June 29th 2022

Homeworking IT consultant swaps basement office for first-floor room with a view

An IT consultant is loving his new work-from-home zone after swapping a basement office for a first-floor room with a view over a meadow

Andy Ford says he feels much happier at work after upsizing from a Victorian two-bedroom cottage into a new four-bedroom home at Westwood Park – a development being built by Jones Homes Southern in Lenham, Kent.

The 49-year-old moved into the spacious semi-detached Westwood house type in December last year with his wife Tracy, his teenage stepdaughter Jazz and their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Betty and Bertie.

“We really liked our old home – a former post office in nearby Detling – but it was just not big enough for us and it was time to move on,” said Andy.  “We put the house on the market and sold it within hours.

“Once we had sold the house, we knew we had to focus our search and find a new home as soon as we could.  We considered going as far as Canterbury but ideally wanted to stay fairly close by for Tracy’s work and Jazz’s schooling.“

Andy and Tracy, a 48-year-old estate agent, went to look at the Jones Homes Westwood Park development which is near Andy’s old secondary school.

“I know the area and village well as I went to school there and have happy memories of the place,” said Andy. “We went to the development and really liked it but sadly they didn’t have any suitable homes available at that time and we needed to move as quickly as we could. We spoke to the sales advisor Jeff who said he would let us know when homes came onto the market but we did not hold out much hope of things moving quickly enough.”

But weeks later, in August 2021, the couple were out at the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford when their phone rang.

“It was Jeff advising us that a few homes had become available,” said Andy. “We dropped what we were doing and drove straight over there. We looked at the plans for the four-bedroom Westwood house type and reserved it there and then.”

After moving in, Andy claimed the fourth bedroom as his office.

“It is wonderful,” he said. “Instead of being locked away in a basement office I am upstairs in a room flooded with natural light with a splendid view across the meadow at the back of the house. There is absolutely no doubt that this change is having a positive effect on my mental health. I enjoy ‘going’ to work so much more now because of the sunnier, brighter environment.”

Andy said the whole family are reaping the benefits delivered by a bigger house.

“Tracy is a big fan of our larger bedroom which has an en suite and fitted wardrobes. Jazz is loving her bigger bedroom and has made the family bathroom her own.

“Our two dogs Bertie and Betty like the new place because it has a much bigger garden with plenty of space for them to run about in compared to the small cottage-style garden in Detling.”

But racing round the back garden is by no means the only exercise the dogs get.

“Tracy and myself are both very keen walkers and we love the fact that we are now living at the foot of the North Downs and are just 10 minutes away from the Pilgrim Way – an ancient pathway to Canterbury,” said Andy. “The location of the development means that we are also just 10 minutes away from the North Downs Way – another of our favourite walks.

“The dogs come with us and they are in their element out there. Three days a week, Tracy works in an office a 15-minute drive away but when she is not working, I often take a lunch break and we all go for an hour’s stroll onto the North Downs. I like to think of that as a perk of my job.

“When we are not heading to the great outdoors, the village itself is a short walk away and has just about everything you could want. There are two pubs which both serve good food, tea rooms, a café, a Co-op, a bakery and a fish and chip takeaway and restaurant we have yet to sample.

“Westwood Park is ideally positioned for Jazz too as she is currently studying for her GCSEs at secondary school in Maidstone and can catch a train there after a ten-minute walk to the village railway station. She will be going to college in Canterbury from September and can catch a train there from the same station. It’s so convenient for her.”

The family have been extremely impressed by the quality of their new home.

“The higher specification and finish that you get as standard with a Jones Homes house is amazing. The fitted appliances come as standard and they are top quality too. Their homes really are a class above and we are very proud to call this house our home.

“The sales service and after care we have received has been phenomenal as well. Jeff, the sales advisor, could not have been friendlier or more helpful and Phil and Dave on the site team have bent over backwards to assist us in any way they could. We can’t recommend them enough.”

To view the current availability at Westwood Park, please click here.