Renting can be perceived as just a temporary housing option, especially to those who have always owned their own home. But not if you rent an apartment with McCarthy & Stone.
Margaret's Retirement Living Story
Margaret Brannan, 70, moved to Milward Place, a Retirement Living development in Redditch earlier this year, after she learned that she could be settled in her new home within just a couple of weeks.
Margaret could rent a one bedroom apartment for 12 months, and if she wanted to move again at the end of this, she could with the minimum of hassle.
“The idea of renting was very appealing”, says Margaret. “It offered the same security as owning my own home because of the assured tenancy, but with the flexibility of knowing I wasn’t tied down.”
Flexibility with Assured Tenancy
An assured tenancy is a long term tenancy with increased protection that means Margaret can stay in her home for as long as she wishes, and leave any time so long as she provides the required two months’ notice, following the initial term.
“For me it was a game changer”, says Margaret who at the time was living with her daughter and her son in-law.
She explains: “After my husband passed away my daughter suggested I move in with her so we could be closer. However they are both away a lot on business so I used to feel quite lonely on my own.
“I was due a change but I was undecided whether I should move to Ireland where I own some land and have some family out there, or stay put. After seeing an advertisement for Milward Place it represented an opportunity to make the move, but use the 12 months renting to decide what was really best for me.”
As it turns out, Margaret’s mind was made up quicker than she ever thought it would be.
Watch our 'Grow Young With Us' video and hear first hand how retiring with McCarthy & Stone has enhanced the lives our our homeowners, including how Margaret Brennan now feels less lonely since moving:
“Renting has allowed me to press the re-set button on my life”, says Margaret. “It’s given me the flexibility to take my time and get used to a new way of living. The truth is I felt at home from the very first moment and I don’t think I’ve looked back since!
“There is such a fantastic community here and everyone has gelled together so well. I feel so secure in my apartment. It gives me peace of mind and I no longer feel lonely as there’s always someone around for a coffee and a chat if you fancy.”
Margaret has plenty of friends in the Redditch area as she’s an active member of her local church as well as attending a seniors group in the town, but has also made many new companions at the development.
“We have sherry and pizza afternoons, coffee mornings, meals out. I really like the fact that if you want to get involved there’s plenty on offer to fill your time, but if you want some privacy or just want to put your feet up, watch the TV and cook in your apartment you can. Because we’re all completely independent and have our own lives to live”, says Margaret.
Spreading the Word
Moving to Milward Place was Margaret’s first ever experience of renting, previously she had always owned her own home.
Margaret says: “I think more older people should rent. At my age it can feel like too much of a burden to get tied up with property again."
"Budgeting each month is easy as it includes service charges and water rates and of course all the maintenance is taken care of. “In fact, I’ve been mentioning it to a lot of my friends, and there is a lady at my church group who is seriously considering it. It makes the retirement lifestyle on offer here something that can be enjoyed by a great many more people, as not everyone is in the financial position to be able to buy, whereas renting is a much more viable option for them.
“They can feel secure and comfortable like me, without having to own.”
Margaret has had many different jobs throughout her life, including managing the canteen at a construction company while they were building Blackenhurst Prison in Redditch.
Margaret says: “I would feed over 1,000 men and women breakfast and lunch. It was good fun and certainly no two days were the same!”
An accomplished business woman she also owned and ran many of her own companies.
Now in her spare time, Margaret supports the St Vincent de Paul Society – raising money and collecting food items for the homeless and those most in need.
“My grandmother had a fantastic saying which I try to live my life by”, says Margaret. “Don’t look down on people, only if you’re helping them up.”
Freedom to Choose
Margaret has decided that she will continue renting her apartment at Milward Place for the foreseeable future, with the comfort that an assured tenancy brings. She also has the peace of mind that if her circumstances should change, after the initial fixed term, she is only required to give two months’ notice.
“My son and daughter are thrilled that I’m doing so well here”, says Margaret. “I’m more independent now than I was living with my daughter as I have people over whenever I like, and I come and go as I please.
“They phone all the time to check in on me.
“I don’t feel my age at all and I’m just excited about all the things I can get involved in now and share with my new friends.”
Milward Place is located in the heart of Redditch, featuring a selection of one and two bedroom apartments, sitting in beautiful landscaped gardens and with a private, gated entrance. Designed in a chic, contemporary style, all residents benefit from a fully fitted kitchen, the latest integrated appliances, and camera entry systems for added security.
Properties start from £159,950 to purchase outright with select apartments available to rent as well as part-buy part-rent options too for those looking to go down the same route as Margaret did.
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