15th Mar 2018

Her own front door and a new community for Elizabeth Wood

Mrs Elizabeth Wood knew that taking the decision to move from a big house with a large garden would be difficult – particularly when she’d lived there for 35 years with her late husband and their family but, ultimately, it turned out to be the right move.

Mrs Wood’s former home, situated a few miles outside Chipping Norton, was far too big for her to manage on her own. When the children and grand-children were growing up, they needed the space but she knew the time had come to talk to her family about downsizing. She really wanted time to think about this major step so headed to stay with friends in the USA. On her return, she put her house on the market with a local agent – and to her astonishment, they found a buyer within 24 hours.

“I put the house on the market thinking it would be ages before I sold the house and when it sold so quickly, it came as such a surprise!’ comments Mrs Wood. “The estate agents ‘phoned and said there were buyers – and they weren’t in a chain. I was just so shocked, I didn’t know what to do!”

“The estate agents were sending me details for houses and bungalows with gardens but I’ve been gardening for 60 years now and when I thought about whether I wanted another garden, the answer was a resounding no!” continues Mrs Wood. “I have friends who live at Beechcroft’s Penhurst Gardens in Chipping Norton who recommended the development and urged me to take a look.”

Penhurst Gardens is an award-winning retirement development of new two and three-bedroom houses and apartments, created on the site of the former Penhurst School in Chipping Norton. The development is set in landscaped, fully maintained gardens and owners are able to take advantage of a menu of services offered by a neighbouring care home from daily hot meals to hairdressing – and are able to join the regular social events.

Forming part of Penhurst Gardens is Buchanan House, a building formerly used by the school, originally constructed as a pair of Victorian villas and now converted into 11 one, two and three-bedroom houses and apartments.

“When I visited Penhurst Gardens, one of the newly built apartments was for sale but I really wanted my own front door and the very helpful sales consultant showed me the converted apartments in Buchanan House. I chose one with its own front door and two bedrooms.”

“It was important to get my family involved in the decision making and my children and grandchildren came to view the apartment – everyone liked it immensely and the younger ones started planning when they could come and stay.”

“I can’t say that moving was easy. I had so many memories tied up with my former home and there are certain things I just couldn’t get rid of – I insisted on bringing my late husband’s desk and chair. I couldn’t throw anything away – I needed to sort through everything first. The day before the removals company packed up the boxes, I thought ‘I just can’t do this’ – but when they finally packed up, it was fine and I knew that I couldn’t go back on my decision.”

“My family has helped me such a lot. My friends who live at Penhurst Gardens have also been very helpful and have lent a hand with practical things such as hanging pictures. We have a very good community here – there are coffee mornings where you can meet people. Everybody speaks to you when you’re going out – and if you want to have a longer chat, you can. I am able to walk into town. Everyone is ready to help and I’m keen to give help in return when I can. “

“I am settling in nicely now. People have said that even my voice is different and that I am looking well. Everybody who has been through the same process tells me that I will be all right and that I’ve made the right move. Once I get everything sorted and out of boxes, it will be lovely.”

“When I see the gardener working outside, I think ‘thank goodness I haven’t got to do that!’ I know a lot of people here – and it has been a good move for me.”

A two-bedroom, second floor apartment provides the final opportunity to buy at Penhurst Gardens and it is on sale at £325,000 so anyone keen to join this community of like-minded people over the age of 55 at Penhurst Gardens should contact the sales team on 01608-641147 or visit the website at www.beechcroft.co.uk.

Beechcroft retirement developments

Beechcroft is a leading UK retirement developer building outstanding homes for the over 55s in Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Middlesex, Gloucester and Kent. Beechcroft’s retirement houses and apartments offer award-winning landscaped settings and estate management services, access to shops and services and a community of like-minded people.

This is independent retirement living at its best - perfect retirement properties for the over 55’s to live in or lock up and leave.