less desirable. Instead, the pair opted for the peace-of-mind of a low-maintenance new build at Kingswood Homes’ The Hawthorns development in the village of Elswick so they could get on with living.

read more