The new homers

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One couple who choose a new development, for practical reasons, are Helen English and Mark Emberton. Both moved from jobs with Central TV to a production company in London. They put their two-bedroom terrace in Coventry on the market last August, but could not find a buyer. While paying the mortgage on the house they were having to pay rent for a flat in London. The money was leaching away.

They decided to do a Home Exchange Scheme, by which Barratt bought their house for £37,000 and they bought a two-bedroom flat at Tudor Grange in Barnet, north London for £81,995. The Coventry house had cost £41,000, but their mortgage was sufficiently low for them to avoid negative equity.

"I got a few thousand less than I had hoped for," said Helen English, "but I was so glad to get rid of the responsibility. We needed to move to London to further our careers. If we hadn't had the Coventry house we probably would not have bought so soon in London."

The Independent's Rental Section appears on Wednesdays. Call 0171 293 2303 to advertise.