Alfonso Enciso and Marcela Castro knew exactly what they wanted from their new home – a safe, quiet and spacious environment in which to raise their 22-month-old daughter Mariana. In the face of the pandemic, along with just under 10% of London’s population, they left the capital, and found precisely what they were looking for at Fernham Homes’ Boughton Park development in historic Boughton Monchelsea in Kent.

“When we came to see the house for the first time, we liked the green spaces and the village itself and immediately fell in love with the surroundings,” recalls Alfonso, 42, who works as a web developer. He and Marcela, a 32-year-old graphic designer, were living in their first home in Lewisham, but with Mariana now toddling around and recent lockdowns highlighting the lack of space, they were keen to leave the city behind.

“Living in London has some advantages, but it is definitively noisy, and we wanted to move somewhere quiet and a little bit further from the centre of town,” explains Alfonso. With both successfully working remotely, looking further afield was straightforward, and with nearby Maidstone station offering services to London St Pancras in 51 minutes and London Victoria in just over an hour, commuting was still perfectly possible from a more rural location.

The couple chose the five-bedroom, detached Greenacres house type which comes with its own garage and two sets of French doors leading into the enclosed rear garden. “We needed a bigger place to raise our little one, and we liked the open plan spaces, kitchen, living room, bathrooms and garden. We liked pretty much everything!”

With no help from family or Government incentives, such a big up-size wasn’t easy, however. “We did it all ourselves, saving hard by not going out and trying not to even order takeaways. We benefited a little bit from the Stamp Duty holiday, but it was really hard to save up enough for the move,” says Alfonso.

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