Mr and Mrs Smith, who have been married for 42 years, bought their very first new build property in 2014 at Royal Wells Park, the prestigious new Berkeley Homes development in the heart of Tunbridge Wells.
In 2015, the couple moved into their traditionally-styled four-bedroom townhouse, and were the first residents to settle into one of the houses at the picturesque new neighbourhood.
Having been retired from the higher education sector for over 20 years, John and Anna decided to downsize from their home of over 25 years in Bristol and relocate to Tunbridge Wells, wanting to be close to their family and friends, particularly Anna's 100-year-old mother, Esther.
One of the first buyers at Royal Wells Park, the Smith's enjoyed all the benefits of an early off-plan purchase, including a broad selection of property styles and a choice of interior finishes, enabling them to put their own personal stamp on the house before moving in. John and Anna were so impressed with the design and finish at Royal Wells Park, as well as its town-centre location, the couple decided to purchase a further two-bedroom apartment as an investment.
A Family Affair
Having been familiar with the company and its product for over 20 years, a Berkeley Homes property was high on the wish-list for John and Anna - so much so, once the couple learned of Royal Wells Park, they took their own property in Bristol off the sales market until they could make a purchase at the new scheme.
The couple have two sons, Matthew (40) an accountant and economist at the World Bank in Washington DC and Nathan (33) a Marketing Manager at the health care company, AXA PPP in Tunbridge Wells.
The draw of Berkeley Homes' properties is shared across the Smith family, with Matthew also owning an apartment at its Royal Arsenal development in Woolwich. Meanwhile, Nathan makes the most of Royal Wells Park convenient town-centre location, and is based at his parents' house for work during the week, returning to his own apartment in London at the weekends - enjoying the best of city and country life.
John and Anna are very happy with both of their Berkeley Homes purchases: "The whole buying process has been an extremely positive experience. The Berkeley Homes team always made sure we were well looked after.
"Everyone was personable and patient, with a real focus on the best customer care. The quality of homes and the development itself reflects this high standard - every detail has been considered and thoughtfully designed, even down to the hooks on the doors.
"An added benefit of our new build property is the emphasis on sustainability. Alongside solar panels and highly effective insulation, the surface rainwater is thoughtfully used to regenerate the ponds in the adjacent Great Culverden Park."
Cultivating a New Community
Anna and John are now well settled and enjoying their retirement in the growing new community. "We now know most of the residents at Royal Wells Park, and are looking forward to even more moving in. There is already a real sense of community and neighbourhood spirit. We're keen to get involved in both the resident and local community activities going forward.
"Living in Tunbridge Wells is ideal as we are so central to everything we need. Royal Wells Park is just a short walk from the main shopping area, as well as the railway station, health services and other cultural amenities - exactly what we wanted when we started the search for our new home."