Lockdown House Buying - How a Couple Bought a House from Afghanistan

When Matthew Wilkes and Colleen Mapp from Solihull set their hearts on buying their first dream home together, they were determined not to let anything get in their way. 

“We decided we wanted to buy our first home together around a year ago but didn’t find many properties that we liked in our price range." said Colleen, an aspiring solicitor.


Although they were determined to keep looking, when Matthew was posted to Afghanistan as part of his role with the Armed Forces and a global pandemic forced the UK into lockdown, it seemed like their plans may have to go on hold – that was until they discovered Miller Homes’ Regency Fields development in Solihull. 


With the three-bedroom semi-detached Malvern-style home ticking all of the boxes for them, the couple wanted to move fast to secure the property - the only problem was that Colleen (25) was stuck at home because of lockdown measures and Matthew (23) was in a completely different country. 

a couple in New York


Unable to actually visit the development, Matthew and Colleen decided to go through the whole sales process remotely, guided by development sales manager Hope Insall over Zoom. 

Hope was on hand to show the couple the plans for the property, talk through the Help to Buy scheme, outline the build process and handle all details of reservation using the video conferencing facility. 


Speaking about the experience, Colleen said: 


"When we saw Regency Fields online, we knew it was where we wanted to live. We’re both from Solihull and wanted to stay close to friends and family. 


“The Malvern was everything we were looking for. It seems really spacious and has an open plan kitchen and dining area that opens up onto the garden.


"We like to have people over for dinner, particularly in the summer, so it’s ideal.” 


Matthew added: 


“We had no idea that we were able to do the whole reservations process remotely. 

"It was obviously quite a surreal process as not only were we not at the development, but Colleen and I were not even in the same country!


“The whole thing was perfect for us though. It was such a simple way to work around our situation. Hope shared everything on screen with us, used lots of visual aids and talked us through all the key dates through to completion. 

semi detached house


“Now we’re looking forward to following the build stage, picking the specifications for the interior and, of course, being together again and moving in when the build is complete in December.”


Alastair Parsons, Area Sales Director at Miller Homes in the Midlands, was delighted his team could help Matthew and Colleen secure their dream home despite challenging circumstances: 


“Matthew and Colleen were certainly in a unique situation. They told us their hearts were set on Regency Fields so we did everything we could to help them reserve a home.



“Throughout lockdown, we’ve continued to take online reservations. There’s still a strong desire amongst househunters to make a move. Our own survey of house buyers has shown that 69% are still determined to move to a new home in 2020. 


“Our show homes and sales centres are now open for visits by appointment, however buyers can also reserve a property online in just a few simple steps using our own innovative online reservation system if they prefer.”


For more details on Miller Homes developments across the UK, visit www.millerhomes.co.uk.

We wish Colleen and Matthew congratulations on their first home together!