As someone who sold new houses as a career, Charlotte Wright was an expert in helping people find their dream home, but last year decided it was time she found her own with partner Alex Mather.
The couple, who were renting in Solihull, had both moved around a lot over the years and were keen to buy a home which would set them up for the future. Charlotte, a sales advisor for Bovis Homes, and Alex, a store manager, didn't want the hassle of doing-up a house, so had their eyes set on a new-build home.
"We didn't want to be decorating and doing DIY on our days off - we wanted somewhere we could call home straight away," says Charlotte.
Currently working at Bovis Homes' Stour Valley location in Kidderminster, the properties there are proving so popular that Charlotte was aware that she would likely be based at another development at the end of the year. So she and Alex decided to look at new-builds further north, which would be closer to work.
"We visited Shifnal and had a really good feeling about the area. The town is lovely, and just seemed perfect for us," says Charlotte.
Close to the open countryside, but less than half a mile away from the pretty town centre of Shifnal, Bovis Homes' Iddeshale Gardens offers a selection of three, four and five bedroom houses.
"We wanted to make sure that we'd looked at all possibilities so had a look at a few new-builds in the area, but with other house builders we either found we didn't like the layout or the quality wasn't there.
"We felt that they weren't very good value for money after comparing with Bovis Homes - no other house offered the same standard specifications. With the other new-builds, it all had to be additional extras, which added up to thousands of pounds, and when you're trying to buy your first home, paying rent and trying to save for your deposit, it just seemed crazy!
"Funnily enough, I also grew up in a Bovis Home - my parents bought one and are still living there today and they love their house," says Charlotte.
Ready to settle down, the couple were looking to buy a home which would be big enough for them to stay for the long term.
"We didn't just want to buy a house - we wanted to buy a home," explains Charlotte. "Somewhere we could stay for a good number of years, so we didn't have the stress or expense of moving again.
"We really liked the layout of The Durham, it had a really good flow and really suited us. I love baking and since we moved in, I've been able to go wild in our large kitchen with a fantastic breakfast bar!"
The four-bedroom Durham has an open-plan kitchen and dining room which flows into a large sitting room. There is a utility room and a door leading out into the garage. Upstairs, there is a family bathroom and an en-suite to two of the bedrooms.
The couple took advantage of the Help to Buy Equity scheme, which is where the purchasers receive an equity loan from the Government for up to 20% of the property's value, leaving just a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage required by the buyers.
"The whole process was so smooth and straightforward," said Charlotte. "Using the assistance scheme has really helped me to understand what the customer experiences. I obviously already knew a lot about how it worked, but going through it myself has given me a behind the scenes view of it!"