“Dreams can be affordable,” says first-time buyer at Graven Hill

Ferial Fattahi found her dream home using the Help to Buy scheme at Graven Hill. Learn more about her custom build journey…

After leaving university in 2014, Ferial Fattahi had been living at home in Oxfordshire with her parents to save money for her own home in Graven Hill. In 2016, she decided it was time to try and take the first step onto the property ladder and visiting show homes soon became a hobby for her. However, nothing felt quite right and over a year later the search continued. Ferial Fattahi outside her new home

Ferial had been looking at properties in the Oxford and Bicester area, but after a year of searching she came to the conclusion that the area was probably out of her budget. She eventually decided to settle on a house a little further away in Brackley - yet it wasn’t the happily ever after she expected. During the purchase process, a few issues cropped up, meaning that the sale had to be called off. 

Feeling deflated and in need of some direction, Ferial saw an advert for a first-time buyer event at Bicester Golf Club and the rest is history. 

Realising the dream 

“I received an email about an event for first-time buyers that was being held at Bicester Golf Club. The weather was great that day and it’s a beautiful place to walk around, so I thought, why not? Based on my previous experiences, I went in with no expectation of buying a home, and to be honest, my main goal was to make the most of the complimentary coffee and biscuits!  

“Fortunately, I bumped into the Graven Hill team while I was there and we got talking. I was intrigued by the idea of the mixture of custom and self-build homes that the site provides. A Custom Build New home sounded like the perfect choice for me, and the fact that the area is surrounded by nature was an added bonus.  

“It all seemed perfect, but I was sure that the problem of affordability would once again stop me in my tracks. I talked to the Graven Hill team about this, and they recommended a mortgage advisor that I could go along to. They seemed certain they could make it possible for me, and it turned out that they were right!  

“All of their custom build homes are available on the Help to Buy scheme, which made my home entirely accessible even with my smaller budget. By November 2018, I finally had a place of my own, proving that dreams can be affordable!” 

The location

“I love the Graven Hill site. It feels entirely different to every other area I looked at on my (extensive) property search. There’s a sense of privacy and seclusion that makes me feel extremely safe, and the woodlands are ideal for a peaceful walk to clear your mind. At times it feels like I’m on holiday! 

“On sunny days I love taking a walk around the site and seeing the progress of all the other properties. It’s so exciting being able to watch a unique community grow from the ground up. Now that I’m settled, I’d love to get more involved in some of the community meetups - everyone I’ve met has been lovely.” 

The design 

“My home is a one-bedroom coach house. I was able to customise the interior fixtures including the flooring and the colour of the walls and doors. From the day I moved in it fit my needs and tastes perfectly – it immediately felt like home. It’s a cosy and comforting place to come back to after a long day. 

“My favourite feature is the view from the upstairs kitchen window - you can see the whole of Graven Hill from it. Each morning I sit with my coffee and look out over all the beautiful houses. It’s a really relaxing way to start the day.” 

Looking to the future at Graven Hill

“Graven Hill is already a stunning place to live, and I know it will only get better as more people move in. I was very happy with the whole process, and right now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. 

“In fact, I’ve been recommending Graven Hill to all my friends - I’ve even convinced my manager to buy a plot here! The number of home options available means there is something to suit everyone, no matter their stage of life or budget. It’s safe to say that I’m very grateful I went to that first-time buyer event!”