Saturday, June 22, 2024

House Hunter: Exploring New Homes in Kent

This month FTB goes on the hunt with Martha and Ali who are looking to move from London to Kent and are seeking a new home with at least two bedrooms and good commuter links.


Names: Martha Clarke-Reid, 37, Ali Clarke-Reid, 42
Occupations: Recruitment Manager, Events Co-ordinator
Maximum budget: £300,000
Requirements: A home with at least two bedrooms and ideally a garden, in Kent, with good rail links to London and a range of local facilities close by.

What they wanted…

We made the decision to leave London a little while ago and have spent a while trying to find the right place for us. We’ve settled on Kent as we’re both from the South – me from Kent, Ali from Surrey – and it’s possible to find a great quality of life within easy reach of the capital. We live in a very busy and polluted part of London and though we love city life, we’ve fallen out of love with the area and would like to be closer to family as well as to all the countryside and coastline that Kent has to offer. We both have to be in London regularly, so would like rail links to be no more than one hour each way. We’d love some outdoor space and ideally to have local shops and facilities within walking distance.

What we found…

The Go-To Destination

Whitstable Heights, Whitstable, Kent

From £114,000*

The ever-popular coastal town of Whitstable is a huge draw for homebuyers and holiday makers alike, charmed by its mix of pretty cottages, historic harbour, and scenic sea views. The new homes at Whitstable Heights give first time buyers the chance to be part of this lifestyle in brand new, quality homes. The development includes two, three, and four bedroom houses and coach houses. The larger homes feature open-plan living/dining areas that open to turfed rear gardens, en suites to the larger bedrooms, and plenty of storage.
Shared ownership: based on a 40% share of the full market value of £285,000

What they thought…

“I grew up in Kent and we visited the coastal town of Whitstable on a regular basis. I have some lovely memories of the area and it’s always been so popular. We visited a few years ago when a couple of our friends moved down and it really is just as lovely as I remember – they can’t recommend it enough. The properties are of a high quality and we’re super impressed that we can afford a house here; something we could only have imagined in London.”

The Country Connection

Spring Acres, Sittingbourne, Kent

From £166,000*

Situated on the outer fringes of Sittingbourne, this new collection of two, three, and four bedroom homes borders open fields and stunning countryside. The development is also set within a country park itself, while the Kent Downs and North Kent coast are reached in mere minutes. The three bedroom properties feature a separate living room and kitchen, while upstairs there’s an en suite from the main bedroom. Nearby Sittingbourne is great for schools and amenities and has a theatre and cinema. Trains reach London St Pancras in 69 minutes.
Shared ownership: based on a 40% share of the full market value of £415,000

What they thought…

“Wow – what pretty surroundings this development has. We’d certainly never be short on places to explore for walks, and I can imagine the air is fresh and lovely – a big change from our current place. The properties are very attractive – we love that the three-bedroom homes have a separate living room, and can barely imagine having so much space. The extra bedroom means we’d have enough room for guests as well as an office space, which is just amazing.”

The Lakeside Lovely

Martello Lakes, Hythe, Kent

From £239,995

These beautiful new homes sit in a pretty spot on the Kent coast, just 15 miles from the white cliffs of Dover. The properties available range from two-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom detached houses, all with outdoor space, and many with views out over lakes. The apartments feature open-plan living/dining areas with French doors leading to a private terrace. The bedrooms are well-sized, with the main also featuring an en suite. London can be reached in under two hours – including a 20-minute drive to Ashford International.

What they thought…

“This is a beautiful development – the surroundings are just so different to what we’re used to – stunning lakes on the doorstep, and the sea literally minutes from the door. Hythe is very close by and has all the amenities you’d need on a daily basis, while Ashford is only a 20-minute drive, so we’d never be far from super-speedy travel. This is a real getaway-from-it-all location. It’s a bit far south for us at the moment, but it has given us serious pause for thought.”

The Coastal Charm

Spitfire Green, Ramsgate, Kent

From £165,000* From

Ramsgate is among the Kent seaside towns that have seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with increasing numbers of young professionals buying in or relocating to the area. These new three-bedroom homes offer the perfect mix of coast, country, and town. On the ground floor you can enjoy a spacious kitchen/dining area with French doors leading out on to the garden, a light-filled relaxing lounge, and a bathroom. Upstairs there are two double bedrooms, with an en suite to the main bedroom, a single bedroom, and a modern family bathroom.

*Based on a 50% share of the full market value of £330,000

What they thought…

“There’s a lovely mix of country and coastal here: although you’re not right by the sea, it’s such a short drive, that we could really make the most of it without having to do a huge trip. We really like how the development includes green space and wildlife areas and that there are a range of properties, meaning a more diverse community around us. Ramsgate is a cool place – it’s got a lot of history but also has a growing arts and culture scene, which really is a piece of us.”

First Choice

The Perfect Balance

Riverside Square, Canterbury, Kent

From £89,000*

This contemporary new collection of one to three bedroom properties forms part of the larger Riverside development, which runs alongside the River Stour in the centre of the city of Canterbury. Residents can enjoy the facilities of the new public square, all moments from the historic city centre, complete with restaurants, bars and cinema just a short walk away. A mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments and
three bedroom houses is available. The houses are bright and spacious with modern features including EV charging points in the driveway. Trains from nearby Canterbury West reach London in 55 minutes.

Shared ownership: based on a 40% share of the full market value of £222,500

The Next step

“To say we’re excited about the homes at Riverside Square is a serious understatement. We are very committed to making this dream a reality. We registered with Hyde New Homes right away, have our finances in order and a mortgage offer in principle for the right amount.”

What they thought…

“The homes and location here provide us with the ideal balance we’ve been looking for – a taste of city life outside of London, with country and coastline all on the doorstep. We love the look of Canterbury, with its stunning historic sights and lots of entertainment and culture on offer, and the commuting time into London is so impressive. The houses are just perfect – very contemporary and stylish. The kitchens are just to our taste, and we would be so proud to invite friends and family over for dinner or to stay. There’s so much close by, too, with some absolutely amazing coastline within a 20-minute drive.”

Explore more in our free magazine: Read Now

First Time Buyer is an exciting bi-monthly glossy which takes a stylish and comprehensive look at all the options available, setting them out in an entertaining and informative way, and helping potential customers navigate their way through what is often a daunting and complex process. We dispel the myths, reinforce the facts and arm the reader with the tools necessary to make their homeownership dreams a reality.

Lynda Clark

Lynda has been a journalist all her working life. She started as an indentured reporter on the Streatham News. After three years she joined Woman’s Weekly in the fashion department and eventually worked her way up to being Associate Fashion Editor. After 13 years she decided to go freelance and wrote for many newspapers and magazines. Her interest in homes and interiors began when she became Editor of Homestyle magazine. Having always wanted to start her own magazine she launched Spaces – an international magazine aimed at people who are passionate about architecture and design. After five years she sold the title and began working at First Time Buyer magazine. She quickly became Editor and eventually CEO of the company. She is truly passionate about getting first timers on to the property ladder and supports all the housing associations, developers, legal and financial experts helping them to spread the word about the affordable housing options open to first time buyers. 

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