Making the Move to a Retirement Home at Albany Meadows

Posted 13 August 2019 by Helen Christie

WhatHouse? chats to some of the residents at Albany Meadows to find out about their experience…

Located in the picturesque village of Balsall Common, a few miles west of Coventry, Albany Meadows is a retirement development designed for the over-55s. Residents will be part of a friendly, community-focused environment.

There is access to professional support and care and assistance when it is required, and the rural location means residents can enjoy the local village life.

WhatHouse? chats to Frank, Betty and Sheila, residents at Albany Meadows to find out about their experience…

Frank and Betty

Previous occupation?

Frank was a college lecturer in mathematics and Betty brought up their family and did voluntary work with disadvantaged children.

When did you move into Albany Meadows?

19th March 2019.

How long have you been retired?

Frank retired but continued to work voluntarily up until 2014/2015.

Have you always lived in the area or recently moved?

Originally we lived in Buckinghamshire then moved to Oxfordshire where we lived for over 40 years before moving to a two bedroom apartment in Albany Meadows.

What drew you to the area?

Our daughter lives in Berkswell and we wanted to move closer to family.

Why did you choose Albany Meadows/what was the biggest draw?

We are especially attracted to more rural countryside locations and previously lived in a rural village, however, that lost lots of its services over time (bus, post office etc.) so unless you could drive it would have been difficult to get out in later years. We looked at many other sites and our daughter did a survey on each site we visited. Albany Meadows was the most attractive due to the scenic rural setting, lot of greenery and onsite services on offer. We really feel that the development lives up to the artist’s impression and it’s all to a very high standard.

Why did you choose a new build home?

Everything is new and clean! A promise was made for the fixtures and fittings, this has all been fulfilled and we are pleased that the reality has lived up to the expectations.

Have you lived in a new build property before?

Our last house was a new build bought in 1973 in Oxfordshire, we also had a new build prior to that too – this would have been after the war in Buckinghamshire when there was an acute shortage of houses.

What is your new home like/what is your favourite feature?

Favourite feature – that it is so close to our daughter! The layout is very attractive, we had to downsize but managed to keep all the furniture we wanted as it’s such a large apartment. We enjoy sitting on our balcony admiring the views. It’s an attractive development and has lived up to its promises!

What do you think of the location?

It’s a realistic compromise between urban and rural and it’s very peaceful and green. We watch the squirrels and rabbits from our balcony, we have an owl here too. We go into Balsall Common every day, the Co-op has proved useful and the staff are very helpful. We recommend the local butchers too, they are high quality. Kenilworth is also a nice little nearby town.  

Do you use the amenities?

The residents lounge is a convenient social venue which we don’t use extensively at the moment but will do as more residents move in. We do come to the coffee mornings every week though and we take part in any events.

How did you find the overall buying process and finding a new home later in life?

Buying was no problem and quite straight forward, although selling was much harder as the market was slow. We didn’t get the figure we hoped for which caused some stress.

How did the Atkinson Stilgoe and Amber teams meet your expectations?

Very good indeed. We came really early before the roofs were even on, in a sea of mud. We made a decision very early on – an act of faith.  The development is extremely high quality, everyone was very pleasant to deal with and it was all operated in a straightforward way.


Sheila

Previous occupation?

I was in sales and marketing for Jaguar (now Jaguar Landrover) and loved it!

When did you move in?

17 Feb 2019.

How long have you been retired?

20 years!

Have you always lived in the area or recently moved?

I have always lived in the Solihull district and I now live in a two-bedroom bungalow at Albany Meadows.

What drew you to the area?

The development itself and the fact that the bungalows were brand new. I’ve always had new homes previously, all the second hand ones I looked at had lots of work that needing doing.

Why did you choose Albany Meadows/what was the biggest draw?

Because it was brand new – I wanted a bungalow too and there weren’t many sites around offering new build bungalows. There’s also lovely scenery and countryside here.

Why did you choose a new build home?

Because it didn’t need any work – the design of it was so lovely, you can’t help but love these bungalows!

Have you lived in a new build property before?

I have lived in three new builds before – the first in 1960 in Meriden, then I moved to Solihull in 1975, then in 1984 I moved to Knowle and lived there until I moved here.

What is your new home like/what is your favourite feature?

I love it all but the ample kitchen is at the top of the list and my large terrace with its beautiful views over the fields is my favourite place to sit and relax!

What do you think of the location?

The development itself is idyllic, I particularly enjoy the wildlife. We have deer, foxes, and pheasants and even had a visit from some ducks! There is also a beautiful baby rabbit who plays out at the back of my bungalow the moment. It’s in a very handy position, I tend to shop in Solihull still as I used to live there and it only takes me 20 minutes by car. I have used Tesco and Sainsbury’s in Balsall Common and I also use the local butchers as their meat is nice and fresh and they are very obliging. I go to one of the local hairdressers every week too.

Do you use the amenities?

I use the complimentary taxi which is laid on every week and go with my friend who moved in just before me. We go to Kenilworth, Knowle or Coventry for a bit of shopping and we always stop for a tea and cake. I come to the weekly coffee mornings if I can and had a great time at the recent wine tasting evening, it was really lovely meeting some of the future residents who will be moving in soon.

How did you find the overall buying process?

All ok really, fine. I’d give the whole experience a 9.5 out of 10! – The solicitors took their time.

How has your experience been of moving home/finding a new home later in life?

Emotional but I haven’t regretted it one bit!

How did the Atkinson Stilgoe and Amber teams meet your expectations?

There were no problems at all, it was all very professional. I had a card about the development through the door 12 months ago and here we are!


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