First time buyer stays close to her family heritage in Stewkley

Home is where the heart is – and office manager Jessica Corkett’s heart is firmly in the little village of Stewkley, near Leighton Buzzard. Born and brought up in the village and with family connections dating back generations, there was no way Jessica wanted to buy a home anywhere else. So now she is happily continuing her family’s long history in the area by moving into a new Dandara home at St Michael’s Park.

Jessica, 31, was living in Stewkley with her mum and simply couldn’t imagine being anywhere else – so when she was left some inheritance by her late grandma she decided it was time to buy a place of her own where everything she loved the most was close at hand.

“I work in the village and have lots of friends here as well as my family,” she said. “It’s just a lovely place to live, everyone gets on and it’s a nice community, and there are plenty of interesting walks for my dog Maggie. My grandad was a builder and was responsible for putting up lots of properties here – he even built the original sports pavilion, and I wanted to stay local because of the strong family links with the village.”

Being so local, Jessica quickly became aware of Dandara’s plans to build St Michael’s Park, which is named after the village’s historic 12th century parish church. She hadn’t originally imagined buying a new build home, but the timing was perfect and the homes were ideally located just half a mile away from her mum’s house. “I never thought I would end up living in a new build,” she admits, “but financially it makes perfect sense as it will be cheap to run, energy efficient and with everything new and up to standard.”

The home she bought was a two-bedroom property with a driveway, which she paid £345,000 for - “the parking was a major factor for me,” she adds. Thanks to her inheritance and savings she was able to put down a large deposit, so didn’t need to use Help to Buy or any other Government incentives, although she did appreciate Dandara giving her an incentive of including free flooring throughout the house and turf outside.

Although Stewkley, in the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire, is surrounded by green fields and has a countryside feel, it is also very well connected, with Leighton Buzzard just 10 minutes away by car. From there, Leighton Buzzard station offers more than 100 trains a day to London Euston, taking as little as 31 minutes, plus services to Milton Keynes Central (around 10 minutes) and Birmingham New Street (from 90 minutes).

 Stewkley itself has a village shop and pub, with a wide range of places to eat nearby in Leighton Buzzard. The community has a thriving social life, with everything from Brownies and a youth club to a bowls club, a cricket club, a walking group, a choir and three golf courses nearby. “My cocker spaniel Maggie has lots of energy so we go to the woods at Rushmere, which is really nice, and I also love going to the gym,” added Jessica.

The 67 homes at St Michael’s Park will ultimately range from two-bedroom to five-bedroom, all with either garages or off-road parking, and some with views over open fields. Inside, they have contemporary open-plan layouts and high-quality modern finishes, including quality kitchens with a range of door fronts and Zanussi integrated appliances. The development will include a children’s play area, and the fact that the local primary school is a short walk away also makes the area attractive to families with young children.