Moving to a new home during lockdown

Local homeowners didn’t let lockdown stand in the way of moving into their new home. When retirees, Keith and Patricia Hanman, made the decision to downsize from their three-bedroom house in Twickenham to an apartment at McCarthy Stone’s Monument Place development in Salisbury, they didn’t expect to be facing the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic just as they were about to move in to their new home.

Retired PR professional Keith Hanman, 86, explains: “We had been living in a large house in Twickenham for some time, and managing the upkeep of it on our own was becoming difficult due to my wife and I both having some health complications. I am recovering from throat cancer, but thankfully I am now one year into remission, but my wife has mobility problems. After my earlier tiring radiotherapy sessions, I simply didn’t have the energy to keep a house, garden and a car up to its previous standards, so we decided we wanted to move into a low-maintenance home and started looking at retirement apartments, but we were struggling to find one that met all of our needs. 

“A friend of mine from Salisbury suggested we try the McCarthy Stone development on Endless Street. I have always enjoyed the Salisbury area because I used to come here for meetings, so we went to take a look around the show apartments at Monument Place, which definitely fitted the bill for us. The team were really helpful, all the outside maintenance is taken care for you, it’s in a great location with many amenities in walking distance and there’s the Pebbles Bistro on site, too. We had also made the decision to sell our car, so we were really pleased with the Car Club rental scheme available in conjunction with Enterprise so when restrictions are lifted, we can rent a car when we need to, which will be ideal for us. 

“We were due to be the first people to move into Monument Place in April 2020, but then the country went into lockdown, so everything had to be put on hold. It was certainly a challenging time for us as our house was on the market at the time so we had to delay the sale until we could move in. But I was grateful to the team at McCarthy Stone during the lockdown period as they kept in touch and I always knew what was going on. Emily Storer, the Sales Consultant, was particularly helpful. She made sure we would be the first people to move into Monument Place when it was safe to do so, and we eventually picked up the keys in October 2020.

“When we finally managed to move in, the whole process was smooth, and we knew that the McCarthy Stone team were on hand should we need their assistance. Emily and Katrina Andrews, McCarthy Stone Sales Consultant, also gave us a welcome hamper with some bubbly and chocolates, which was a lovely gesture.” 

Of course, since Keith and Patricia, 87, moved into Monument Place, life has been different to what they expected, and the couple have had to adapt to the various lockdown restrictions. Luckily, Lynn Dixon, Estate Manager at Monument Place, and the team have been on hand to help them get through this. 

Keith says: “The team here have been very helpful, even though they’ve been limited in what they can do for us. Lynn has been really attentive ever since we first moved in and is always there to assist where necessary. We are also grateful for the Pebbles Bistro and the kitchen team. Whilst we’ve been unable to go down to the restaurant, they will bring our plates up to the room so we can still enjoy them in our apartments, and this has proven to be invaluable to us. 

“We were also really appreciative of the effort they put in to give us a nice Christmas too. On Christmas Eve, they came round and gave everyone mulled wine and mince pies, and the kitchen staff truly pulled out all the stops for our lunch on Christmas Day – we had a prawn cocktail starter, turkey with all the trimmings (and more!), a Christmas pudding and a glass of wine – it was lovely.”

Nicki Beswarick, Divisional Marketing Manager for McCarthy Stone Southern, comments: “Our highest priority at McCarthy Stone is always the safety and wellbeing of our homeowners, so, first and foremost, we wanted to make sure everyone at Monument Place felt safe and supported.

“We’re really pleased Keith and Patricia are happy with their new home despite the challenges they have faced. Through uncertain times, our homeowners and staff have shown just how resilient and strong they are, and never lost faith. We’re all really proud of everyone at Monument place.”

Keith adds: “We have a great apartment that has a lovely view of the Salisbury Cathedral steeple, so we’re really pleased we were able to move in when we did, despite what’s going on in the world. We’re lucky to have a large garden here laid out with walkways, garden seats, trees and decorative bushes, so we have been able to have some socially distanced catch ups with other homeowners, but we’re looking forward to more people moving into the development so we can start getting involved in some social activities - as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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