When Karen and Michael Lancaster moved onto Bovis Homes' Crown Park development in Chester, they knew they loved their new five-bedroom family home.
What came as more of a surprise was their delight at finding a ready-made community waiting for them and their two children Molly, 13, and Byron, nine.
"Living here is a pleasure," says Karen. "We moved here in June last year and everyone has been friendly. The diversity of people living here, from young families just starting out to families with school-age children and older couples with children who have grown up, makes for a really nice community feel."
Having always previously lived in old houses, Karen and Michael can now see the benefits of buying a brand-new, ready-to-move-into, modern home; especially with a successful business to run and two busy, active children to look after.
"We never thought we'd move into a new home," says Karen. "We've always lived in old rambling houses and we'd always thought we wouldn't want to live on a new development, but for a young family it's been the best thing. It's been like a breath of fresh air."
The family fell in love with the Kelmscott house type with its five bedrooms, secure garden and parking.
"It felt like it was meant to be," says Karen. "It's a large, airy house and it's really family orientated. We've got two settees in the kitchen; we've got a large dining table that seats eight in the kitchen, which is open plan, but then we have a separate dining room and a separate lounge so it's great for a family. If my son wants to be playing Fifa on his Xbox and my daughter wants to be doing her sewing the dining room, it allows that individuality for the children to be doing their own activities. It's perfect for us."
The couple are full of praise for the Bovis staff, who made sure their house move went as smoothly as possible.
"From the moment we stepped into the sales office, we were made to feel welcome and already at home," says Karen. "All our queries were answered quickly and efficiently, and the help and advice on handover day ensured we knew how everything worked. It was such an easy process."
Living on the Crown Park development has given the children a new sense of liberty and independence.
"Byron's got friends who live nearby and they come knocking on the door to ask him if he wants to go out and play," says Karen. "It's actually really nice that they can go out with their friends and be a bit independent."
And the design of the development has played a large part in Karen and Michael's decision to give their nine-year-old son the freedom he enjoys.
"In the design of the development, they seem to have made a lot of provision for parking so that the streets are clear of cars," says Karen, "and the pavements are nice and wide, which is absolutely great. I can watch my son walk down the road to his friend's house. He's got a clear view to cross the road safely. There aren't cars parked everywhere so he's developing his road sense safely."
There is also beautiful countryside on the doorstep for keen cyclist Michael to explore around the nearby villages of Aldford, Bruera, and Eccleston; and great walks close by for the family to enjoy with their labradoodle, Milo.
"To be honest we've been driving past Crown Park for four years now not even looking at it and now we live here," says Karen. "All our friends and family have said how happy we are here. It's the best thing we ever did."