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A Q&A with Harbourwood Homes

History in the making
It all started with an idea. Owners ‘Steve Courtney’ and Dean Gaffikin had shown an aptitude for the construction industry from a young age. Having both attended the same engineering apprenticeship at a local college, it was destined that the two would go onto great things together. After studying they each set up their own respective companies. Steve a successful carpentry business, and Dean an equally successful plumbing firm. But fate brought them back together, after they were both brought in on the same job one summer. After many conversations Dean and Steve set up Harbourwood Homes and quickly undertook their
first development.

Two years later, we’re here with Dean Gaffikin talking about their incredibly exciting business and what makes them so unique.

Q: You both come from a trade background, that’s quite rare within the development world…
Absolutely. I ran a plumbing business for 7 years. That experience – as well as Steve’s within his own carpentry business – has authenticated our approach to development. Having that inside knowledge allows us to shape projects more efficiently and get it right the first time.

Q: What excites you about the development industry?
I really enjoy seeing a project go from nothing to this amazing finished product and I love to help landowners. The way we work, everyone wins. They get a premium for their land, and we get a site to develop, and furthermore more property for
the community.

Of course it’s always nice to get permission granted too.  It’s really a testament to our team’s skill and attention to detail, when submitting planning and we often get the desired results first time.

Q: What are your priorities when it comes to a project?
Aside from planning, it has to be design. We’ve just started working with our neighbours over at Anders Roberts Cheer architects, because design is so important to us. We don’t want to just churn out ‘box houses’, so we work with the best in the business to make exciting and unique properties.

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ABOVE: The Salts is an exclusive development of two luxury four bed detached houses situated in a unique part of Hordle village. For more information contact: Mitchells Estate Agents on 01425 616411 or Hayward Fox on 01425 638656

Q: Are you working to address any of the current issues in today’s property market?
We don’t have a target audience as such. Though a pattern that seems to be emerging is a need for homes for young working families. Many of the late baby boomers were left out of the property race, leaving many of them still in rented accommodation, for lack of suitable available property. We’ve also noticed a real rise in the retired community selling their land and buying new property. A lot of people have worked hard all their life and aspire to live in something shiny and new. Ultimately, we are open to
all opportunities.

Q: What benefits would you offer to someone for selling his or her land to you?
We are incredibly open. There is a kind of grey cloud surrounding developers – with this idea that we’re all a bit devious, but we like to be honest and as transparent as possible. Where we are a small business, without huge overheads, we can generally offer that little more and with our existing backlog of tradesman from our other businesses, we don’t have to contract any work out to
a third party.

Q: …and likewise for investors?
We are able to significantly reduce build costs while maintaining quality, due to our previous experience and contacts, in turn making more profit and a greater return for the investor. Again, we are totally transparent, so what we say will happen will happen – nothing is hidden. We regularly meet with our investors, so that everyone is kept in the loop regarding progress on site.

We are an expanding company so there are always new opportunities arising, with new planning applications being submitted all the time.

With sites in up and coming areas including Hordle and Ferndown, Harbourwood Homes are blazing a trail with their trustworthy and dedicated approach to property development. If Dean’s engaging interview has grabbed your attention then send your queries over to dean.gaffikin@harbourwoodhomes.co.uk or give them a call on: 07590 983276.

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