Clissold Park to Heyford Park: How Luke and Freya Haddon-Smale made the move from London to greener pastures

Looking for a new home in the Bicester area

We love to hear the reasons why our purchasers choose to make their move to Heyford Park and how they are settling in to their new home and their new community after they have moved in. If you are looking for a new home in the Bicester area and want to know if Heyford Park might be right for you, see if any of your reasons for moving are the same as Luke and Freya’s and whether they can help you decide to make your move.

For young professional couple Luke and Freya Haddon-Smale, the choice to move out of London was always on the cards; it just wasn’t as soon as they imagined. However, with 2020 changing the living priorities of many city dwellers, Luke and Freya fast-tracked their decision to head out of the capital.

After friends recommended the Bicester area, the couple took a drive and found Heyford Park, a growing community of homes and facilities built by Dorchester Living. In a twist of fate, their car broke down when they arrived, which gave them some time to walk around, explore and look at the  development. 

“After we moved back from New York, we knew London wasn’t going to be our forever destination. We do love the buzz and energy of London, but we also craved the village feeling and having wide open spaces near us and that’s what we have at Heyford Park.” said Freya.

“It was the easiest decision we’ve ever made. It had everything we were looking for and more. The house we chose sits right on the village green, offers so much space and looks beautiful.”

Freya continued, “living in London was brilliant, and we’ll always be fond of our time there. Having Clissold Park [in Stoke Newington] on our doorstep was great, however the parks were so busy that it became hard to socially distance, even for exercising.”

They bought a four-bedroom home and converted two of the spaces to be respective offices. Having the luxury of shutting the door at the end of the day and switching off from work has been a blessing for the couple, who struggled to find a good work/life balance at their old flat.

As for achieving that balance now, the couple have almost become co-workers and enjoy the “water cooler” moments as much as possible. 

“Each day we have our morning coffee and breakfast at the island bench in the kitchen, then move to our offices and start the day. We’ll then see each other again for lunch, then again after work. It’s nice to have someone nearby but not talking over each other on Zoom calls”, Luke adds.

Before the pandemic, the couple had a very different lifestyle in London but the events of last year really helped to shape their living priorities. They knew they wanted a bigger space to work and grow into, ideally in the countryside and with  a certain budget in mind.

“Like most young professionals, we didn’t want to be paying someone else’s mortgage and wanted to be practical with our money. At our new home we are paying a significantly lower price on our mortgage, in comparison to what we were paying on rent in London – it’s crazy to sort of be throwing that money away”, said Luke.

And for when the day comes to start the commute back into London, Freya and Luke are only 45 minutes via train into London Marylebone.

Freya commented, “considering it would sometimes take longer to get to our office from Stoke Newington, we’re not too worried”.

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