Sophie and Dan Gardner, and their new-born son, Henry, were able to start life as a new family in their dream home, thanks to the help of the Bovis Homes’ sales team in Biddulph, North Staffordshire.
When the couple, who are both 24, discovered Henry was on the way, they wanted to move out of their rented accommodation and into their own home before he was born. The weeks flew by, however, and suddenly with only three months to go before his due date, the pressure was on.
Sophie’s dad, Daryl, suggested they take a look at Uplands Mill, in Biddulph, which is close to the school where they both teach and near to Packmoor, a previous Bovis Homes location, where her father has lived for ten years.
They went to take a look on a Sunday afternoon in July and explored a Wheatley, a three-bed, end-of-terrace town house with its open-plan kitchen and family room with French doors onto the garden.
“We fell in love with it. It was just what we needed,” says Sophie. “We work only 5 minutes away, and my dad lives nearby. We knew we wanted it straight away. We knew it would be a perfect family home.”
With time of the essence, sales advisor Barney Kitchingman pulled out all the stops to make sure that the purchase, which was made with the Government-backed Help to Buy Equity scheme, went through smoothly.
“Knowing the timescales involved with the pregnancy, I explored the logistics of Sophie and Dan being able to move before the baby was born,” said Barney. “To their great delight and surprise, we managed to move them into their house in under a month!”
They moved in at the end of August and Henry was born a few weeks later on September 21.
“With it being our first home, I thought it was going to be ridiculously hard to get a mortgage and secure our dream home, but it was so easy,” says Sophie. With Help to Buy Equity they needed just a 5% deposit and the Government provided an equity loan of 20% of the property’s value. That meant they could access a 75% mortgage, opening the door to more competitive lending rates.
Sophie explained: “Henry was actually born two weeks early so it was a good job that we were in. Having everything sorted in the school holidays was an absolute godsend.”
They are particularly grateful for all the work Barney put in to enable them to start their life as a new family in their new home.
“He was absolutely wonderful,” says Sophie. “We bought a little Bonsai tree and we’ve called it Barney the Bonsai after him. We can’t thank him enough. He’s been absolutely brilliant. He has been so amenable and has done everything he possibly can to help us out.”