They say that “home is where the heart is”. But for Milton Keynes local Angie Connolly, home is now where the Haart is, as she has just moved into Haart & Hillcrest Homes’ ﬁrst new-build development.
The new company has been founded by business partners Neal Butler and Joe Connolly, and is the culmination of many years work in the property industry. If you think the names sound familiar, that’s due to Neal and Joe being very familiar faces to the property market in and around Milton Keynes, as the directors of Thomas Connolly Estate Agents in The Hub. “Property is what we do, and there is such a market for new-build homes in this area, so we were excited to diversify our business interests in this way,” says Neal.
So, how do you go from Estate Agents to Property Developers overnight? This is where business partner Jason’s involvement comes in! With over 25 years in the building industry, and a deep knowledge of the speciﬁcs of building in this area, he seemed like the perfect ﬁt for this new business venture. “Jason’s been building houses for over 25 years, so it was a no brainer for us really,” says Joe. “He builds houses in his sleep, and I can’t think of a better guy to be part of our new team.” The idea behind Haart & Hillcrest Homes is to maximise on the potential that this area of the world has to offer, creating bespoke developments, that utilise surplus land in the area. “You might look out of your window and see a big or unmanageable garden,” says Neal, “but we see a chance for you to free up some capital, whilst allowing us the opportunity to continue to improve the housing market in the area.”
But it isn’t simply a deep personal investment in the area that is driving this new business. For the family-orientated business men, they pride themselves on involving their nearest and dearest in their entrepreneurial successes; and what better way to do that, than for Joe’s mum Angie to be Haart & Hillcrest Homes’ ﬁrst buyer. “ I wasn’t at all surprised when Joe told me about this new venture,” Angie tells us. “Joe was always a whizz at Monopoly when he was growing up. I was just so happy to be in a position to buy the ﬁrst house that his new business has built.” But familial ties can’t be the only draw when making the decision to buy a house, the business model must also be right to make you part with you money. And this is where the concept of bespoke, smaller-scale developments becomes such a big selling point, when compared with other new-build opportunities. From layout to ﬂoor tiles, kitchen units to fencing, Angie has been involved in the project from the ground upwards. “When I ﬁrst saw the plans, I was drawn in by the symmetry of the house, and loved the dual aspect presentation. And the ﬁnished product is so much more than I could ever have imagined.”
So why choose Haart & Hillcrest Homes? “Doing the developments this way means that we can line up buyers for speciﬁc plots, and build the houses to suit their needs,” says Jason. “They can have as much or as little involvement in the process as they want.” So as these developments take shape, Haart & Hillcrest Homes will continue to grow from strength to strength. And for these business partners, the future looks exciting. Coming from their various backgrounds in the property industry, and committed to the development of Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas, they look forward to playing their part in the promotion of the property market in this area. And so, as Neal and Joe negotiate the deals, and Jason builds the houses, Haart & Hillcrest will build homes.