Happiest homes in Britain
BUNGALOWS ARE the happiest type of home in Britain, according to Halifax Happiest Home Report. It says that bungalows are rated by their occupants on average 8.15 out of 10 on a happiness scale. For Lyn Brenner, 62, a happy home was imperative as she has been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disorder. Mrs Brenner realised that she needed to move from her sixth-floor flat overlooking Regents Park where she had lived for eight years, to somewhere more practical. She has just bought a charming bungalow at Mill Rise, in Mill Hill, North-West London. Countryside Properties’ development, Mill Rise is an age-restricted community of restored original 1930s bungalows.
Mrs Brenner comments: “When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I realised that living on the sixth floor in a block of flats was a bit impractical and might eventually prove difficult. I wanted to be close to my mother and family, who live in North London, so, when a friend told me about Mill Rise I decided to have a look.
“I bought a one-bedroom bungalow, which I absolutely love, as it has high ceilings and is well laid-out, so it feels spacious. I was a bit worried about the process of buying, which can be difficult and tedious, but it was made very easy by the sales consultants, who helped me throughout the process. The development feels very secure and I love the environment and the peacefulness. My life has definitely changed for the better since moving. I am extremely happy with my new home and I have already met some lovely people.”
Mill Rise is a striking scheme of restored one- and two-bedroom, 1930s bungalows and apartments set in the Mill Hill conservation area. It is surrounded by mature landscaping, with breathtaking views across London and access to miles of pathways through local parkland.
Externally, properties have an Arts and Crafts influence, with red brickwork, tiled gabled roofs and large bay windows. Interiors are more contemporary, many with individually designed kitchens. Bathrooms feature white sanitaryware and chrome fixtures and fittings. Security is of utmost importance and homes are fitted with a burglar alarm, police-approved doors and audio entry systems. There is also an on-site concierge.
Mill Rise is close to Mill Hill Broadway’s varied shops, restaurants and cafés. Prices for a two-bedroom bungalow start from £299,950. Agent is Preston Bennett.
The South East is the most popular destination for retirees in 2008, according to SmartNewHomes.com, which has compiled a list of the top 10 retirement destinations, based on the searches for new homes over the past six months. Retiring to the coast used to be the standard option for retirees looking to downsize or release equity from their existing home to enjoy their retirement, with little choice of property elsewhere.
Now, however, developers are providing many more options away from the coast, to meet demand. Inland property with good connections to towns and cities has become just as sought-after as coastal areas. The bright lights of the city are no longer just attracting young professionals but retirees, who want a slice of the action and easy access to museums, theatres and shops.
David Bexon, managing director of SmartNewHomes.com says: “The areas that have been typically popular among retirees, such as Devon and Dorset, are still ranked in the top 10 because of their seafront activities and surrounding countryside with pretty villages. However, compared to data last year which showed that coastal destinations topped the wish-list, now it shows that bustling towns and villages of the Home Counties are the most highly ranked.”
Low building, high spirits: Lyn Brenner loves her bungalow at Countryside’s Mill Rise. Agent: