Why choosing to Rent to Buy was the best decision for Poole homeowners Maureen & Terry
01 April 2022
Maureen (83) and Terry (87) are no strangers to moving home, having lived in Wiltshire, Wales, Surrey and even Nigeria over the years, but their move to Renaissance Sandbanks Road was by far their easiest.
“We’ve lived all over the place so moving is not something that phases us, but what was extremely helpful when we moved here was the offer of the complimentary Lifestory Homemoves service. They were very sympathetic to what we had to do as we were moving from a three-bedroom apartment. We had a lot of furniture and all sorts of stuff that we wanted to get rid of. They really were amazing. They came to see us and measured up pieces of furniture to ensure it would fit our new one-bedroom apartment and took all of the things we wanted to give away to charity and donated them for us, too.”
This wasn’t their first move in Poole, as the couple had first made their move here a few years ago after they decided to downsize from their cottage in Wales.
“We moved from Wiltshire, when I was 69 and Maureen was 66, to a little cottage in Wales, where we created a beautiful garden; we were both keen gardeners. However, we always discussed that we would try to look ahead; Maureen had worked with elderly people as a nurse and I as a residential care manager. We had seen many people fail to make their decisions in time and therefore their decisions ended up being made for them. We didn’t want that to happen to us.”
They moved to a three-bedroom apartment in Branksome Park, before downsizing again to a one-bedroom apartment at Renaissance Sandbanks Road.
“It was after only our first appointment to visit the community that we sat down on a bench in Poole Park, looked at each other and said “I think we’ve made a decision”. We both really liked it, the atmosphere was great and we liked the apartments we saw. What we also liked was the thought that had been given to the age group, the way that lights come on when you walk towards them and doors open, that sort of thing. Also, we don’t have any family locally and we recognised that we could easily get isolated where we were before; a block of 50 flats where you hardly ever saw anyone.”
Maureen and Terry decided to use our Rent to Buy scheme to ensure they didn’t miss out on the apartment they wanted.
“We decided to rent initially, as we didn’t know how long it would take for us to sell our place and we didn’t want to lose this apartment. So, we came back and saw Angela (Lifestory Sales Advisor) and it ended up being a ‘jaw dropping’ morning. I began to explain what we’d like to do and she said we’re ahead of you, we’ve got a Rent to Buy scheme. She then said if we used a Lifestory recommended solicitor then you’d contribute £1000 to the costs. We thought this was great! And then she added you’ll be selling your flat of course, so when you sell we’ll contribute £4000 to the estate agent fees. It just got better and better. The final bit where my jaw nearly dropped off altogether was when she told us that if we sold our old home and purchased the apartment within the first year we’d get six months of rent back.”
In the end, the couple sold their old apartment in Branksome Park within a week, but they still benefited from opting to rent to buy.
“Choosing to rent to buy enabled us to make swift decisions because we knew that providing we sold our flat within the first year, and there was a good chance we’d do that, we weren’t going to lose out. In fact we gained as a result. Even though we sold our flat within a week, it meant we could just take our time in getting clear of the sale of our old apartment before we began to buy this one. We didn’t need to deal with more than one solicitor at a time and the paperwork was more manageable. It also meant we moved in here and were able to go back to our old apartment during the selling process and clear things out.”
They moved into their apartment on the 6th October and purchased it two months later on the 20th December. They are now looking forward to their first summer in the community.
“I’m looking forward to it getting warmer and being able to sit in our living room with the Juliet balcony doors open overlooking Poole Park on a nice day, and making use of the garden downstairs.
“We’re also looking forward to using the guest suite which is another great asset here. To be able to invite somebody over to stay there is a real advantage. My brother wants to come down to visit and it's nice to be able to say that he can and can stay there.
“We’ve both been very happy with our decision to move here, no doubt about that. Once a week one of us will turn to the other and we say how much we love it here. We keep congratulating ourselves on doing the right thing and we’re very much looking forward to enjoying it even more.”