Right at home: Karen Jennings in her new Bovis Homes kitchen [picture courtesy of the Exeter Express & Echo]
Cranbrook may be a community with little more than six months on the clock but for Karen Jennings, moving into a cosy three-bedroom Bovis Home there represents a long-awaited homecoming.
Karen was brought up less than 15 miles away in Budleigh Salterton, but in her late 20s moved to Twickenham to set up home with her husband and two daughters.
A quarter of a century later, the former Exmouth Comprehensive and St Peters Primary School pupil is relishing being back in the old county and was the first customer to reserve a Bovis Home at Cranbrook with her husband last year.
"I'm really happy with the whole house - the size of the rooms and the finish is excellent," she said. "I've also been really surprised and impressed with the size of the garden. I'd always associated new-build properties with having small gardens but this one is really big.
"Overall I'm really pleased and I've had wonderful support from Bovis Homes sales advisor Jayne Hill who has been with us right the way through. She's kept us up to date with how things were going when we expressed an interest and even rang to wish us a merry Christmas.
"Jayne was in constant touch as our house was built, which is important and reassuring when you are buying off-plan. I can't fault the customer service we have had."
The fabulous transport access that she gets living at Cranbrook means that her eldest daughter Emma and two grandchildren Neve and Charlie - who have also made the move back to Devon - are less than half an hour away in Chudleigh Knighton. With the new train station opening later this year, visits to her younger daughter Natalie and granddaughter Isla in Twickenham will become even easier as there will be a direct service to London from Cranbrook.
And along with the excellent transport connections comes the excitement of being one of the 'early settlers' as Cranbrook takes shape.
"Being part of a brand new community was one of the things that attracted us," she explains. "It's wonderful because everyone is in the same boat when it comes to getting to know each other. Sometimes it can be quite hard to integrate into an existing community but here there are no cliques and everyone is starting on a level playing field.
"There's a great mix of people here and we've even got our own vicar, Mark, who is very enthusiastic and is the sort of person you can see really bringing the community together.
"There's obviously some building going on in the area but you soon get used to that and the Bovis Homes builders are extremely friendly and helpful and are part of the community themselves."