New Homes in Wrington
PUBLISHED: 17:40 08 November 2012 | UPDATED: 22:18 20 February 2013
When it comes to moving home, David and Sue Simpson discovered why bigger isn't necessarily better...
A Homefrom Home
When it comes to moving home, David and Sue Simpson discovered why bigger isnt necessarily better...
Words and pictures by: PETER Booton
After living at Burrington in North Somerset for 43 years in a family house with lots of land, David and Sue Simpson decided it was time to downsize and enjoy their retirement. As many of their friends lived locally it made good sense to remain in the area they both loved and knew so well, but embracing the advantages of a smaller, low maintenance and energy efficient new home.When the Simpsons saw early publicity for an exclusive new retirement homes development at Wrington, by Blue Cedar Homes, they viewed two of the Exeter-based companys similar developments: Cedar Gardens in Taunton and Westfield Gardens at Budleigh Salterton. So impressed were they with the style of architecture and quality of finish that David and Sue purchased their home in Brook Gardens, Wrington, off-plan.
The Simpsons moved out of their house in Burrington prior to completion of their new home and temporarily based themselves in a caravan while they made the most of the opportunity to visit family and friends in Belgium and Canada. Sue points out that the intervening two month period provided an emotional break from their old home, as well as allowing them to look forward to more spacious and well equipped accommodation than their caravan afforded.
Downsizing invariably results in the disposal of some pieces of furniture, usually the larger items, for David and Sue this meant getting rid of their dining table, big sofas, heavy armchairs and an old grandfather clock which didnt fit in with the style of their modern new home. David said early on that it would be no good trying to fit everything into a smaller space because the house would look cluttered, says Sue. A smaller sofa, bookshelves and curtains to fit the different size windows were essential.
If you are thinking of downsizing, get rid of things in plenty of time and dont be a hoarder
As the Simpsons had bought their new home during the early stages of its construction, Blue Cedar Homes allowed them to tailor certain aspects of the house to their specific requirements. These included a non-standard open-plan living area, Corian worktops in the kitchen - where Sue also opted for bright pink splashbacks and bathroom tiles of their own choosing.
The Simpsons also decided to install, with the permission of Blue Cedar, a flame-effect gas fire in the living room built into a stone surround incorporating a section of oak from their previous home for the mantel-shelf - a nice touch which will always remind them of their 43 happy years at Burrington.All Blue Cedar homes are not only built and equipped to an extremely high level but they also incorporate a number of special features that come as standard, whereas many other homebuilders would class these as optional extras. Its only fair to point out that David and Sues variations to Blue Cedars very high standard specification for their home were purely personal and not upgrades.Engineered oak floors, an energy-efficient condensing boiler, easily controllable under-floor heating, lots of storage space and a heat recovery system that maintains an even level of heat throughout the house are just a few of the important features which come as standard. David and Sue were also impressed with the solid oak doors and the spacious, versatile area on the first floor landing where there is a vaulted feature window. Blue Cedar kitchens, designed and supplied by Mayflower Kitchens of Wellington, are standard too, with granite worktops and a range of Neff appliances which include a microwave, washer/dryer, oven and dishwasher. Additionally, wet areas have ceramic tiled floors.A prime selling point of Blue Cedar homes is that every property is designed specifically to suit the wide-ranging needs of retired, semi-retired and less than fully able residents. The ground floor of each house contains a kitchen, living area, bath/shower room and a bedroom to allow for the future possibility of an occupant being unable to climb stairs. Staircases are wider than normal to accommodate a stair lift, if necessary, for which a power-supply is pre-installed. Doorways are wide enough for wheelchair access and even the ground floor shower room is based on the turning circle of a wheelchair. A dividing wall between the shower room and bedroom embodies a concealed fitted door frame, ready to accept a connecting door to the en-suite.Importantly, such features as these which usefully contribute to the future-proof nature of the property are far from obvious. Consequently, residents who dont yet need for these facilities are not constantly reminded of their presence.
Suitable locations are carefully chosen. Blue Cedar choose locations that people will naturally want to live in, and I think thats the key to any new homes development, says Andrew Lear, sales and marketing consultant. If youre going to choose a location it helps if you are actually building a product that people want to live in, and in a location where people want to live: generally, with good access to shops and local amenities. Wrington was chosen because its got everything on the doorstep.
One of the big attractions of this development is that you can buy a house freehold, whereas in so many similar developments there is a tie-in that you can only sell a property back to the developer, says David. There is also no ground rent or transfer charge.Access to Brook Gardens is via automated gates that can be opened from inside each property. At the centre of the development is a landscaped and carefully maintained communal garden, complete with paved and lawned areas, seating, mature trees and shrubs and a summerhouse as a focal point.
The development is cared for by an estate manager who upkeeps the communal and private gardens and carries out periodic maintenance on the properties such as gutter cleaning and external paintwork. A maintenance charge is payable for this service by residents.Life in Wrington clearly suits the Simpsons who find the local amenities very convenient, particularly the swimming pool at the nearby Cadbury Club. David is also planning to join the bowling club just across the road from Brook Gardens.
If you are thinking of downsizing, get rid of things in plenty of time and dont be a hoarder. David adds. Downsize before you have to, or before your children do it to you!