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Getting on the property ladder and picking up the keys to your first home is an unforgettable life event for many, and for first-time buyers, Grace Vintner and Joshua Dorks, their experience of becoming homeowners has been far more memorable than most. 

The Northamptonshire couple have now moved into a new two-bedroom home at Bovis Homes’ Wendelburie Rise location in Wellingborough.  In doing so they became the very first people to live at Stanton Cross – an exciting £1 billion residential-led development to the east of the Northamptonshire town which will eventually include 3,650 new homes. 

Grace (25), an NHS professional based at a Wellingborough GP surgery, and her partner Joshua (26), a telecommunications engineer, explained how they came to be the very first people to call Stanton Cross home.

“We are the most spontaneous people you’ll ever meet,” Grace joked.  “We’d been renting in Kettering for two years, but we knew we eventually wanted to buy our own home.  We took a look at our finances and realised we’d got enough saved for a deposit, and that very same day we drove out to Stanton Cross. 

“We had a look around the showhomes and spoke to the sales team – and we were hooked from there.  We reserved our house – a two-bedroom Amberley design – the day after.  We used the Help to Buy scheme, which made it all the more affordable.  It just felt right.”

Paul Soutar, Bovis Homes Divisional Operations Director, responsible for Stanton Cross, said: “Grace and Joshua will always be an important part of the Stanton Cross story.  When complete, this brand-new extension to Wellingborough will include a total of 3,650 new homes – tens of thousands of people will eventually call Stanton Cross ‘home’.  As the first ever people to live at the development, Grace and Joshua are true pioneers of the exceptional community being established here, and we wish them every happiness in their new home.”

According to Grace, the couple had no reservations about moving to a new area. “The sales team were really positive about Stanton Cross,” Grace continued.  “Michael in particular was very informative, and this gave us the confidence to make the move.  We liked the fact that the development is close to Wellingborough but it feels like a village community.” 

The couple loved the idea of owning their home so much, they were keen to move-in as soon as possible. “When it came to picking our plot we wanted the house that was going to be ready soonest”, Grace continued.  “We are quite impatient! We weren’t the first to reserve at Stanton Cross, but as first-time buyers we could move quickly, and we could be flexible on dates as we had no onward chain.

“On the day we completed, it was pouring down with rain.  We got to Stanton Cross nice and early to pick up the keys and the Bovis Homes team met us.  We’d got to know everyone in the sales office by name and it all felt really personal.  They were really excited for us and took photos, they were almost cheering!

“When we got to our home there was a banner on the door, and a lovely welcome hamper with flowers and Prosecco.  Mandy from Bovis Homes realised that we didn’t have any milk for a cup of tea, so she went and fetched us some from the sales office.”

Grace and Joshua settled into their new home, and it was another two weeks before they had any neighbours.  “We felt that it was a real privilege to be the first people to live at Stanton Cross,” Grace continued.  “It’s lovely and quiet here, but we definitely feel part of a new community.  There’s a Facebook group that most of the homeowners are part of, and the vicar came round after we had moved in and brought us a candle. 

“We’re looking forward to having even more neighbours move in.  Friends of ours also now live at Wendelburie Rise.  They purchased a house just a few doors down from us – although we didn’t actually tell each other until a couple of months before we were due to move in!  It was a lovely surprise.”

Bovis Homes’ Wendelburie Rise development on Irthlingborough Road sits at the heart of Ise Valley View – one of five distinctive development areas within Stanton Cross which overlooks the River Ise and the town of Wellingborough. 

As Grace explained, the couple are thrilled with their new home.  “We’ve got a fantastic plot, set back from the road, and with a double driveway and a lovely frontage.  We had quite a lot of confidence in buying off plan.  We could see the finish on everything in the showhomes, from the door handles to floor tiles, so we got a feel for the quality we could expect in our own home.

“We also got to follow our house’s progress while it was under construction.  In fact, my grandparents got quite involved in the process and they enjoyed visiting the site too.

“I love the fact everything is so fresh and new. We had looked at the second hand market - I was always on Rightmove, but we’ve had such a good experience buying a brand new home.  I would never buy a second hand property now.”

Since moving to Stanton Cross, Grace’s commute is shorter and life has changed in other ways too.  “We’ve welcomed Orla to the family!” Grace announced. “She’s a beautiful black Labrador puppy and we’re looking forward to taking her for walks around Stanton Cross as soon as we can.” 

When asked whether they would recommend the development to others, Grace concluded: “My advice to anyone thinking of moving to Stanton Cross would be to go for it. I’m more content now, I feel happier.  It might seem like a big decision and it can be quite daunting, but be spontaneous – it certainly worked for us!”

To support the development of a new thriving residential-led community, the vision for Stanton Cross also includes new leisure and retail amenities, commercial space – including offices, industrial space and a trade park – 143-acre country and town parks, three new schools and a doctor’s surgery.  Vital infrastructure works also include nine kilometres of essential new roads. 

Bovis Homes and Bellway are both currently building new homes at Stanton Cross.  To find out more, please go to www.stantoncross.co.uk.