Despite London Weighting it can be an expensive business living in central London when a member of the Met Police so when you are house hunting it is essential to locate a home with good transport facilities that offers value for money and is a good area in which to live. The answer is Ashford in Kent.

The largest borough in Kent, Ashford has a fast growing population which has more than trebled in the last 40 years to around 112,000 residents.

Designated by the Government as a growth area, a £2.5 billion investment programme is under way to provide 31,000 new homes and 28,000 jobs by 2031.

This rapid growth and investment has turned Ashford into one of the UK's most prosperous areas with new businesses, leisure opportunities, retail developments and first class transport links with quality new housing.

According to the Government, the quality of life has been rated by MORI as among the best in Kent whilst council tax is the lowest.

The borough has excellent schools, picturesque towns and villages, wonderful open countryside and major towns such as Maidstone and Canterbury within easy reach. Ashford itself offers a superb range of shops with everything from Rymans and Smiths to Mothercare, Next, Dorothy Perkins, and Marks and Spencer. There are several supermarkets including Tesco and Asda. The town also boasts cinemas including Cineworld Ashford Multiplex, plus hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs. Ashford is an exciting and lively town centre.

If that is not enough to entice a Met Police Officer to consider Ashford maybe the following will.

Ashford has an International Rail Station, Eurostar, providing, now that the High Speed Train is in operation, a link to St Pancras in 37 minutes. (It also provides a gateway to Europe).

Housebuilder, Hillreed Homes has seen a steady rise in the rate of sales in Ashford because the borough's good value property prices. The region has always attracted buyers from South London but this is expected to increase as more people become aware of the new fast links to London.

"Jo Richards, Marketing and Corporate Manager at Hillreed Homes says," Ashford's fast commute to London makes it an appealing place to live with prices for an average, brand new, three bedroom semi being around £174,950 and around £150,000 for second hand. In other parts of Kent you could expect to pay £270,000 for an average three bedroom semi new, and say, £250,000 for second hand. In Horsham, a typical commuter belt community, you would pay around £295,000 for a new three bedroom semi and around £275,000 for second hand."

Immediately the benefits of buying in an up and coming area, that is just now fully realising the benefits of the high speed train, makes a purchase also a good investment for the future.

A recent report from The London and Continental Railways, states that fast rail services into London could stimulate demand for property in Ashford pushing up house prices by as much as £12,800.

Continued Jo, "This prospect, is already luring buyers. It is also encouraging more businesses to locate making it a destination of choice. All of which ensures that a home owner can enjoy a quality of life, an investment and the knowledge that commuting is easy".

Ashford is also within easy access of the M20 (J9) providing excellent road access to M20/M25/M2. With superb shopping in Maidstone, Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells easily reached and the coast at Folkestone, Dover, and Hythe being but a fairly short drive, this whole region has much to offer.

So, considering the benefits of affordability, easy commuting, central to major shopping towns and open countryside plus good train and road links a Met officer should perhaps consider Ashford as the place to buy a home for now and the future.

So what is currently available?

In the latest phase at Hillreed Homes' flag ship development, Highland Park off Tithe Barn Lane, Ashford the company is marketing some excellent value for money homes.

The "Farningham" is a handsome and very spacious 1018 sq feet house with a Georgian appearance and offers three bedrooms and a garage.

For this price you get a ground floor integral garage with very useful workshop at the rear plus access to the hall, wc and utility room. On the first floor, (ground floor at the rear) there is a lounge plus open plan kitchen/breakfast room with direct access to the garden. On the next floor there are three bedrooms and a bathroom. You get all this for £174,950. The Show house is on the market at £185,000 and includes carpets, curtains and light fittings.

There is a "Pluckley" three bedroom detached, cottage style home, with attached garage for £209,950.

Other three bedroom homes range from £191,950 to £229,950.

Highland Park has been designed to capture the very best of Kentish Village Designs and there are exciting street scenes, a sense of place and traffic calmed streets, home zones, beautiful landscaping and play areas. Local shops and amenities together with a bus service are within walking distance.

Hillreed Homes offer a whole host of incentives to help buyers move whether it is securing a mortgage or selling their own home.

For full information on prices, availability, room sizes and incentives look at

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