Why Haddenham trumped High Wycombe for couple's dream home

Finding an ideal home in a much-desired location is the ambitious quest for many prospective buyers. So, when Jonathan Stirland (32) and his husband Arthur (36) embarked on the search for their dream home, they knew they had to consider three key factors: location, space, and most importantly value for money.

Like many others, the couple realised their High Wycombe flat, where they lived for a number of years, no longer met their needs. They sought a new home with more space and outdoor areas to better suit their lifestyle.

Jonathan said, “We were looking at homes in Wycombe and Haddenham, in the region of around £500,000, but found that you could get much more for your money in Haddenham. The properties in Wycombe were dated and needed a lot of work, which wasn't what we were looking for in the long run. We were more than happy to invest a little extra to secure a future-proofed home with more space; ultimately we felt we’d be saving money in the long run as we’ve avoided a very expensive bill for retrofitting an older home - that would have inevitably come at one point or another!”

Additionally, with the government's increased focus on Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings, the potential expenses of upgrading an older property would have been significant.

"Whilst we knew that the mortgage payments for our new home would be slightly higher, the energy efficiency of the property was a big pull for us," explained Jon. "Knowing that we won't have to worry about the rising costs of energy bills or retrofitting made us feel more confident and willing to commit. It's a long-term investment that aligns with our sustainability goals and provides peace of mind for the future."

The couple paid £612 in monthly mortgage payments for their two bedroom flat in High Wycombe, which increased to £1,385 once they secured their three bedroom home at housebuilder Dandara’s The Grove development in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire. The couple were able to finalise their mortgage agreement of 4.14% in April for a 5 year fixed rate which was secured ahead of the spike in interest rates, and moved into their new home at the end of April.

With their previous home located just 15 miles away from Haddenham, the development had been on the couple’s radar for some time before they reserved off-plan in December 2022, putting down a £175,000 deposit on the three bedroom ‘Deane’ house type priced at £475,000.

Jonathan commented, “A move had been on the cards for us since the pandemic as we realised having more space was our biggest priority. I work in real estate, so when I saw the development in Haddenham while I was out on the job, it just clicked. The open green space and spacious homes were the perfect fit for us.

“I set up a viewing and brought my husband along, and we both knew the development was a winner. The open plan kitchen and dining area leading out to the large garden was a huge pull. We didn't waste any time and jumped at the chance to reserve the home as soon as we could.”

While the couple had enjoyed their time in High Wycombe, they found that the cost of purchasing a smaller, second-hand semi-detached property in the area was prohibitive, which led them to expand their search further afield.

“We were willing to pay for the extra space in Haddenham because it ticked all the boxes for us," said Jon. "Not only did it offer more outdoor space with its 10 acres of green space, but the homes had bigger rooms compared to other options we considered. The value on offer in Haddenham was too good to resist, and it met all our needs perfectly."

Haddenham has drawn the attention of homebuyers looking for a peaceful and family-friendly community. The value on offer in Haddenham, with its competitive prices and energy-efficient properties, has been a significant attraction for many buyers. Additionally, the village's convenient location, with good transport links and proximity to nearby towns and cities, makes it an ideal choice for those who seek a rural setting while still being connected to urban conveniences.

Speaking on the area, Jon said: “The village, despite being smaller, has so much to offer. My husband and I are particularly excited about getting out and about more on runs and cycle rides in the surrounding countryside. We’re also looking forward to watching Sunday matches at the nearby cricket pavilion.

“It’s also incredibly easy for us to commute. There’s a train station within walking distance which can get you to London Marylebone in just 45 minutes.”

The Grove is located in the picturesque village of Haddenham in Buckinghamshire. With easy access to Haddenham, residents will benefit from a superb range of high street shops and plenty of independent cafes and restaurants. There is also a local garden centre and plenty of green space with well-equipped children’s play areas and sports pitches. Perfect for families, the area has a number of Ofsted rated Good schools like St Mary’s Church of England School and Puddleducks Pre-School.  

Excellent road links are available from the development, with easy access to the M40 and the 8A leading to Oxford or the A41 leading to the M25 via Aylesbury. For train journeys, Haddenham and Thame Parkway railway station offers services to London Marylebone in 46 minutes.

The Grove is now sold out, but a selection of three and four bedroom homes can be found at the nearby Abbots Place development in Milton Keynes. Prices start at £414,995 for a three-bedroom semi-detached home. Find out more