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Words: Sarah Winstanley
Photography: Courtesy of Croft Estate Agents
Featured in the September 2013 issue

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Born and bred in Grimsby, Julie Atkin knew that when it came to desirable addresses, Humberston Avenue in the nearby village of Humberston was hard to beat.

So when the opportunity arose to buy a building plot with planning permission to create a stunning four-bedroom house on the avenue, she and her husband, Sam jumped at the chance.

Both work at the Oasis Academy Wintringham – Julie as the principal’s PA and Sam as assistant principal – and in 2000 the couple were keen to move closer to work.

At the time, Julie owned a house in New Waltham, near Humberston, and Sam had a property at Orby, near Skegness. They placed both houses on the market and when Julie’s home sold quickly they moved into Sam’s house and made the daily commute to work together.

After registering with several estate agents in an attempt to find their dream home, they received a call to say a plot of land with planning permission had become available.

“We were looking for a ready-made house and hadn’t considered building a property but we looked at the plans and liked what we saw,” said Julie.

The house had been designed by well-known and respected local architect, Ross Davy and the couple immediately fell for the building. With a few small changes to the layout and size of the bedrooms, the house was perfect to accommodate them, along with Julie’s two children, Laura (now 35), who works as a funeral director, and David (30) who is a roofer, and visits from Sam’s children, Edward (34) and Ben (32).

After buying the land in 1999, David and his cousin Mark demolished an old two-roomed bungalow on the site before the builders, Jason Brookes and Phillip Bilbe, got to work, completing the building just seven months later in July 2000. Julie had complete faith in the builders, as Phillip was her brother-in-law from her first marriage.

“It was an exciting time and we have lots of photographs of the building as it went up,” said Julie.

In 2004, the couple decided to extend the house, creating a larger living room and hallway, a utility room, and a new master bedroom with en suite upstairs. They installed a new bathroom at the same time.

Situated down a quiet driveway, at the back of other houses, the deceptively spacious and immaculate house has four double bedrooms with an en suite to the master bedroom, four reception rooms, a private study or fifth bedroom, garaging and gravelled drive providing parking for several vehicles.

The family lounge is particularly impressive and has a central remote-controlled electric fire on a modern hearth, whilst the breakfast kitchen has space for a family-sized, farmhouse style dining table and doors opening onto the sunroom. This light and airy room is Julie’s favourite place in which to spend time and has a vaulted ceiling and panoramic views of the rear garden.

The front garden is laid to lawn and decorated with mature ornamental trees, with a boundary of hedging. The gravelled drive sweeps around the side of the house to the double garage, whilst the back garden is a particular feature of the property, with a patio area with a brick-built barbeque overlooking the lawn and a pagoda arch leading to a secluded garden with views across open countryside. With farmland to the rear, the garden often attracts wildlife such as deer, foxes and squirrels.

Julie designed the garden herself whilst Sam, who is a keen gardener, spent most of his spare time making the plans a reality and creating a sociable space ideal for entertaining. They soon found a circle of friends in the area, including builder Phillip who also lives on Humberston Avenue, and now Julie’s parents Mae and Alf and son David live in nearby New Waltham.

“I have lots of happy memories of our time in this house,” said Julie. “We had a fiftieth birthday party here and several leaving parties for teachers from school. The garden is made for parties and we have often had barbeques or dinner parties for our friends. It’s a lovely setting.”

Now, however, Julie and Sam have decided to sell the property and have put it on the market with a local estate agent. Julie is keen to stay in the local area but has not yet started looking for her next home.

“The house is very peaceful and calm and all my friends say what a lovely feeling it has,” said Julie. “I would love the new owners to be a family with cats or dogs as the house would make a great family home.”

73A Humberston Avenue at Humberston, near Grimsby is on the market with Crofts Estate Agents with an asking price of £445,000. For more information phone the estate agents on (01472) 200666.

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