Blueprint for a happier move
AFTER A FIVE-year search and one wrong move, a downsizing couple have f ound the ideal home in Bushey, Herts. Ruth and Paul Softness had been searching for the right home for 18 months and had made one wrong move before finding a two-bedroom, two-bathroom property at Cavendish Place, a Shanly Homes development.
Mr and Mrs Softness had lived in their family home, a three-bedroom semi in Edgware, for 28 years. But once both their daughters had left, the couple found themselves spending most of their time in the morning room.
“When we decided to downsize five years ago, we began looking for properties around Hendon and Mill Hill, in North-West London, as I work in Mill Hill and Paul (aged 64) starts his job from home every morning,” says Mrs Softness, 63.
“However we ended up buying a brand new apartment in Cockfosters. But I hadn’t paid much attention to the area and after a while I realised I wasn’t happy there. One of the features that had sold the apartment to me was that there was a door opening on to the garden, but due to building regulations, this door was turned into a window.”
Mrs Softness gradually began to feel more and more constrained by this feature and so, once again, it was time to move. But the couple soon felt the effect of the current hot property market. “When we started to look for a new home we had real problems, as nearly every property that we went to see was gone before we could even think about making an offer,” says Mrs Softness. “We had heard about the Shanly Homes development at Holders Hill but, by the time we arrived, all the properties had sold.
“Following this disappointment, Shanly Homes came to the rescue and promised to send us information about Cavendish Place, a new development they were starting, as soon as it was available. Once plans were available, we were invited to look at the blueprints. We just knew that if we didn’t buy the property off-plan we would have no chance to buy at the development. Plus we were in a good position, as by this time we had sold our apartment in Cockfosters.”
The Softnesses felt confident about going ahead off-plan because they had visited and liked other Shanly Homes properties. For Mrs Softness, the best features of the new apartment are that it is on the ground floor and it is one of the end apartments, with double doors opening on to the back garden from their living room.
The Softnesses’ property is one of 10 two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments, across a private road from two two-bedroom bungalows. Their new home consists of a master bedroom (13ft by 10ft) with double fitted wardrobe and en-suite bathroom; a second bedroom (13ft by 9ft) with fitted wardrobe; a separate bathroom with window; a kitchen; linen cupboard, storage cupboard and living/dining room (18ft by 17ft) with bay French window.
There is a lift and each ground-floor apartment has a patio; half the firstfloor apartments have a balcony and each penthouse has a private terrace.
“We don’t know Bushey very well, but it’s only 15 minutes for me to get to work and I’ve been told what a lovely place it is. I’m looking forward to moving in,” says Mrs Softness.
“We’ve hunted for such a long time to find the home we want, and have worked hard to get it.”
Apartments at Cavendish Place start from £319,950 and the development is already over 40 per cent sold. Agent is Preston Bennett.
Downsizers Paul and Ruth Softness
The living-room layout at Cavendish Place offers a welcome sense of spaciousness