Shared Ownership homes transform lives in TauntonChristine’s son Martin is delighted with the change he’s seen in his mum, 92, since she moved into Kingfisher Court, Taunton in February 2023 thanks to McCarthy Stone’s new Shared Ownership scheme. He says, ‘She’s brightened up. She’s boosted. She’s a people person and she like going down to the restaurant for her lunch and a chat – the food is good too – but the main benefit is mixing with people. She seems a lot healthier. She’s perked up.”
It was a huge move after 63 years in her previous home‘Pocket rocket’ Christine, a sparky, sociable woman in robust health, had lived in her house in Kingswood, Bristol for over 63 years. She was there throughout her married life with her husband Peter and it was where they brought up Martin. But when Peter, a former railway signal man, sadly died nine years ago, the property started to become a burden. Christine says “I had people come and help me with the cleaning but it was hard. We had a big garden, my husband loved the garden, especially fuchsias. He was the gardener but mowing the lawn was too much for me. It’s all much easier now.”
Martin adds, “The house was beginning to get tired, it needed refurbishing and she was finding the house and the garden difficult to manage.” He was keen for his mum to downsize for this reason, but also because he wanted to be able to see her more regularly. He lives in Langport, Somerset, with his wife and adds, “We were driving down to see her every other weekend but the commute was long and getting longer with the bad traffic.”
While it was a huge step, Christine was positive about the idea of moving and they were delighted when they found Kingfisher Court, a Retirement Living PLUS development for the over 70s in Taunton. Christine’s first impressions were also good. “I admit I thought it looked very nice, even though it was still under construction – I had to wear a hard hat! I told all of my friends in Kingswood and one of them has now moved into a McCarthy Stone home in Bristol.” Martin says, ‘It’s very welcoming with plants around the entrance and a friendly community. I like the mix of independence and support on offer. She doesn’t need a care home so it is just right.”
Shared Ownership saves the dayUnfortunately the process wasn’t all plain sailing. The sale of the Kingswood home fell through at a late stage. This caused delays which were very stressful for Christine and her family, but McCarthy Stone Sales Consultant, Kelly Murch worked tirelessly to come up with a solution. Martin says, “Kelly was brilliant really. Helping us through it. Without her we wouldn’t have known about the scheme [Shared Ownership]. It allowed us to accept a lower offer on the house, settle on dates and move more quickly.”
With the help of Shared Ownership, Christine bought her new apartment, which overlooks the garden and new French Boules Court, for 75% of the asking price. Martin describes the application process as ‘straightforward and easy to follow’ and Kelly is proud to be able to offer the scheme to help eligible customers achieve the lifestyle they want, adding “Who wouldn’t want 25% off? I love a bargain!”
Celebrating a happy 92nd birthday in her new homeAs well as going for a pub lunch in Taunton with her son and daughter-in-law, Christine celebrated her 92nd birthday in June 2023 in the shared lounge at Kingfisher Court with her new friends and neighbours, plus a cake that was almost as big as she is and a glass of red wine.
Having previously worked part-time in a well-known high street wine merchants, Christine loves a regular glass of Merlot and says, “The secret to a long life is a glass of wine and exercise. I used to do ballroom dancing and I think that’s why I’m still fit. I still go for a walk every day.”
As well as enjoying regular visits from her family, including two grandsons and a great grandson, she’s made some good friends at Kingfisher Court. She has her daily walks with her close friends, and attends the coffee mornings, weekly chair exercise classes and bingo - which she recently won. She has her hair done weekly in the wellness suite too.
She’s also part of the ‘One o’ clock club’ who go down to lunch in the restaurant together at one pm precisely every day. The club is growing in popularity. Originally there was four of them but now there are 12 regulars who meet up daily to share a table for a meal and a chat. She particularly enjoys fish and chips ‘with lots of ketchup’ on a Friday. She says, “the food is good and there’s no washing up. No bother! I have got peace of mind here – I really like all the staff and feel well looked after.”
Martin says, “It has improved her life – and ours. We can now just pop and see her easily for a couple of hours, take her for lunch. We enjoy our time together more too. Previously she was worried about the house and getting stuff done. She’s happier. Now if she needs anything, it’s provided. She has help with cleaning and her laundry and people keep an eye out for her. We’d recommend McCarthy Stone to anyone in a similar situation. Many of her friends have either moved into a McCarthy Stone development already or are looking to do it soon.”
Find the ideal new home for you – or a family memberIf you’re feeling inspired by the benefits of moving closer to family read our tips on how to have the conversation and everything you need to consider.
McCarthy Stone developments span the UK so you can find beautiful retirement homes near you, all conveniently located in the heart of the local community and with plentiful amenities on the doorstep. With retirement properties to buy, rent, or on offer for shared ownership there are flexible financial options to help people to move in too.
Browse our retirement properties near you now, or if you want to speak to a member of the team get in touch online or call 0800 201 4811.