Living apart in lockdown: Couple reserve their dream home virtually
Separated by Covid-19, Hillary and Alex from Greater Manchester have reserved their first home together after taking a virtual tour of a Countryside development in St Helens.
Hillary Greenhalgh and Alex Murray haven’t seen each other in person for over three weeks but thanks to the power of technology have been able to use the government’s Help to Buy scheme to reserve their first home together with Countryside.
The couple were prompted by a Countryside advertisement on Facebook regarding the availability of the government-backed scheme at Abbotsfield in St Helens and contacted the sales team, currently working remotely, to obtain more information.
Several three-way telephone conversations later, combined with Countryside Whatsapp group chats and virtual tours of the development and its showhomes on YouTube, the couple reserved The New Stamford, a three-bed townhouse with feature skylights.
Hillary, who currently lives with her parents in Horwich in Bolton, commented: “I saw the ad for a gorgeous home available through Help to Buy pop up on Facebook and immediately rang Alex. Having studied the website, we began emailing Countryside and our consultant proved absolutely brilliant. We’ve had conference calls so we could speak to her at the same time despite being apart and she even set up a Whatsapp group with us so she could answer any queries promptly. And as first time buyers, we had a lot of questions! Countryside really took on board everything we said, particularly when it came to understanding our budget.”
Alex who lives with his parents in Makerfield, Wigan, added: “We arranged a virtual viewing of the New Stamford and were blown away. We love the three-floor townhouse style with the bedroom suite at the top with those amazing skylights. And downstairs, the open plan kitchen and dining with french doors leading outside is really impressive. We’d seen lots of houses prior to being isolated but none of them had met our expectations. We can just really picture ourselves living here.”
Hillary continued: “We read a lot of really positive online reviews that gave us the confidence to go for it. Modern technology has truly provided everything we needed to know that we’re making the right decision. Our parents were somewhat hesitant about the virtual process at first, coming from a less-digital era, but they have been with us every step of the way and are in full agreement with the purchase too.”
Being able to reserve their future home for £500 has also made life apart due to Covid-19 feel easier to bear too. Alex commented: “As first time buyers, we will now have more time to save so we can move in with the money to buy furniture and kitchenware. We’d already ramped up our saving efforts but life in lockdown will help us to save more.”
Mark Hadfield, Managing Director, Partnerships Merseyside and Cheshire West, Countryside, said: “We’re passionate about building beautiful, quality homes and are delighted that we can still give buyers the chance to explore them through our virtual tour videos. This tool is proving very popular with our customers because it’s bringing the house buying experience to life - whether buyers live apart or together. Congratulations to Hillary and Alex on reserving their first home, they can now use their time apart to look forward to their future together.”
Prices at Abbotsfield start from as little as £177,995. For more information visit www.abbotsfield.co.uk or call 01744 776881. The Countryside teams are currently available for appointments on the phone, via Skype, Facetime or Microsoft Teams and can arrange personalised, virtual tours of Countryside show homes.