Family of five escape the rental trap – and enjoy life with more space

A family of five from Shrewsbury are enjoying the benefits of living in their first permanent home – which also has all the space they need.
When Kate and David Onions found out that plans had been approved for 228 new homes at Bellway’s Copthorne Keep development in their hometown of Shrewsbury, the couple quickly decided to make it their goal to find their first home there.
The couple, who have three children – ten-year-old Freddie, seven-year-old Dexter and five-year-old Pippa – used the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme to buy a four-bedroom Elton townhouse at the development.
The family moved into their new home in March, the week the country went into lockdown, and so really appreciated the extra space they had straight away.
Kate, 36, said: “We’re delighted to be on the property ladder, and we now have a room each and enough space for when the kids grow up. When we got the keys, we were ridiculously excited and were jumping around.
“Overall, it’s so nice to finally own a house as we’re able to pay off something which is ours and that we can pass on to our kids. We feel so much more secure having our own place now.”
The family had previously rented different homes in Copthorne, with their final rental place a three-bedroom home just two streets away.
Kate, who works as a Conferencing Service Design Specialist for BT, said: “We knew we wanted to put down our roots in Shrewsbury and invest our money into something more permanent.
“I’d been saving for a house for a while using a saver scheme at work, which meant part of my salary would go towards my deposit for a new home each month. David was working hard to save and had some inheritance as well, so we started looking for a new-build home which would be close to our children’s school.
“As soon as the Copthorne Keep sales centre opened, we headed straight down to check out what was available to us.”
When the couple explored the homes being built at Copthorne Keep, they found out that with Help to Buy they could afford a home which was much bigger than they expected.
Help to Buy offers eligible purchasers of new-build homes an equity loan for up to 20 per cent of the property’s value, which – after a five per cent deposit – typically means a 75 per cent mortgage. The loan is interest-free for the first five years.
Kate said: “We put down a five per cent deposit, and we were able to achieve a much more spacious home than we thought we could. On top of that, the scheme was really straightforward to use.
“We first saw the three-bedroom Cherry house and we would have been happy with that, but when we realised we could afford the four-bedroom Elton I, which is laid out across three storeys, we knew we’d found our perfect home.
“After seeing the houses in person, the site ticked all the boxes for us, and it was clear we could trust in Bellway’s quality of build as the houses had better finishes than those we’d seen with other housebuilders.”
The couple reserved their home off plan and were able to walk by every day on the school run watching it being built. Now they’ve moved in, they love the space they have.
Kate said: “Buying off-plan was a great decision for us as we got to pick out our tiles and fully personalise our home.
“Our home has a real townhouse feel and it all works very well for the family. I also like it being more elevated as it makes it feel spacious. The boys have bedrooms on the middle floor and Pippa has her own room by David and me on the top floor. The kids love that it’s a three-storey home, and they say to their school friends: ‘ours is the big house’!
“I wasn’t into interior design at all before when we were renting, but owning a home has really brought out that side of me and I’ve found myself buying all sorts of accessories like blinds and furnishings to make the place feel even more like home.
“My favourite room is the master bedroom – lots of light is allowed in through the dual-aspect windows and it has a very calming design.
“I’ve been working from home in our new living/dining room hosting BT meetings. It’s turned out to be a really nice space for home working and we feel very lucky that we got to move just in time to spend lockdown in a fresh new home. It’s really cheered the family up and helped us to cope with it.
“Shrewsbury is a very pretty area to spend lockdown in, too. There are all the facilities you need within just a short reach of Copthorne Keep. The town centre of Shrewsbury is a 10-minute walk away from the development, where you can reach the quarry, park and shops. There’s so much history to the area which makes walks so lovely.
“It’s also just an hour’s drive to cities like Birmingham and Chester, yet an hour’s drive to the seaside. David commutes by car to his job as a carer in Telford and the road links suit him perfectly.”
The couple were impressed with the customer service they received from Bellway, especially as their moving-in date coincided with the start of the lockdown.
Kate said: “We have had a smooth journey despite the circumstances. Julie, the sales advisor, was lovely and very reassuring, and was also able to move us in quickly.
“Colin, the site manager, has been wonderful too. When the team at Bellway were allowed back on site, he checked in straight away, and said that he wanted to give us the full service we would have received before the pandemic. We would definitely recommend buying with Bellway.”
Kate’s Instagram page – – has updates on the family’s new home.
For more information on the one, two, three and four-bedroom homes being built at Copthorne Keep, call 01743 403693 or visit