Although they may be retired, Jill Ross and her husband are far from idle. In fact, with five grandchildren from the ages of six months to five years, they certainly have their hands full with childcare duties. “I’m currently looking after my daughter’s two children three days a week,” explains Jill Ross.
“It’s a huge pleasure for me and I love being able to spend time with them but if we had continued living in our flat in Enfield it would have meant travelling two hours a day which would have been too much.”
The couples’ daughter lives in Stock in Essex and their son in Norfolk, so they were looking for a property roughly equidistant between the two and an area that offered good travel links. “We looked for about five months for a property and couldn’t find anything that we liked that was in a good location to travel to both our son and daughter,” explains Jill. “As well as good road links, we also wanted somewhere that had a good bus service for when we are no longer able to drive and that also had local shops that we could easily get to.”
After looking all over north Essex and Suffolk, the couple came across Coggeshall, a picturesque and historic market town in Essex, eight miles to the east of Braintree. Although they had never bought new before, they were keen to visit Coggeshall West, a boutique development of three- four- and five-bedroom houses built by multi-award winning and local housebuilder, Higgins Homes.
“Our first impression of the estate was just how lovely it looked with a nice variety of homes in different styles,” explains Jill. “We decided on a three-bedroom semi because we wanted to have spare bedrooms for when the grandchildren are a little older and come over to stay. We just loved everything about the house; it’s light and airy, the rooms are spacious and we have lots of integral appliances so the house will be easy to maintain and has a really modern feel.”
Although the couple have never bought new before, the benefits have been immediate as Jill adds: “The last three properties we moved into, I spent the first six months redecorating every single room. This time, I’ve just needed to unpack and not worry about anything.”
In terms of its location, Coggeshall West is ideal. The A12 provides a direct link right to the centre of London and out to the coast of East Anglia and is an easy route for driving to Jill’s children. The M11 offers you a quick route to the M25 and the national motorway network and Stansted is the nearest airport, less than half an hour by car. Jill has cut her commute in half and is also reassured by the public transport options as she explains: “There may come a time when we are no longer able to drive so it was very important to us that we could still get about using public transport and have local shops available to us.”
Village life at Coggeshall has everything you need on your doorstep including local, historic pubs and a Co-op for everyday shopping. For a larger selection of shops, restaurants and things to do, just a short drive from Coggeshall West is Kelvedon Station, which offers a train journey into Colchester in just 13 minutes and Chelmsford in 17 minutes. There are regular bus services to Colchester, Braintree and other nearby towns and villages and to commute into London, the train takes you into Liverpool Street in only 53 minutes.
Although the process of buying a property can be stressful, the couple were delighted to have Higgins Homes on their side, ensuring that everything went through swiftly. “We were in a large chain but Amber and Becky from the Higgins Homes team were on hand at all times to make sure the whole chain kept moving and keeping us up to speed with any changes. We were very grateful to have them on our side and keeping to a timetable.”
The couple have recently moved into their home and they are especially looking forward to having their own garden again after three years of living in their flat. “We had a shared garden in our flat but it is lovely to have our own garden again and plan what we want to do with it,” adds Jill. “It will be especially lovely when the children get older and they have somewhere that they can play together when they come to visit.”