As anyone lucky enough to have secured a home at Meadow Lea in Nairn knows – you have to move fast.
The last two homes at the popular Springfield Properties development have now been snapped up after the final phase of 86 properties went on sale in 2019.
It’s not the first time buyers have raced to get their hands on a home at Meadow Lea.
In 2014 and in 2016, buyers camped out overnight in the Highland town to reserve their dream home – before they were built.
This week the P&J caught up with the “Findhorn Five”, a group of families who moved fast in 2016 to reserve homes in phase two of the development.
Jacqueline Robinson, 38, said: “Findhorn Street has the most amazing spirit!
“We’ve all bonded throughout the five years and made lovely friendships.
“When I found out people were talking about camping out, I couldn’t believe I was going to have to do the same if I wanted to get the house type I liked.
“Everyone who queued was chatting away trying to suss out what house type we were trying to reserve.
“It was good banter camping out in our cars and getting to know our potential new neighbours.
“We’ve been in the house over five years and we still love it. Made lots of memories in it so far, getting engaged, married and having our two kids.
“It’s a really friendly neighbourhood with lots of families. The location is really good as it’s so close to the East Beach.”
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The friendships forged in the queue all those years ago have stood the test of time and Jacqueline admitted their street is known locally as the “party street”.
“Apart from 2020, we usually have a Christmas night out and we spend Christmas Eve at Chris and Danni’s house where she makes her famous pulled pork baps,” said Jacqueline.
“We’re always arranging birthday parties for the wee ones and the kids have grown close as well. It’s lovely to watch their friendships blossom.”
Lacey MacDonald, 40, describes Meadow Lea as “a special place to live”.
She said: “My husband James camped out for us in our car. He was there from 8.30am.
“When I visited him after work he was in good company and we had already met our potential neighbours.
“It was such a good atmosphere and had a great buzz and to be honest I didn’t want to go home.
“Springfield kindly gifted us bacon rolls from Ashers the next morning as we waited for the doors to open.
“We love our house, street and neighbours. It was quite a big hype and we probably didn’t need to camp out but that’s how much we wanted the house.”
Jan Rogan, 33, said: “We had our heart set on a certain plot so were keen to camp out to secure our spot. It was good fun at the time and everyone was in high spirits.
“Throughout lockdown we tried to keep spirits up by having socially distanced events within the street.”
Carol-Ann MacKillop and Danni McLeod didn’t camp out to secure their homes, but jumped at the first chance.
Carol-Ann, 45, said: “Ours wasn’t available until the October but we reserved it as soon as it became available.
“I can’t believe it has been five years, a lot has happened, having our little girl being one of them but we also got married too, so it is a proper family home.
“We really wanted a new house and Meadow Lea/Lochloy was the perfect location. Springfield houses are more spacious than other new-builds we checked out.
“We have a street forum, which the majority of us chat on… from if we need to borrow a lawnmower to putting the bin out if we are not around.”
We are so glad we decided to move into the street. We have made friends for life with our neighbours and have made some amazing memories for our kids.”
Danni McLeod, 43, reserved a three-bedroom “Huntly” house that weekend.
She said: “We absolutely love our home. It’s a friendly neighbourhood with easy access to woodlands and beach.”
As for the community spirit among the Findhorn Five, she said: “We have always been connected, especially following the birth of the babies.
“I have great friendships with the rest, especially across the road. Our children go to school together.
“We help each other out, look after kids, pop to the shops for each other.
“We are so glad we decided to move into the street. We have made friends for life with our neighbours and have made some amazing memories for our kids.”