Risk taker, Rachel Rist has elevated online shopping to a new level during the Corona virus lockdown.
With the click of the mouse the former Director of Dance at a performing arts school took a “leap of faith” and bought a home she had never seen in a place she had never been.
This week, as travel restrictions were eased, Rachel, who has lived on a housing estate near Tring in Hertfordshire for the past 21 years, drove the 276 miles to visit her new Northumberland home and find out whether it – and the surrounding countryside – live up to their digital promise.
Fortunately, she loved it and cannot wait to move in when the contemporary, barn style property at West Chevington Farm, just a short walk from the beautiful Druridge Bay, is completed by developer, Platinum, in the late summer.
Said Rachel: “For as long as I can remember, I have watched Grand Designs on TV and always dreamed of having my own place like that one day. I wanted something ultra contemporary inside but with flair, design and frankly, not box-like on the outside.
“After 30 years of holidaying in Devon and Cornwall, that is where I searched for the right property for the past year. There have been one or two candidates but nothing was quite perfect and having sold my old home a week before lockdown, I decided to widen the net. I went online and searched for ‘new build barns’ and up popped West Chevington.
“The quality of the design, the very high specification interiors and the proximity to a stunning coastline was everything I wanted. I had never been to Northumberland but people who have raved about it. So I Google-toured the area to see amazing scenery and coastlines in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty. It just seemed perfect for long dog walks, relaxation and getting away from it all.
“I suppose it was a huge leap of faith to reserve a home I have not seen, in a place I do not know but it felt so right I could not sleep until I had paid the reservation fee and secured the property. Now that I have seen it and explored the area a little, I know I was right.
“Another thing I like about the development is that there will be a small community of people all starting together in a new place. I cannot wait to see my very own grand design again when it is completed and Kevin McCloud is welcome to visit.”
Sonali Craddock, Marketing Director with Platinum Assets, added: “It’s fantastic that Rachel had so much faith in our development just from looking at the plans online. Of course, those of us from the region know what a magnificent county Northumberland is so I am sure she will be very happy here – although she and her dogs may need better coats for the winter beach walks.”
West Chevington Farm is a new development of sustainably and environmentally friendly luxury homes on a National Heritage listed Georgian-era farm site. It comprises 21 rustic-style, striking and carefully planned homes, on generous sized plots, with landscaped community spaces and car-friendly access.
There are nine barns – one converted from an original Georgian structure and the remainder constructed to replicate this style, using the best of locally sourced materials.
There are also 12 contemporary new houses, designed to sit neatly alongside the barns.
All are laid out with modern living in mind and include generous open-plan living areas, sun-rooms, bi-fold doors, balconies, contemporary courtyards, water features and beautifully landscaped walkways.
Platinum Assets and Developments is a privately-owned business, based in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. It operates in a variety of sectors, focusing on renewable energy projects, private residential rental and traditional housing development, across the UK. For more information please visit the Platinum Assets and Developments website.