Life couldn’t have worked out better for a couple who are among the first residents at a housebuilder’s brand-new location in Wellingborough, as they got engaged on the night that they moved in.
Charlene Menzies and Ricky Richardson celebrate at Bovis Homes' Wendelburie Rise, Stanton Cross
Bodybuilders and first-time buyers Ricky Richardson and Charlene Menzies had finished unpacking boxes at their Bovis Home at Wendelburie Rise in the new Stanton Cross community, when the 31-year-old shocked his other half with the proposal.
Ricky had ordered the engagement ring online and it arrived on the morning of the couple’s move to the Northamptonshire location – a week before they had originally planned.
The print worker, from Finedon, said: “Moving into our first home together at Stanton Cross was a monumental moment for us and I wanted to mark that by proposing to Charlene.
“I had ordered the ring online from Germany and expected to get it just before our original move-in date, which was set to be a week later. But, unbelievably, I got a call to say that it had arrived on the day of our new move date, so everything seemed to fall into place.”
Charlene, also 31, from Earls Barton, was so excited that she knocked the engagement ring out of the box and onto the floor of their new sitting room, which sent Ricky scuttling among the boxes and furniture to find it.
The pair, who both grew up in the county, said the amusing proposal was the perfect start to their new life at Wendelburie Rise, the first part of the flagship Stanton Cross development, which is bringing £1 billion worth of investment to the area.
The couple had just enjoyed a takeaway pizza in their three-bedroom semi-detached Southwold house type, when Ricky popped the question.
They had both been living with their parents before using the Help to Buy – Equity Loan scheme to purchase their first home, which they hope to live in for more than ten years as they look to start a family.
Ricky added: “Wendelburie Rise is the perfect location for us as we’re close to both sets of family and our work, plus Stanton Cross is starting to look great.
Charlene Menzies and Ricky Richardson outside their Bovis Home
“There is a real sense of community already, we like our neighbours and we can’t wait for the schools, doctors’ surgery, shops and park, that will all be nearby.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the Help to Buy scheme, which massively helped us with our deposit and was very straightforward. Bovis Homes has been great - both the sales and build teams - whenever we need them, they’re so quick to respond.”
Freelance designer Charlene, who occasionally works from home, said the open-plan kitchen and living room made the house very spacious and the pair were looking forward to warmer months when they would open the patio doors out on to the garden.
“We’ve had lots of friends and family over and they’ve all commented on what a lovely, sociable-style house it is,” she said.
“We chose a new-build because we wanted to pick the interior and have our say on choices like tiles and worktops. We like the fact we have everything we need, that it’s all brand-new and no one has lived in the property before us.”
Using the Help to Buy – Equity Loan scheme, home buyers need just a five per cent cash deposit, with the Government providing an equity loan of up to 20 per cent of the value of the property being bought. Purchasers then need to secure up to a 75 per cent mortgage.
Stanton Cross is a community that will provide 3,650 new homes, plus industrial, leisure, retail and office space, while delivering around 3,000 new jobs.