Gill isn’t your typical downsizer, or is she?

Gill isn’t your typical downsizer, or is she?
Gill isn’t your typical downsizer, or is she?

York homeowner Gill Bradley-Singleton is not everyone’s typical idea of a downsizer – but recent research by Redrow shows she’s more representative than people might think.

Gill left behind a large home in the country to move into something more manageable and closer to town, but this thoroughly modern 70-something didn’t want anything too small or too ‘twee’.

Gill and her late husband had previously renovated a stable building in Poppleton, near York, but after his death she found the rural life a little lonely and the property too big.

“Although we’d renovated an old stable it was very modern with a big dining room, a lovely patio and three wet rooms,” Gill explained.  “However, it was too big for me on my own so I started looking for something that still had character but would be easy to look after.”

She eventually found The Granary, in the Clifton Moor area of York, where Redrow is building a selection of Arts & Crafts inspired homes from its Heritage Collection.

Gill chose a three-bedroom detached Warwick house style, which has a lovely open plan kitchen/diner overlooking the rear garden and three good size bedrooms, including one with en-suite.

“I loved that the Redrow houses looked traditional but inside were very modern like my previous home and I was able to personalise it to my taste by adding features such as a kitchen island,” Gill explained.

“It’s plenty big enough for when my grandchildren come to stay and, although I still drive, it’s handy for shops and getting out and about to have lunch with friends.”

Gill fits perfectly a new breed of ‘rightsizers’ – as Redrow prefers to call them – who want a stylish home with plenty of space for friends and family.

“With people living longer and ‘70 being the new 50’, Redrow is seeing an emerging trend of older people planning for an active future and looking for homes that are easy to maintain, but which offer a host of lifestyle benefits,” said Patsy Aicken, sales director for Redrow Homes (Yorkshire).

“Our customers don’t necessarily want to be seen as downsizing either, as the terminology can have negative connotations. They want to maintain an independent lifestyle in homes that have space for friends and family to stay and substantial entertaining and living rooms – which traditional downsizer homes wouldn’t necessarily offer.”

Redrow research found that emotional attachment to a previous home and the memories within it are often the biggest barrier to moving. It’s something that Gill can relate to, although luckily she found the support she needed from Redrow sales consultant James Rodi.

“My husband had died and I was on my own, I needed a lot of guidance and James was there for me. Personal things came into the move, unfortunately, but he became a friend and every time I arrived there was coffee waiting for me, which was very warm and welcoming. It made the move so much easier,” said Gill.

“My old house was a bit out of the way, so I deliberately chose a new home which faced onto a road, which meant I would see more people.”

A recent Redrow survey of 1,500 people aged 50-70 revealed that 88% of rightsizers want a home with two or three bedrooms, they prefer open plan living spaces for entertaining friends, they want room for their furniture and personal possessions and prefer to live in a place where they know their neighbours so they will feel happy, safe and less lonely in later life.

Developments like The Granary, in York, can offer all of this and more. They are vibrant communities for first time buyers, families and rightsizers alike, close to shops, services, public transport and other local amenities.

The housing choice at The Granary includes three and four-bedroom properties, currently from £304,950 to £401,950. For more information call 01904 565873 or go to www.redrow.co.uk/thegranary.

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