Skincare company executive Joanne explains: “I’d been searching for a home for me and mum for two years but couldn’t find anything that would accommodate her needs. Mum has arthritis and can’t climb stairs, so she needs to be on the ground floor with shower facilities, but I didn’t want to buy a bungalow.
“Then I heard about new homes being built at The Hawthorns in Elswick with Shape Your Home, a revolutionary concept which enables buyers to customise the interior of their property.”
She adds: “Now I have exactly what I wanted. I absolutely love the house, it already feels like home – and mum is so happy here too.”
Lytham-born Joanne, 55, and her mum Anne, 83, had been living in rented accommodation in Feckleton but Joanne was keen to get back on the property ladder.
Initially she had been looking for an older house. “I thought I’d always have a character home,” she says.
But Joanne found character and personality, and so much more, in Kingswood’s beautiful designs at The Hawthorns, a select development of three, four and five-bedroom properties from offering a superb standard of contemporary living and innovative design.
“I was really attracted to The Hawthorns because the homes are almost Scandinavian or farmhouse looking – very different to other new build homes,” she adds.
“And, with an older property there would have been the maintenance, and the cost of changing things around – as well as the issue of finding reliable people to do the work.”
Ordinarily, the Weaver 4 has an open plan kitchen, dining and family area with a kitchen island as standard, plus bi-fold doors opening out onto the rear garden. There’s also a separate lounge, and a utility/cloakroom. Upstairs are four bedrooms, the main with en-suite, and a family bathroom – although again this can be reconfigured.
Joanne says: “I decided to leave the upstairs as it was – although I might change it in the future – but downstairs I was able to steal some of the lounge so that my mum could have her own room with a bed and chair etc and I would still have enough open plan space to live in at the back.
“Instead of having the utility room, I changed it into a shower room, and they moved my boiler into the store cupboard where my washing machine is. Being able to do all that was a massive plus and, in the future, that room could be a study or a snug and the shower room could be left or turned back into a utility.”
Surrounded by fields with village amenities close by, yet only a 30-minute drive away from Preston, homes at The Hawthorns have been extremely popular, offering the ideal combination of rural and city living.
Joanne loves feeling in the countryside while being only 20 minutes away from anywhere she wants to be. “I’m five minutes from the motorway,” she adds.
Joanne’s home has a south-facing garden and is situated next to the pond in the development – she has already enjoyed watching the baby moorhens growing up there.
“This house was worth the wait. It’s lovely,” she says.
“I have even noticed how energy efficient it is already. We were in a 1930s detached bungalow before and we were surrounded by the cold which used to seep in. It used to cost me a fortune to keep it warm all the time for mum and obviously with the bills going up it was perfect timing to come here. I can’t believe the difference.
“I have only paid one bill here so far, but it was at least half of what it would have been.”