Rachel Stares, Rochester Riverside resident

Professional moves to Rochester to follow her dream of waterside living

The benefits of a waterside lifestyle and its appeal to buyers have long been acknowledged. According to research by Strutt & Parker, the trend of waterside living is driven by buyers looking for a home that offers a healthy balance of work and living, in a location that offers benefits to their mental and physical health.

Rachel Stares, aged 40, grew up in Chichester and has always had a love affair with the water. So much so, owning a waterside property has been at the top of her bucket list. Now, thanks to Countryside and Hyde’s landmark development, Rochester Riverside, where she purchased a two-bedroom flat overlooking the River Medway, Rachel has been able to cross this off her list.

Rachel said: “I have lived all over the country but I have always dreamed of owning a property in a beautiful location, surrounded by water – making the choice to move to Rochester easy. I chose Rochester Riverside because I wanted to stay in Kent and be able to excel into the next stage in my life. It made sense to move to Rochester Riverside as I got all of it for an affordable price.” 

Rachel was living in a one-bedroom flat she owned in West Malling, Kent, but was keen to upsize to a two-bedroom home for the extra space.

“The main reason I chose Rochester was for the water; I now own a property that looks out onto the water, a life long dream. I get to spend my weekends exploring the area and going for walks around the riverside. I also have room for family and friends to come stay, and to enjoy the benefits of waterside living with them makes it even more special.” She said.

As soon as she found her perfect home at Rochester Riverside, Rachel wanted to move in as soon as possible and without the hassle and fuss of working with local agents. Instead, Rachel used Countryside’s Assisted Move scheme – an initiative by the housebuilder which supports purchasers with their move. As part of the scheme, Countryside organises three independent valuations and handles the sale of the property – beginning to end. Thanks to Assisted Move, Rachel was able to move into her new home stress-free.

Rachel said: “It seemed like a no brainer to use assisted move as it took out all of the stress that comes with the house moving process. I did my homework but using assisted move was the best option by far.”  

Having lived in nearby West Malling, Rachel knows the Medway area well and was drawn to Rochester because of its attractive town centre, independent shops, boutiques and great amenities. Rochester is also steeped in history, boasting both a historic castle and cathedral.

She said: “Rochester is a great town with so much history. The amenities onsite at Rochester Riverside, combined with the high street, has everything I need - I hardly ever use my car. I love living within walking distance of the town. All of the shops are boutiques, making the town feel unique and individual.”

A key feature of Rochester Riverside is its connectivity. The development is located within a three-minute walk from the train station which provides a frequent service to London St Pancras and London Victoria, both offering services to further destinations. Rachel, who works for Countryside, regularly travels for work, making connectivity a important consideration when she purchased her home at Rochester Riverside.

“My job means I am based all around the country, resulting in the frequent use of trains from Rochester. I also have loads of friends living in London so I’m always on the train to the city at the weekends. I’ve lived in major cities like London and Bristol for many years, so now it is so nice to live a country lifestyle, but have the freedom of being in London in under an hour,” she said.

Having recently moved to Rochester Riverside, Rachel has made the most of the community benefits at the development.

“Since I have moved in there have been so many community events, such as various ‘meet the neighbours’ drinks – it's so nice to feel a part of a community and everything seems to come with a personal touch. When I arrived, I was greeted by a welcome hamper and a bow on my door,” she said.

A number of new amenities are due to open at the development as Countryside and Hyde look to create a number of new facilities to accompany the existing infrastructure. A new Co-op supermarket and a Costa coffee shop have now also opened, as well as, a Travelodge hotel which opened on-site last year. In addition to providing new homes by unlocking what used to be an industrial site along the River Medway, Countryside and Hyde will create a play area and 2.5km river walkway.