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Shared Ownership helps senior couple buy dream home

Older Persons Shared Ownership saved the day when Norman and Moya wanted to move to a new McCarthy Stone retirement apartment in Whitley Bay.

Happy Retirement at Elderton Place
Property advice
Posted 12 February 2024
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Older Persons Shared Ownership is proving popular with McCarthy Stone homeowners

Among those who have benefitted are Norman and Moya, aged 88 and 87, who moved to Elderton Place, an assisted living community for the over 70s in Whitley Bay, in June 2023. The couple had previously lived in a bungalow in the area for almost four decades, but the responsibility of maintaining it had become too much of a burden.

“We reached a point where it needed a lot of work doing to it, and the time and cost involved was too much for us. Our children became concerned for our long-term health,” says Moya a retired Civil Servant.

“We decided to look for somewhere with fewer responsibilities, where we could access professional care and support if we needed it.”

However, when they had their bungalow valued, they were disappointed to find they didn’t have the equity they needed to move.

Norman comments, “We hadn’t really considered Shared Ownership before, but the more we looked into it, the more attractive it became."

How Shared Ownership homes can help

The government-backed scheme, which is available at many McCarthy Stone communities nationwide, is called Older Persons Shared Ownership (OPSO). It helps people to downsize by reducing the upfront cost of a new retirement property. For example, under the new scheme, you could purchase a 50% share of a one-bedroom apartment at Elderton Court from £115,000, with a monthly rent of £264*. And if you purchase 75%, there’s no rent to pay.

“The best bit,” says Norman, a retired engineer, “is that when you purchase at the maximum 75%, there is no rent to pay on the remaining share, which made this very attractive indeed, as it allowed us to keep our monthly costs manageable.

“Had it not been for OPSO and for McCarthy Stone, our options would have been significantly less, and I think this may have deterred us from moving altogether leaving us stuck in a property we were becoming fed up with, and which was having a negative impact on our wellbeing."

“It’s been a great ‘half-way house’ for us. It’s allowed us to retain home ownership as well as providing access to a range of services we didn’t have in our previous home, something that has given our family great peace of mind. We were also keen not to have to sacrifice a second bedroom as part of the move, something we thought was going to be out of reach of our budget.”

Their Shared Ownership home has plenty of room for hobbies

“OPSO meant we didn’t have to compromise—we now use the spare bedroom for our hobbies, meaning I can knit until my heart’s content and my husband has somewhere safe to keep his model railway sets,” Moya explains.

“I’m also part of the ‘Knit & Natter’ group here —although to be honest, I’m far better at the ‘natter’ part than I am the knitting! What I love most is being able to get to know the other homeowners while doing something I enjoy.”

With a wealth of social activities on offer, including exercise classes and themed lunches, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the community and companionship that sits at the heart of Elderton Place.

Norman adds, “There’s never a dull moment here. Moya and I especially enjoy the homeowner coffee mornings. The men get stuck into discussing the football, while the ladies put the world to rights."

“We’re living a better social life now than we ever did before we retired, it’s great!”

When he’s not catching up with neighbours over a brew, Norman can usually be found with his impressive model railway sets.

“When we lived at the bungalow, I’d store them in the garage”, he says. “Although it was hard to say goodbye to some of them, I’ve kept two of my prized miniature ones on display in the apartment, and I take great pride and joy in these.”

Moya is keen to spread the word

Moya says: “Living at a McCarthy Stone development is much more affordable than most people realise. Some of our old neighbours have been to visit and are now looking to move here too, having witnessed the vibrant lifestyle on offer.

“It really is the best of both worlds. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the social aspects, but you can also enjoy the privacy of your own home. Moving to Elderton Place has made a world of difference to our retirement. It’s such a relief not having to manage a larger home, and knowing the finances are taken care of.”

Louise Flynn, Marketing Manager at McCarthy Stone, adds, “Being able to buy a percentage share of a McCarthy Stone apartment can be a great option for those looking to enjoy the benefits of Retirement Living, with the added benefit of on-site care provision.

“From a shared sense of belonging, to accessing a range of facilities and amenities that help to make life that little bit easier, getting more from your retirement is now possible thanks to Older Person’s Shared Ownership.”

Find your own Shared Ownership Retirement Living PLUS home

If, like Moya and Norman, you’re looking for a mix of traditional residential care and independent living, then a Retirement Living PLUS apartment could be perfect. A spacious communal lounge sits at the heart of day-to-day life, while an on-site bistro serving delicious, freshly prepared meals every day is a great alternative to cooking.

For those who require a little extra help, an experienced team is on hand day and night to oversee the running of the development and to provide tailored support packages to suit individual needs. A 24/7 emergency call system and camera entry system also provide added peace of mind.

If this sounds good, give our friendly team a call on 0800 201 4811 or contact us online for more information.


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