Holiday Tradition Becomes Forever Home

Holiday Tradition Becomes Forever Home

After spending many idyllic summer holidays on Mersea Island, Jo Berner (51) considered it to be a second home, taking the hour trip from Upminster whenever she wasn’t working, to escape to her holiday lodge on the coast. Realising that she could make her favourite holiday destination a central part of her life, Jo found her forever home at City & Country’s Sanderling Reach and relocated to the Essex Island with her dog, Bertie.

Jo now rents out her holiday lodge to other visitors on the island whilst she enjoys living in her brand-new home at Sanderling Reach. She says: “Holidays in Mersea were always the highlight of my year, and I absolutely loved being able to relax and enjoy the sandy beaches and tranquil countryside. In March last year, I was driving down one of the main streets of the island towards my holiday home when I noticed the signs for Sanderling Reach and decided to go and take a look. I knew straight away that I loved the development and after seeing the beautiful architecture, traditional style – and all the green space, all so close to the beach I realised this was where I was meant to be.”

Originally from East London, Jo had never lived on the coast before, but it has had a hugely positive impact on her life. She explains “I can honestly say that I’m at my happiest by the sea. Having Bertie obviously means we go out on daily walks which is great for my health, but the sea just calls to me and makes me feel really at peace. We get beautiful sunsets across the island which is such a calming end to the day.”

“However, just because it’s a quieter way of life doesn’t mean there’s nothing for me to do. There’s a great clubhouse on the beach just five minutes from my house, which has an outdoor area for live bands and a great atmosphere. I’ve also joined a Yoga class and although it’s not my cup of tea there are endless opportunities for watersports – including a beautiful boating lake also frequented by open water swimmers.”

Despite recent property headlines reporting an extra premium on coastal properties, Jo was able to remain in a similar sized property when she relocated. “I had previously been living in a three-bedroom property in Upminster, but prices in the area were extortionate. Part of the appeal of Mersea Island was that I could get a similar-sized property for less, one that was new and crafted to incredibly high standards, and being only nine miles south of Colchester was well connected to London.”

Mortgage free thanks to the sale of her previous property, Jo bought her new home at Sanderling Reach for £435,000. She loves the open plan design, stating “I’d never bought a new build property before but felt like a change, and the premium specification offered by City & Country really caught my eye. It’s all the tiny details I love, such as the care that’s gone into the design of the open plan living and kitchen area and its modern fixtures including Silestone worktops and a convenient breakfast bar. Not to mention all of the space for Bertie to run around in!”

“Not only is the development a very short walk to the beach but it stands out from other new builds because of its intentional design. The houses aren’t grouped together in rows – we have an area of green space that will grow into a wild field, a rustic wooden play area for children and every house looks different. There is so much character here that I wasn’t expecting!”

Commenting on its coastal location, Jo said “It’s been lovely to live away from the fast pace of life in a busy town. Colchester is only 25 minutes away, and I get can to Chelmsford in less than an hour by car, so I can easily take shopping trips, although the island itself has some lovely boutiques and unique local shops.”

“One thing I love about living on Mersea, is that it is a little island unknown to many, but there’s so much history here! Everyone on the island agrees there’s something indescribable about this hidden gem of Essex, and it’s the perfect place for Bertie and I.”

Sanderling Reach offers a luxury collection of three, four and five-bedroom energy efficient new homes. Individually designed by City & Country’s in-house specialist team, each home is finished to a high specification with many featuring underfloor heating, integrated appliances and Silestone worktops in the kitchen, as well as a whole host of other luxury finishes for which the multi award-winning developer is known.

Currently available at Sanderling Reach are a range of three, four and five-bedroom homes, with prices from £450,000* to £1,105,000. Part Exchange is also available at this development on selected plots.

The Sanderling Reach Sales Suite is open Thursday to Monday from 10am to 5pm.