What led to one of our newest residents moving to Newlands.
It was only this March that widower Tom Blythe moved to Newlands from his 17th century Grade II listed village house in Lower Swell. He has worked extensively in the Project Management of the Engineering and Construction of large Petrochemical Projects around the world, and now continues his role as a Swell Parish Councilor and Treasurer for the Swell Village Hall. Given his background he is used to making important and sometimes difficult decisions and it is interesting to hear the process he went through before deciding to move to Newlands.
“We had lived for over 35 years in the lovely village of Lower Swell a mile from Stow-on-the-Wold. Following the death of my wife and funeral service at St Mary’s Church in Lower Swell I began to think about whether I should look for alternative accommodation. The first decision was relatively easy. None of my family live near the Cotswolds, but after retiring from my global travels in 2014 I had put down roots in this area, and decided I wanted to continue to live locally. Relocation was not an urgent decision, so I started looking casually at options in the Stow area, where I was an active member of the Civic Society.
I looked at various options; houses for sale, including two recently-built retirement developments, none of which excited me. Walking down Sheep Street, I happened to glance in the window of Knight Frank and noticed pictures of two properties for sale at Newlands. I went in, and came away with brochures for both, plus details of the Newlands complex.
What I saw looked exciting, and so different to anything else I had seen. Viewings were quickly arranged. The first viewing and walk around Newlands convinced me that one of the ‘independent living’ cottages would be an ideal location for me to settle down and enjoy the remainder of my retirement. As a check on my judgement, I arranged for my daughter to join me a week later for a second viewing. She enthusiastically endorsed my assessment. Within days I offered the asking price and a memorandum of sale was signed on 18 November.
There are many reasons why I felt that Newlands was an excellent choice for me, but the key deciding factors were:
A well-built and laid-out 3-bedroom modern house built in 2010 with quality fittings.
Generous built-in storage space in all bedrooms, ideal for someone downsizing
A conservatory extension integrated into the kitchen with my own private south facing patio and lawn.
An underground garage plus a dedicated parking space outside my front door.
Shared access to the wonderful grounds
Support from the Newlands staff, if required, including cleaning, general house maintenance, an excellent restaurant, weekly shopping trips.
Social activities, currently limited due to Covid restrictions
I hope to remain active and independent for many years, but should I become ill or infirm I can rely on the support of Newlands staff, who will arrange care and organise external medical support if required, without my having to depend on family support from a distance.
Having agreed to purchase my Newlands cottage, I faced a variety of challenges. Preparing my house in Lower Swell for sale was one. Another was dealing with the purchasing and selling process to achieve completion before the 31st March (to take advantage of the stamp duty incentive).
The purchase of my Newlands cottage was the easy part, thanks to a lot of help from the Newlands management team, who helped me source local suppliers to design and install blinds and curtains throughout the house that everyone admires. They also quickly and efficiently resolved some legal issues and small maintenance recommendations suggested by my surveyor. I moved into Newlands on 8th March.
The more challenging part was the preparation of my 17th century house for sale; mainly, dealing with the disposal of furniture and belongings accumulated over 35 years. After much help from my daughter and local friends, I finally handed over the keys to my old house on 30th March.
I now look forward to getting to know everyone at Newlands, both the management team and residents, as social restrictions are finally lifted.
In my view there is nothing to compare with Newlands in this area for someone in my position.
For location, atmosphere, services, it is an ideal solution.”.