We lived in an older home, and it was getting to the stage that something always needed done. We’d put in a new roof, had the drainage redone, but there were still lots of other costly tasks that were on the list, so we decided that we needed to future proof ourselves, and look for a slightly newer home.
Initially we looked at the second-hand market. We quickly found the market was very competitive and we were finding homes we loved but getting out bid all the time. Similarly, with the rising costs of materials and building work, the costs to alter a second-hand home were becoming unrealistic, which is another reason why we were drawn to a new build. It was after being turned down for yet another property that we decided to look at the new builds in the area.
We ideally wanted a home with four bedrooms. Clare’s family lives in England so we wanted a spare room for them to stay when they visit, and I work from home a lot, so it was important for me to have a study.
We visited Greenan Views and met with the sales consultant, Anne, and the more we learned, the more we realised this is what we wanted. Anne was very amenable and likeable without pushing the sale. She encouraged us to take a walk around the development and we had a good feeling walking through the streets. We bumped into a few of the site workers. They were really nice, had worked with the company for a long time and said the houses were fantastic. One of them had bought a Mactaggart & Mickel home himself which was a testament to the quality – they did as good a job as selling the house as Anne!
With knowledge of the timber industry, I knew the company had a good name in this area. They do a lot of work with cassettes which helps get the home to a stage of being wind and watertight quickly and I was comforted by that.
Our first impressions were really good. Whilst the show home wasn’t the same style of house that we were looking at, it gave us an idea of the quality of the fixtures and fittings which was pleasing. You can feel the quality when you’re opening and closing the doors and we got a really good feeling as we were wondering around.
Once we had made the decision to buy, it was so easy to secure the home.
The quality of the home was clear and the more we learned about the company, the more we knew we were making the right decision. From the point of reservation, the process was so easy. It was comforting to have MacMic supporting us. It was all very well handled.
There were a few houses on the development that we considered. The MacLaren, which had a balcony, the Bruce which had feature brick work, and the Miller, the one we liked the most. We both liked the cream render outside, but curiously enough it was the windows that really drew us to this home. It was a dark window frame and it looked modern, it almost looked European. It reminded me of a development I’d seen in Amsterdam, where the homes had lots of clean lines. The Miller also had a garage, which we’d never had before. It suited us down to the ground.
The dining room is nice. You can sit there for a meal with family and friends, looking out to the garden through the patio doors. We get the sunrise while we have our breakfast and we get the evening sun through the front windows which makes it a nice space all throughout the day. It’s a great and open space.
We thought we’d need to have a clear out for the move, as we didn’t expect to have as much storage, but that’s not been the case. There is so much storage in the kitchen, especially with the separate utility which is really brilliant. There is a walk-in wardrobe in our bedroom and another one of the bedrooms had a built-in wardrobe. And then, there is the garage which is a monster room for storage. We put a wee shed in the garden too.
My wife and I have gone through a series of houses we’ve done up and sold on and this is completely the opposite. Even homes on the second-hand market that have lists of 2’s on the home report very quickly become 3’s and you find yourselves having to spend £20,000 -£30,000 immediately. Buying a new Mactaggart & Mickel home is completely the opposite. We struggled to find things on the snagging list, a few minor things but nothing big – it’s a solidly built efficient house.
The energy efficiency is actually one of our drivers for moving. In our old house, once the heating had been turned off, after 10 minutes we needed to turn it back on again. It had no insulation, and it was very apparent.
Here, in our new house, our heating bill is half of the cost, the insulation is incredible, and it’s made such a difference. We’ve had to turn the heating down because the home retains the heat so well. In our old house you could hear the wind, here, you wouldn’t know when it’s winter until you step outside!
Like I say, we come from an older house with a dodgy boiler, so the air source heat pump was really interesting for me. I was excited to see a new innovation as we were buying a new home. Granted there is a semi-complicated menu to work through to set it up, but once that’s done it’s good to go and it doesn’t need to be touched again. It does the hard thinking for you. I really like it and think it’s a great system.
You sometimes hear horror stories that make you nervous about buying a new build house, but Mactaggart & Mickel go above and beyond to make sure you are comfortable and happy with the house you’ve bought. Anne hasn’t just sold us a house, she wanted to be sure we are happy in that house and that we’ve made it our home. We’ve been taken care of and been properly looked after and that’s really commendable.