Our new home's got IT all ; Couple swap careers to fulfil dream [Newcastle Journal (England)]
(Newcastle Journal (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ATYNESIDE couple have swapped computers for the property market after their search for a home saw them acquire a building site.
Former IT consultants Trish and Steve Williams, from Tynemouth, were looking for a retirement home on the Northumberland coast when the vacant site caught their eye.
The couple splashed out and have now given up their day jobs to focus on building not only a home for them, but dwellings for six other house-seekers as well.
Steve, 64, and Trish, 56, worked as independent IT consultants, having once been in the employ of British Gas, living on the seafront at Tynemouth from 1999.
For a few years, the couple had been searching the Northumberland coast for their perfect home.
The duo were beginning to give up hope, when in July 2011 they spotted a site for sale on farmland near the coast at North Sunderland.
The couple loved the location, but a number of hurdles stood in their way.
The site was for seven properties when they only wanted one, it had only outline planning permission, the couple were IT consultants not builders and, finally, the investment required was considerably more than they had available.
Undaunted, Trish and Steve decided to turn the project into a new career and to manage the development of seven houses on the site, including one for themselves.
The couple appointed an architect, Tim Brook, and approached George F White Chartered Surveyors in Alnwick, the firm responsible for obtaining the planning permission for the original owners of the land.
The company and Mr Brook have worked closely with the couple in designing the homes at what will become St Cuthbert Close.
The end result is seven serviced self-build plots with full planning permission.
One is reserved for Steve and Trish and another is sold, subject to contract, with the remaining five plots available now, priced at Pounds 120,000 each, via George F White.
The couple, who are living in a caravan at Rothbury while they work on the site, hope to move into their new home in time for Christmas.
Trish said: "We're so excited that St Cuthbert Close is all coming together.
"It's a lovely site with good sized plots and the houses are so spacious and beautifully designed, I want to live in them all!
"We're obviously particularly pleased with our own house and cannot wait to see it come to fruition. "Becoming a site manager certainly wasn't on my wish list of things to do a few years ago.
"But now that I'm here, it's certainly fun."
Richard Garland, a partner at George F White, said: "The position that Steve and Trish found themselves in is not unusual, and there are a great many 'Grand Designers' out there looking to build their own homes.
"They have taken a step beyond the norm in buying a larger site and opening it up to fulfil their dream.
"The way they have handled the situation is admirable."
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