A new home for Christmas

Posted on the 12th December 2022

After privately renting for eight years, Trademark Attorney Alice, and her eight-year-old son Ben, are finally in their dream home for Christmas.

After spending eight years working in Japan, Alice decided she wanted to raise Ben in the UK. Alice moved to the Oxford area and eventually settled in a small two-bedroom house in Bloxham, with rent alone totalling £1,000 per month.

“The house was very small and didn’t have central heating”, says Alice. “We spent most of the last winter eating, living, playing, and working in one room as it was so expensive to heat the whole house, and then we had nine months with no immersion. I thought ‘why am I paying so much to a landlord that won’t even do these basic, essential repairs’, it was so frustrating being on a single income and thinking I was completely priced out of buying a property.”

Last Christmas, Alice met with some friends who had just purchased shared ownership homes and had positive experiences. Alice struggled at first to find a suitable property in the local area, as she didn’t want Ben to have to move schools as she felt the disruption would be unfair, due to his special educational needs.

Alice came across the estate being built in Milcombe, looked to see what she could afford, and was pleasantly surprised. “I spent hours trawling through plots and eventually settled on a three-bedroom house, with a kitchen that led onto the garden, mainly so Ben wouldn’t be running through the house with his muddy trainers on!

“I got the keys in October, and I was so pleased with how smoothly it went, I struggled to find any faults with the house, and I know some of my friends have issues with other developers. It just took the stress out of the process – seeing the house for the first time really was that ‘wow’ moment.”

Alice and Ben are now looking forward to their first Christmas in their new home, where she is hosting Christmas Day. “My mother is in her 80s, it’s so special to finally have enough room to host, and for her to stay over in the spare room. I’m most looking forward to cooking Christmas dinner in my own kitchen and my son’s new favourite room is the living room, where he loves to sit and look at the tree.”

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The family are already reaping the benefits of the new home, for very different reasons!

“I’ve travelled a lot and never really stayed in one place for long, but this is a place where I feel settled, and so does Ben, he knows that this is our house, and we don’t have to move if we don’t want to. Having a stable home is so important to him – especially as it means we can have a cat, who we adopted shortly after moving in.”

For Alice, there are significant financial and environmental benefits as the house has an air-source heat pump installed, which provides a sustainable alternative to traditional heating systems. “It’s really coming into use during this cold weather. Compared to our last home, we can now heat the whole house for 40p per hour, instead of heating just one room for 60p per hour, so we’re both enjoying feeling warm and cosy!”

Alice, Ben, and Luna the cat are now looking forward to the future in their beautiful new home.

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