First Time Buyer Steps On To Property Ladder Thanks To Affordable Initiative

by Ainsley Piggott

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

An image of Gordon Surfleet holding key in front of his new home as part of a Property PR photoshootA DELIGHTED home-buyer has praised a respected housebuilder for its innovative affordable housing initiative which helped him to find his dream home.

Gordon Surfleet purchased a home at Gilsland Mews from CALA Homes (East), as part of an initiative which allowed prices to be discounted by up to 40% of market value.

The initiative is the first of its kind, launched with East Lothian Council after it announced plans to work with property developers to offer discounted properties for home hunters finding it difficult to step onto the property ladder.

Mr Surfleet, 36, a Financial Paraplanner, with Roddy Surfleet Financial Services, who purchased the apartment said: “The development is lovely – coastal views with sandy beaches nearby and in a fantastic location.

“After previously living in Glasgow I wanted to return home to North Berwick and have rented locally for the past 5 years, I never in a million years thought I would get something within my budget at this location.

“After growing up here from the age of 8 and attending North Berwick High School just around the corner, this area holds a lot of memories for me. The development is perfect for what I am now looking for, and the transport links nearby are phenomenal.

“I’ve not only stepped onto the property ladder but also found my dream home – and it is thanks to CALA’s initiative to help first time buyers like me.”

The range of homes at the development included one and two bedroom apartments, two bedroom bungalows and three bed semi-detached properties

The properties in North Berwick were marketed at a price below market value to ensure that they were accessible to local households on the Council and Registered Social Landlord housing lists, as well as local renters and first time buyers in East Lothian, who would otherwise struggle to purchase a private property.

While undoubtedly impressed with the home and its location, it was the service he received from CALA Homes (East) that made buying the property such a fantastic experience and impressed Mr Surfleet.

He added: “The customer service was genuinely brilliant. I’m not one for going out of my way to give feedback but felt that I had to make an exception this time. As a first time buyer purchasing a property on my own it was a massive help having the support I did from CALA Homes (East).

“From the very beginning, every dealing we had with the sales advisor, through to the site managers and all steps in between, they couldn’t do enough for us. Everyone is respectful, and they remember you. They really do care.”

Councillor Norman Hampshire, East Lothian Council’s housing spokesman, said:

“East Lothian Council is delighted to be providing new innovative affordable housing opportunities such as this one at Gilsland Mews in partnership with CALA.

“This development has enabled Mr Surfleet to a buy a beautiful new home at a much lower price than the market value, in an area of the county where house prices are often out of reach for many people. Through its Affordable Housing Policy, the Council will continue to work with partners to deliver as wide a range of affordable housing options as possible, for local people.”

The luxury homebuilder has an extensive range of developments across the East of Scotland, including in Edinburgh city centre, South Queensferry, Ratho and Currie, all of which offer the service for which CALA Homes is renowned.

Philip Hogg, Sales and Marketing Director at CALA Homes (East), said “We are always so pleased to hear that our customers feel that they have made the right decision when buying with us.

“We focus not just on the high quality of the houses we sell, but also on the service we offer to our customers and ensure it doesn’t just stop as soon as the keys have been handed over.

“As a result, we earn great loyalty from our customers, who often go on to live in a series of CALA properties or recommend us to other potential homebuyers.”

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Ainsley Piggott of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Private: Ainsley Piggott

Ainsley Piggott joined award winning Holyrood PR in Scotland with three years industry knowledge behind her having previously worked on well known consumer PR accounts such as Asda, Greggs and DFS

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