Donnie & Una Macdonald • Knockomie Meadows, Forres
We were moving away from Lochinver because we felt a change was necessary for us and we needed to get nearer civilisation from the point of view that we're not spring chickens, we need Raigmore, Dr Grays, those are the local hospitals, so we need that type of facility. We needed better access because Lochinver is remote. If you take it that we did a monthly shop and that would be a 200 mile round trip, Lochinver to Inverness. Ullapool served a degree of purpose and Lochinver has its own wee store but really, at the end of the day, you bulk buy and that is it.
We didn't want to go down to Glasgow, we wanted to stay up here and it was just the case that we went round looking at houses, starting with Elgin. Then we noticed Springfield had their houses cropping up and we thought "hmm…they're quite impressive." So we got in touch with sales advisor Cisca Cameron at the office, who's a very dear friend to us now to be quite honest, and she arranged to meet us in Elgin where we looked at a couple of houses. We'd been looking up a few different development and got talking to Cisca who mentioned this one in Forres and so we thought "right, let's go take a look."
We'd travelled through Forres on many occasions and we'd enjoyed the decor of the place, it has an old-worldy feel and has lots of what I call castles, magnificent houses… and at the same time, the gardeners here, or amateur gardeners as we've discovered, are fantastic.
The town itself was a draw for us and when Cisca brought us here… we had a look at the show house and we thought "gosh, your workmanship's good". And then she brought us down to this one which was a stock plot. As we walked through the doorway into the hall, it was a beautiful sunny day and light was pouring into the hallway. The house was just as it was, there was nothing in it, just the bare bones. the whole house was filled with sunlight and we though, "good God, This is it"! It was one of those houses you just stood at the door and you felt a good aura about the place. That was what really made our decision, that this house was basically standing here, we were looking to move, we like Forres, we thoroughly enjoyed Cisca's company and she was extremely helpful and I've got to say, never at any time was she pushy. She gave us a chance to think about it and go round other places but this house kept drawing us back.
We might have taken something… call it secondhand… but we saw so many new houses being built we thought we should consider those. We're not bad at painting and decorating, plumping, wiring… we've done the lot but we just felt there had come a time where we'd had enough and just wanted, if possible, to walk into a new build and really not have to do anything. When we walk in this front door we really felt like we needn't look any further. The magic was there and the magic has remained. We're delighted with the whole set up. And the fact we've got the nice wee "village green", as we call it, right outside with the play park, that's just the icing on the cake for us.
From what we've gathered, with this being what they call a stock plot, sales manager Joyce Napier and Cisca both vamped the house out in their style and their style suits us down to the ground. Everything was spot on, more than acceptable. Very tastefully done including the style of tiling in the bathroom. They both have excellent taste and seem to really know their customers.
We've had nice houses and we knew what to do with them but suddenly we were moving in somewhere that we didn't have to do anything. We left a three storey house in Lochinver and there were quite a few bedrooms in it. We were downsizing but we've got four bedrooms in this house which is too big for the two of us but the family come up and down and because we've got the room they come up and down all the more often.
Our experience of after sales has only really been with minor teething troubles which in most cases have been put right within 24 hours. Again we really have to look at the staff Springfield have. Ann Wojcik in the Elgin office is absolutely superb. And we've had dealings with Andy Vass, who is an after sale supervisor, and indeed all the workmen who have come to the house ... they've been more than polite. And when we got here we were very fortunate. There was smashing site foreman here, Parkus, that was what everyone lovingly called him. He certainly knew his stuff. And Springfield has good contact with good contractual labour and they have good workmen. We feel we had minute snagging compared to what you'd get in some places.
We've one or two friends here now and they are more than satisfied with what they've got. They've had one or two wee snagging things but you can't avoid that in the building industry because of the time you build, shrinkages, drying out … all that kind of stuff. We were very fortunate as the house we have was up for about six months before we got it so I think anything that was needing done was checked out and done before we were in. We literally just got the flooring ordered and put down and brought in the furniture.
We're very, very happy here.