CASE STUDY – LAURENCE & JILLIAN GREEN
It’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities in life as a result of the pandemic and there is a rise in those aged 56-64 who are taking an early retirement due to Covid*. One couple, Laurence Green, 63 and his wife Jillian, 61, decided to bring their retirement plans forward for this reason, following a relocation to a four bedroom detached home at Martin Grant Homes’ The Ridings development in Upper Caldecote, Bedfordshire, at the start of the year
Laurence and Jillian were living in a four bedroom house in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, but were getting empty nest syndrome now that all their children had moved out. After their daughter moved to Sandy in Bedfordshire, three years ago, the couple had been looking for houses in the area sporadically ever since. A combination of reflection during the pandemic and the Stamp Duty holiday sped up their decision to make the move – and take early retirement.
Laurence said, “We had lived in Borehamwood for 20 years but after the children moved out, we knew that we wanted to move away from the capital and into the countryside. Since our daughter moved to Sandy, we had gone back and forth about making the move, as you can get a lot more for your money in the Bedfordshire area. As soon as the Stamp Duty holiday was announced, we just decided to go for it.
“We originally planned to downsize into a three bedroom house but couldn’t find anything that ticked our boxes – two parking spaces, a garage and a big kitchen. In the end we went for a four bedroom home at The Ridings that we were able to buy outright thanks to the sale of our previous house. The best bit is that we have even managed to ‘upsize’ and now have an extra 200+ sq ft of living space – as well as being mortgage free!”
After moving into their new home at the start of January 2021, Laurence and Jillian decided to make another big decision.
“We looked around at our new home and the surrounding countryside and just thought, why don’t we retire now,” adds Laurence. “We hadn’t planned on retiring this early, but the past year has given us a lot of time to reflect on what is important to us, and there is no point in being the richest man in the graveyard!”
“The stamp duty exemption has been a catalyst in driving buyers to make their move, but we can’t ignore the long-term impact of the pandemic on our decision making. We anticipate this momentum to bite the bullet and movers will continue, particularly given the recent stamp duty holiday extension.”
The Ridings is located in the rural village of Upper Caldecote, with open meadows surrounding the development and playing fields and local shops within walking distance. For Laurence and Jillian, the appeal of their new home was the countryside location.
“It’s such a different lifestyle compared to what we’re used to,” says Laurence. “We always used to watch Escape to the Country and talk about how that would one day be us – and now we’ve done it. We’re so happy here and can’t wait for restrictions to ease so we can really make the most of our new surroundings and spend time with family.”
The Ridings is now sold out, but Martin Grant Homes’ Buckton Fields development in nearby Northampton offers a close alternative, with a well-established community set amongst open parkland.
Prices at Buckton Fields start from £385,000 for a four bedroom detached home with a dedicated study and garage. To find out more about Buckton Fields or the new homes available through Martin Grant Homes, visit martingranthomes.co.uk or call 01604 438231