Whilst in the past the size of a property has been the deciding factor for homebuyers, today’s stressful economic climate is causing more and more people to choose their home based on the quality of life it can provide. With a recent ONS survey revealing that the life expectancy of the average person living in the countryside is longer than in the city*, properties that offer a relaxing rural retreat from which residents can enjoy a slower pace of life are in high demand. Stephanie and Neil Carney are just one of this increasing number putting their lifestyle first, having recently downsized into an apartment at City & Country Group’s exclusive 17th century Balls Park estate, which is set amidst 63-acres of historic parkland on the outskirts of Hertford, and enables them to enjoy the best of country life.
Stephanie, 39, and her husband Neil, 43, previously lived in a four-bedroom town house in Epping. The lifestyle their new home could offer was of prime importance to the Carney’s, and the couple were adamant that their next home enabled them to enjoy more of a rural lifestyle than they had enjoyed at their former home. Stephanie, an accountant, now walks the four miles to her office in Hoddesdon from her luxury Balls Park home, and the couple regularly stroll along the nearby waterways, and into Hertford town centre.
Stephanie comments: “As my husband and I work locally, we were keen to avoid a busy city environment and instead wanted somewhere from which we could enjoy our surroundings. Our Balls Park home is ideal for us as it offers a quiet home away from the crowds, whilst still being near to Hertford town centre, where we can find all the shopping, dining and entertainment facilities we need. Both Neil and I love spending time outdoors, enjoying the surrounding nature and going for long walks, so it was really important to us that our new home could accommodate this. We didn’t know the Hertford area very well before moving here, but were instantly struck by the amount of greenery and open space it has. The beautiful countryside and parkland surrounding our new home was the reason we knew we had to live here.”
The Grade I Listed Jacobean mansion house and Grade II Listed outbuildings at the Balls Park development have been carefully renovated into a range of luxury apartments and duplexes. The properties boast an abundance of traditional features including restored sash windows and original oak floors, all set amidst the very best in contemporary interior design. Bespoke kitchens have been designed for each property and include a range of integrated stainless steel appliances, whilst the bathrooms incorporate white sanitaryware and chrome fittings. The properties have been finished to an impeccable standard with top quality flooring such as 100% wool carpets, porcelain floor tiles and oak floorboards throughout.
The Carney’s had always admired the architecture and historical background of traditional-style properties but disliked the cramped and old-fashioned interior space that often accompanies this type of home. Stephanie comments: “Our two-bedroom apartment is so light and airy, and – offering modern interior decoration - is completely different to others on the market, which can often look a little dated on the inside. We love the fact that we can live a modern lifestyle in such a historic setting, as this is something we never thought we’d be able to do. Our home is so unique; the rich history of the site adds to its charm, and I look forward to learning more about its previous life in the future by talking to other residents and getting to know the local area more.”
Balls Park is an exclusive partially-gated community and offers a calm rural retreat close to all the amenities of the town centre. Residents are well placed to enjoy the variety of shops, restaurants and cafes on the high street, whilst Hertford train station has two separate train lines, providing services of less than 50 minutes to Kings Cross, Moorgate and London Liverpool Street.
Prices at Balls Park start at £199,950 for a one-bedroom apartment, £315,000 for a two-bedroom apartment and £500,000 for a three-bedroom apartment. For further information or to arrange a viewing, please contact the on-site sales suite, open daily between 10am and 5pm, on telephone: 01992 551777 or visit: www.balls-park.co.uk.
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