Mov­ing made sim­ple – the fam­ily way

Sell­ing your home to some­one you love and trust makes busi­ness a plea­sure, says Christo­pher Mid­dle­ton

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Save&sound -

t’s a strange re­la­tion­ship, the one be­tween the buyer and the seller of a prop­erty. On the one hand, you’re both happy to have found each other; on the other, you’re aware that ei­ther of you could walk out on the deal with­out even a phone call.

It makes it eas­ier, then, when the per­son you’re sell­ing to is not just some­one you trust but a mem­ber of your own fam­ily, which is the happy sit­u­a­tion in which 66-year-old Dorothy Se­wart found her­self at the end of last year.

“I’d been think­ing of mov­ing for some time,” says Dorothy. “I had a four-bed­room, de­tached home that was get­ting too big for me [at Eas­ing­wold, in North York­shire] and, as luck would have it, my daugh­ter Kathryn had a three­bed­room semi in York that was get­ting too small for her and her fam­ily. So it seemed only sen­si­ble that she should buy mine.”

Not that this so­lu­tion was ar­rived at im­me­di­ately. “We sort of came round to it sep­a­rately and grad­u­ally,” says Kathryn, 37. “Ever since my fa­ther died, it was clear that the house was go­ing to be a bit big for my mother alone. But it was im­por­tant that the de­ci­sion to move out was one she made for her­self. Once she’d done that and had had the place val­ued, my hus­band Ja­son and I re­alised that we could af­ford to buy it.”

The next step was to find Dorothy a new place to live and, as luck would have it, Kathryn’s com­pany was mail­ing out leaflets for a re­tire­ment de­vel­op­ment be­ing built at Rowan Court, in nearby Thirsk. When Dorothy went to visit the scheme, she liked it so much that she bought a two-bed­room apart­ment there.

The new place cost £165,000, which meant she still had a size­able nestegg left over from the £245,000 that her daugh­ter and son-in-law had paid for her old home. The nest-egg was made sig­nif­i­cantly big­ger by the fact that she didn’t need to pay es­tate agents’ fees, hav­ing found her own buy­ers from amid her rel­a­tives.

“It’s rather a nice feel­ing, hav­ing some money in the bank,” says Dorothy. “I’m also quite glad not to have so many rooms to clean, or the state of the gar­den to worry about.”

Mean­while, Kathryn has the re­as­sur­ance of know­ing that her mother is no longer rat­tling around on her own in a big, old house. “Al­though she has her own apart­ment with her own front door, Mum’s got plenty of peo­ple round her,” she says.

“When she was first think­ing of mov­ing, we looked at some bun­ga­lows but she would still have been on her own and we didn’t want that. Where she is now, there’s a sense of com­mu­nity and some­one to help if she needs it.”

For her part, Dorothy has adapted rather read­ily to the new set-up. “If I’d cho­sen to live in a nor­mal street, it would have taken ages to get to know my neigh­bours,” she says. “Here, though, you’re al­ways bump­ing into peo­ple. I thought it would be hard to leave my house af­ter 25 years but I’ve taken to it rather eas­ily. My hus­band was in the po­lice force and we had to move at least 10 times, all over the coun­try. So I see this as just an­other post­ing.”

And speak­ing of be­ing on the move, Dorothy is plan­ning to put some of her newly ac­quired sav­ings to­wards a trip to Aus­tralia. Is she daunted by the length of the plane jour­ney?

“Ooh, not at all,” she says. “I think three cross­words should just about get me there.”

New apart­ments at Rowan Court, Thirsk, are on the mar­ket start­ing at £150,950 for a onebed­room flat and £178,950 for a two-bed­room flat. Com­mu­nal fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a cen­tral res­i­dents’ lounge, a guest suite, CCTV cam­eras and a 24-hour Care­line sys­tem in case of emer­gency. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, call 0800 0151 446..

Come on in... (above right) Dorothy Se­wart and her daugh­ter, Kathryn, at Rowan Court (top and above left)

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