Medical student helps family find dream home in Houghton Regis

  • Having lived with her parents in rented accommodation in London for more than a decade, medical student Astha Patel went looking for a home the family could call their own.

Her parents Tushar and Dipika both work night shifts so never had time for house-hunting, but the 21-year-old was determined to help them all move out of the rented two-bedroom back-to-back in Stanmore where they lived at the time.

After extending her search beyond the fringes of London, she found Bellway at Linmere, in the Bedfordshire town of Houghton Regis, where the family was able buy a three-bedroom house. They moved into their new home in December 2021 and are thrilled with the space and peace they can now enjoy.

Astha said: “Buying our own home is an amazing achievement, especially as we have worked so hard to get here. I feel a real sense of accomplishment.

“The development and the house is great! I chose the Tailor house type because of its layout. I love the kitchen and dining area – it’s open-plan and spacious and has a really nice feel to it.

“It is a huge difference to the property we previously lived in, where we were really struggling. It wasn’t a nice environment. I used to cry in my room about it, which is why I decided to do something about it.

“The day we got our keys was like a dream come true. Sometimes even now it doesn’t feel real – it’s amazing.”

The Patels moved to the UK from India in 2009 and had rented in London since then. Dad Tushar works as a DHL warehouse operative while mum Dipika is a health care assistant and they both now commute into London from Houghton Regis for their jobs.

Astha is currently studying medicine online and will soon be moving abroad to finish her studies.

Astha Patel (21), with parents Tushar and Dipika at their brand new Bellway home at Linmere, purchased via the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme, which is ending in March 2023

The family had saved up a £69,000 deposit and as first-time buyers, were able to use the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, which meant they could take advantage of a 20 per cent equity loan, interest-free for the first five years, towards the £320,000 purchase price of their new home.

Astha said, “We had been saving and planning for many years and we had Bellway on our radar for a long time.

“Our budget was tight, so we had to keep extending our search radius outside of London until we came across Bedfordshire. The first development we found that we loved was Bellway’s Brambleside, but that was slightly out of our price range.

“We visited the development and looked at Bellway’s properties and loved them so knew we wanted to live on a similar development.”

Tushar said: “This move was only possible because of my daughter and with the help of Bellway. We used the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, which also allowed us to purchase this property. Everything was easy to understand and ran smoothly, thanks to the help from the Bellway staff members and sales advisors.

“We would really recommend others to use this scheme as it allows you to get a lot more for your money – we were pleasantly surprised by what we were able to buy.”

Help to Buy, which ends in Spring 2023, enables first-time buyers to purchase a new-build home with just a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage – the remaining 20 per cent is provided as a Government-backed equity loan, which is interest-free for five years. The regional price cap for Bedfordshire is £407,400.

Astha said: “We worked really closely with Deborah, as she was the sales advisor at both Brambleside and at Bellway at Linmere, so it was amazing to have someone who had been with us throughout the whole process. She has helped us from the start of our journey.

“Deborah went above and beyond and gave us advice that we wouldn’t have otherwise known.”

Tushar said: “The location of this development is beautiful. We have no noise or air pollution here and it is always so nice and quiet – it’s lovely and peaceful.”

Bellway at Linmere, once complete, will feature a collection of one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as three and four-bedroom houses. There is currently a selection of three and four-bedroom properties available to reserve, with prices starting from £377,500.

For more information, visit or call the sales office on 01582 953878.