Buy­ing a new home? Shop lo­cal!

Paul LeGrice of Abel Homes out­lines sev­eral rea­sons for turn­ing to a lo­cally-based house builder

EDP Norfolk - - PROPERTY -

De­spite most peo­ple agree­ing that we should be build­ing more new homes in or­der to tackle the UK’s hous­ing short­age, in some peo­ple’s eyes the com­pa­nies which are ac­tu­ally de­liv­er­ing those new homes are of­ten viewed as the bad guys. You have to won­der why that should be.

It is not house builders who set hous­ing pol­icy – that’s cen­tral gov­ern­ment, nor is it house builders who make plan­ning de­ci­sions – they are made by our elected lo­cal au­thor­i­ties. House builders do what they do within a strict le­gal frame­work. And yet too of­ten they are blamed – un­fairly – for the short­com­ings of the en­tire sys­tem.

Part of this dis­con­nect be­tween the pub­lic and house builders, par­tic­u­larly the big na­tional de­vel­op­ers, is down to a feel­ing that these com­pa­nies are sim­ply in­ter­ested in putting up the bricks and mor­tar, tak­ing the money and get­ting out, without much thought about the con­se­quences of what they do to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Per­haps that is true in some cases, but it doesn’t have to be like that. There are house builders for whom how their prod­ucts fit in with the lo­cal com­mu­nity is ex­tremely im­por­tant. They are mostly lo­cal firms whose own­ers and staff live and work in those very com­mu­ni­ties and who will in­ter­act with the peo­ple af­fected by what they do long af­ter the bull­doz­ers have moved off site.

At Abel Homes, a fam­i­ly­owned, lo­cal firm, that is cer­tainly true. We reg­u­larly bump into our cus­tomers in the street, so it’s im­por­tant that we can be proud of the way that we do things. We strive to build com­mu­ni­ties, not just houses.

That car­ing at­ti­tude stretches right from the lo­ca­tions in which we choose to build, through to the qual­ity of the new homes them­selves. Help­ing to cre­ate the site com­mu­nity, lo­cal artists are com­mis­sioned to cre­ate pub­lic art­works on ev­ery site where we build new homes.

It is why many peo­ple, even those who are im­pla­ca­bly op­posed to any new con­struc­tion, feel more com­fort­able when plans are put for­ward by a lo­cal de­vel­oper, who bet­ter un­der­stands lo­cal needs and whose fo­cus is rather more on en­hanc­ing their lo­cal­i­ties, rather than sim­ply tak­ing the money and run­ning.

It is also why many house buy­ers choose to pur­chase from a lo­cal house builder like Abel Homes, with cus­tomers of­ten com­ing back to buy for a se­cond or third time as they climb the hous­ing lad­der. They know that their home has been built with care and that they can speak di­rectly to the peo­ple who built it should there be any is­sues.

Just as more and more peo­ple are dis­cov­er­ing they re­ceive a bet­ter ser­vice, a more pleas­ant shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence and a higher qual­ity of prod­uct when they use lo­cal food shops in­stead of the big su­per­mar­kets, the mantra of ‘shop lo­cal’ is just as valid when it comes to buy­ing new homes.

When you buy a home from a lo­cal house builder, many of those same ad­van­tages ap­ply. In ad­di­tion, the firm which is ac­tu­ally part of the lo­cal com­mu­nity is go­ing to en­sure that how they go about their busi­ness ben­e­fits that lo­cal com­mu­nity – we want to be, and are, proud of our rep­u­ta­tion.

As ever, it pays to shop lo­cal.

‘Help­ing to cre­ate com­mu­nity, lo­cal artists are com­mis­sioned to cre­ate pub­lic art­works on ev­ery site where we build new homes’

ABOVE:Jonathan Beedell (left) and Katja Galea re­ceive their keys from Abel Homes man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Paul LeGrice

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