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Case Study Property


Dickens Gate

New research has revealed that retiring in London costs nearly twice as much as in Britain’s cheapest hotspots, with retirees able to save £200,000 by moving to a less expensive location*. Lianne Price, 67, and her husband Bob,70, decided to downsize and head for the Kentish countryside, where they could get more for their money. They purchased a spacious four bedroom detached home at David Wilson Homes’ Dickens Gate development in Staplehurst, Kent

Lianne and Bob were previously living in a large five bedroom detached house in Croydon, where they had been for 24 years and raised their two sons. After their sons flew the nest, the last in 2017, the couple began to think about downsizing to a new property that would be less maintenance. They decided to make the move to Staplehurst earlier this year after their youngest son suggested the village, and haven’t looked back.

Lianne comments, “I was born in Croydon and lived there my whole life, but it was time for a change. We felt like we were rattling around in our family home and knew we needed to downsize to make life more manageable as we get older. One of our sons found out about Staplehurst and suggested we visit – and we fell in love instantly. It’s the total opposite of Croydon but we love the village feel both within Staplehurst and the development itself.

“The process of moving was an absolute whirlwind, in part because of the crazy property market that we have seen over the past year. Our old house was under offer by a cash buyer within six days of it being on the market – and in less than three months we were moved into Dickens Gate! We are now mortgage free and have put the extra cash into savings to help fund our retirement.”

Lianne and Bob aren’t alone in their decision to relocate this year – with three million over-50s planning to relocate as a direct result of the pandemic, swapping cities for rural retirement settings**. Destinations on the coast and areas of outstanding natural beauty have been the most popular, according to a survey from Legal & General.

Lianne and Bob purchased a four bedroom Holden house type, a spacious home set across two floors. The layout is perfectly suited for flexible living, with a large open-plan kitchen/dining area and utility room, cosy but spacious lounge, and separate study. Upstairs, there are three double bedrooms with an en suite to the main bedroom, a family bathroom and a fourth single bedroom.

“The kitchen/dining area is the centre of our lives since moving here. There is so much space and it’s been fantastic to see family and spend time here each day. The view out on to the garden is pleasant and there is so much natural light. At night, we love looking up at the dark sky and gazing at the stars.”

Dickens Gate boasts a number of open spaces and retained wildlife areas, and once complete will include allotments and a play area. “We love the outdoor space within the development, and are looking forward to enjoying all of the spaces once the site is fully complete in a few years,” adds Lianne.

Since moving in earlier this summer, Lianne and Bob have enjoyed exploring the countryside and coast that Kent has to offer. “We have our bus passes and have used these to travel to Maidstone for a day out. We are also National Trust members, and there are so many sites within Kent for us to visit,” says Lianne. “The coast is very accessible too, and we took our grandson down to Rye in East Sussex for a day at the seaside which was lovely in the sunshine.” 

Dickens Gate is set in Staplehurst, Kent, with the village itself boasting a number of local amenities, including a local convenience store, shops, local pub, small library, butchers, international cuisine, and a medical centre, and a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Lianne adds, “Staplehurst and the surrounding areas have everything we need. There are some lovely farm shops nearby and we also intend to take a look around the garden centres locally so we can get to work in our garden.”

The development is a 15-minute walk from Staplehurst railway station, where London Bridge can be reached in less than an hour. Maidstone is around 25 minutes away by car via the A229, whilst Tonbridge is around half an hour away via the A229 and A21.

Currently available at Dickens Gate is a collection of three and four bedroom homes. Prices start from £384,995 for a three bedroom semi-detached family home.

To find out more about Dickens Gate, or to book an appointment, visit dwh.co.uk or call 0333 355 8503.

*   https://gsigroup.co.uk/the-cheapest-places-to-retire-in-britain/

** https://gsigroup.co.uk/the-cheapest-places-to-retire-in-britain/