Husband and wife Krystyna (58, a housewife) and Gareth Kaminski-Cook (56, a CEO for a Rugby business) had lived happily in the Berkshire town of Windsor for the past 15 years. But with Gareth being a sailing enthusiast, living closer to the coast carried high appeal. They made the bold decision to seek a change of lifestyle by relocating to an entirely new area.
Krystyna explains: “We decided to move for improved wellbeing. We wanted to be closer to the sea and we needed good connections into London for work and social outings, as well as to Rugby for Gareth’s work. Other than that, we had no firm fix on where to go.
“We started doing coastal day trips to scout for desirable locations to live and Winchester came up on our radar. It’s a delightful city with a beautiful centre. It reminded us of Windsor, yet it sits less than 20 minutes from Southampton in the middle of beautiful countryside and undulating downs. We were captivated and decided straightway it was the place for us.”
With Winchester agreed, the couple were staying open-minded about the style of property they were after, and spent a few mini-breaks in the area getting to know the location, which is how they discovered the new Kings Barton development.
A landmark development for CALA, Kings Barton brings a 21st century semi-rural community to the doorstep of Winchester. Once complete, 2,000 homes will have been created around a vibrant centre of shops, leisure and community facilities, a new primary school and public open space.
Krystyna comments: “The showhome we viewed was CALA’s five bedroom detached ‘Austen’ house type. From the moment we stepped into the hallway, we were struck by the feeling of space and we loved the layout. Coming from a four bedroom home, we didn’t mean to upsize – but it just ticked all the boxes for us.
“We looked at the site plan to assess the other Austen homes at the development, but the show home really was our favourite. It was in a prime location, it had the right sized garden for our needs and it overlooked a meadow.”
With the showhome needed by CALA for the next two to three years, the housebuilder presented its Sale and Leaseback scheme. Using the scheme, the Kaminski-Cooks were able to purchase the plot straightaway; and they are now leasing it back to CALA with a guaranteed return until the show home is no longer needed.
Buyers using this scheme have no council tax, insurance or maintenance costs to pay; and at the end of the lease, CALA completes any works required to ensure the home is in pristine condition and ready to move in to.
Krystyna continues: “Sale and leaseback made sense to us as we didn’t know how long it would take to sell our property back in Windsor. We didn’t mind the prospect of waiting for what we knew was the perfect home for us and we felt very reassured about the whole process. As it happened, our old home sold easily and we were then faced with needing to find somewhere to live. So, we made the leap to Kings Barton far sooner than expected, by purchasing one of CALA’s two bedroom apartments to live in while we wait for our new home to become available.”
The couple’s top floor apartment overlooks their future home and they are enjoying getting to know their new surroundings, along with their two cats, Mitzie and Mau. She says: “We purchased the apartment as a long-term buy-to-let – but for the present, it’s our gateway to our new neighbourhood. We’ve popped over to the show home a few times to measure up for furniture and so forth. We’ve even taken our cats over to have a look around their future garden.
“With a new development, everyone who moves in is new and so it’s easier to get to know people. We can see the new community taking shape. Our neighbours are lovely and we’re already making some long-term friends. I’ve loved having access to beautiful places to walk: the nature reserve; the meadow; the local fields; and even the easy route into town. It’s the best investment we’ve ever made and we feel like we’re on holiday while we wait for the keys to our house across the meadow.”
CALA is currently selling from Phase 2 of Kings Barton at Winterbourne Meadows, where a range of two to four bedroom houses are currently available from £435,000. Two smaller homes (a two bedroom apartment and a two bedroom coach house) are also selling from £370,000. To find out more and enquire about CALA’s incentives such as Help to Buy and Part Exchange, call our sales team on 01962 657 662 or visit cala.co.uk.