From Hong Kong to Leighwood Fields, Surrey

From the struggles of the pandemic to the need for a fresh start, a variety of factors has led to many people moving to the UK. A brand new life was certainly on the cards for international university lecturer Dr Lena Chan (56) and her husband Wayne Lo (55), who made the decision to start a new life at Berkeley’s’ leafy Surrey development Leighwood Fields in Cranleigh, emigrating 6,000 miles from Hong Kong to the UK earlier this year. 

Lena, an educational psychology lecturer, and Wayne, an electrical engineer, moved their life in Hong Kong to the UK in July, after purchasing a brand new four bedroom house at Leighwood Fields. Lena comments: “We took the decision to move to the UK in 2020, as we wanted to relocate somewhere that we could have more freedom. Our lives in Hong Kong were incredibly different to our new life in the UK, in particular the type of property we have bought. We were previously living in a 3 bedroom apartment on the 33rd floor of a high-rise building, overlooking the Victoria Harbour in the centre of the city. It was so tiny compared to our beautiful new home, which is a four-bedroom open-plan house surrounded by the Surrey countryside in Cranleigh. The extra space we now have is definitely one of my favourite things about the property.”

She continues: “My job requires me to continue teaching my students at the university of Hong Kong online, and so the extra space in our new home has meant I have been able to transform the downstairs into my office space. I have turned the living room into a study and reading area which is where I work from, and one of the walls has a large book shelf to display my academic books. I have a lot of gifted students from the University that are currently studying in the UK, and they come to stay with me frequently, so we’ve created a guest bedroom upstairs for when students, friends or family come to stay.”

Lai Kwan Chan | Berkeley Inspiration

Speaking of finding a new home in the UK, Lena comments: “Initially we had no idea about UK property, as we had only visited a handful of times before. A friend of mine was studying here, and he told me that Berkeley was one of the best developers in the UK so he recommended us to look at properties crafted by them. Following this, in August 2020 we came over here to view developments by Berkeley in London and the outskirts, to choose where we wanted to buy our new home. We looked at about 20 developments in total, and finally decided on Leighwood Fields as we just fell in love with the area.”

She continues: “Cranleigh is a lovely village and one that we are proud to call our new home. It’s so peaceful compared to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, and the high street is only a few minutes’ walk away, which is great. The greenery and the surrounding countryside are stunning too, particularly in the evening when the sun sets – we’re so lucky to have such beautiful countryside on our doorstep.”

Lena and Wayne have experienced first-hand the tight-knit community at Leighwood Fields. Lena comments: “We’re so pleased we have such fantastic neighbours in our new home. As soon as we moved in, our neighbours were so welcoming and offered their kind help for anything we would need, knowing that we had moved from so far away. We have been added into the community WhatsApp group so we can get into contact with our neighbours if we need to, and it is always lovely walking around the development, as we will almost always bump into one of our neighbours and stop for a chat!”

Speaking of her buying experience, Lena comments: “Buying with Berkeley has been such an easy and smooth process, and the sales team at Leighwood Fields were so helpful throughout. We were unable to move in when we completed in February due to Covid-19 lockdowns, so the sales team took care of our new home whilst the house was empty, before we could eventually move over in July.”

She concludes: “I would highly recommend buying with Berkeley. I have many friends in Hong Kong that are planning to move over to the UK too, so I have already recommended they come and live near us at Leighwood Fields!”

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