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Downsizers Escape To The Countryside

Posted 2 March 2022 by Helen Christie

Lianne and her husband Bob decided to downsize and get more for their money in the Kentish countryside…

Lianne Price, 67, and her husband Bob, 70, 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.”

Natalie Perry, sales and marketing director at David Wilson Kent, comments: “We have seen a number of retirees making the move to Staplehurst and similar rural areas across Kent, as buyers search for lower maintenance properties in established villages. Staplehurst is a hidden gem within Kent, offering countryside whilst still being well connected to neighbouring towns such as Maidstone and within easy reach of the coast.”

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.

Lianne and Bob at Dickens Gate

“The kitchen/dining area is the centre of our lives since moving here,” says Lianne. “There is so much space and it’s been fantastic to see family and spend time here each day. The view out onto 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 Rail Station, from which 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 four-bedroom homes. Prices start from £527,995 for a four-bedroom detached family home.

Find out more about David Wilson Homes


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Staplehurst, Kent TN12
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Dickens Gate
Staplehurst, Kent TN12
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David Wilson Homes
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