A plumbing and heating engineer who spends his life working on other people’s houses is happy that his new home at Hounsome Fields in Basingstoke won’t need any work.
Nathan Farah, 36, got the keys to his new detached two-bedroom coach house apartment at the Bovis Homes location off Winchester Road in June and moved in a few weeks later.
“I’m over the moon,” he said. “I do know what I’m looking at when it comes to properties, and when I walked in and saw it was done properly it was a massive relief. They have good contractors and I have no complaints; the finish is impeccable. I had it snagged by a professional snagging company and what they found was very minimal.
“And the benefits of a new-build apartment are that they’re up to scratch with regard to eco-considerations and they hold the heat well. You don’t have to move in and change a 20-year-old boiler, and it’s nice to not have to worry about things like that.”
Nathan bought the apartment for £300,000 off-plan, downsizing from a four-bedroom detached house in the same area after getting divorced.
His previous house was sold last year and when a deal to buy a property at the time fell through, he moved in with his parents in Farnborough while he restarted his search for a new home and saved up some more money.
“I was looking everywhere, and nothing was coming up and then I got lucky when this came online. I saw it within 10 minutes of it going on Rightmove and by the time I got there they had four other emails about it. This style is a popular first-time home for people.”
He put down his £30,000 deposit and secured the plot in September last year.
“I wasn’t necessarily set on an apartment, but these coach houses have a bigger footprint than a two-bed house. They are a quarter bigger.”
The coach house design fitted the bill perfectly as it meant he got plenty of space, with an open plan kitchen/dining/living room, and an en suite shower room to the main bedroom as well as a separate bathroom, and a garden. “It was the right house at the right time,” he said.
And having previously been in a detached property, being detached was something he didn’t want to do without, so the coach house set-up worked well for him.
“This is effectively a detached flat,” he said. “So, I haven’t lost what I had before in regard to privacy.”
He is planning to enjoy living there while he pays off his mortgage and eventually move on and use it as a rental property.
As he bought at an early stage, he was able to choose his fixtures and fittings, have built-in wardrobes installed and upgrade everything from showers to worktops.
He is full of praise for the customer service he received and was particularly pleased with the level of regular communication he received. He was able to talk to the site manager in detail about the build and the sales advisor rang him every week to give updates on progress – and when he saw the finished apartment, he was impressed.
And he is happy to be back to the area he was living in before, and making the most of the location which is in easy reach of both the town centre and the countryside. He says he is able to enjoy the benefits of town but still be able to get out to rural areas for mountain biking and walking.
“The development is well laid out and it’s nice and spacious, whereas with a lot of developments, the houses are on top of each other. Although I was downsizing, I had expectations of what I wanted to have. This is a nice area. It’s got local pubs, it’s near the M3 and I cover most of Hampshire in my work so it’s handy being near the motorway.”
“Getting the keys was brilliant. I can walk in and go ‘it’s mine.’ I’d seen it when it was being built, but it’s a bit surreal until you actually pick up the keys.”