Couple reserve first home during lockdown separation

The prospect of spending months apart during the coronavirus lockdown spurred on Grace Presswell and her partner Matt Smith to take the plunge and reserve their first home together. 

23 June 2020

The couple, who both still live at home with their parents, had been thinking of moving in together for some time, but when faced with months of separation they decided to take action so that they could be together once lockdown restrictions were lifted.  

Thanks to CALA Homes’ range of virtual buying options and the opportunity to reserve a home remotely, Grace and Matt were able to continue with their property search and secure their dream home on the newly created community at Mindenhurst, in the Surrey village of Deepcut.

Grace says: “Matt lives in South Buckinghamshire and I’m in Woking. It was horrible facing the prospect of months apart, but this definitely gave us the incentive we needed to find a home to move in together once it was all over. 

“When I came across the CALA development at Mindenhurst, I expected that the development would be temporarily closed, so I visited the CALA website to view some images and the site plan. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see a range of virtual tours and remote buying options available. We viewed a number of properties virtually including 3D models and walk-around features. This gave us a great feel for the space, layout and quality of each home. We fell in love with the two-bedroom Dinfield housetype, and knew this would be our perfect starter home. We made our enquiries and were able to reserve our chosen property remotely.


“Since then we had the chance to visit the showhome at the development when it reopened earlier this month. It was the first time we had seen each other since lockdown started – and what a better place to reunite than our future new home!”

Despite having been house hunting for around eight months, the couple had not found one they both loved, but this all changed when they came across the CALA development at Mindenhurst. 

Grace continues: “We’ve been looking for a house since last year, but hadn’t found one that ticked all the boxes; I really like homes with character, while Matt wanted a low-maintenance home that required little work. What we loved about the CALA homes is they perfectly combine modern low-maintenance with character design.”

The couple opted to use the Government-backed Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to assist them with their purchase, which meant they only needed a 5% deposit with the remainder funded by an equity loan and a 75% mortgage. 

Grace adds: “Matt did a golf scholarship in America for four years, so while he was there I had a good chance to work and save money, but for him that hadn’t been possible. The Help to Buy scheme was the best option for us to get onto the property ladder. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to save a big enough deposit to buy a home as lovely as the Dinfield.” 

The two-bedroom Dinfield home features an impressive sitting room with French doors opening out to the rear garden, alongside a separate kitchen and cloakroom. Upstairs, the master bedroom has an en-suite and fitted wardrobe, while the second bedroom has use of the main family bathroom. 

Grace says: “We really can’t wait to move into our first home together – it’s certainly been a long time coming. Our experience with CALA has been great so far and a real pleasure. Someone has always been available to speak to us and, as first time buyers, it’s nice to have some expert guidance, which is exactly what the CALA team provided.”

Located in a brand new community on the site of the former Deepcut Barracks, CALA at Mindenhurst comprises a collection of two to five bedroom homes, surrounded by woodland and open spaces. 

Situated within a mile from the village of Deepcut, the development benefits from an array of amenities in nearby Camberley and Frimley, as well as Farnborough, which offers a wide choice of high street shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Mindenhurst is also well placed for commuters with trains to London Waterloo in as little as 35 minutes from the nearby Brookwood Station, as well as access by car to the M3 in Frimley, providing a direct route into London or to Southampton.

Pre-booked appointments are now available at CALA at Mindenhurst and a new range of social distancing and hygiene measures have been put in place to give customers peace of mind when they visit. For further information, call 01252 888 501 or visit the Mindenhurst page to view virtual tours.