Malcolm and Pat Sniders are considering a move to The Polo Field, the next phase to our already established Lime Tree Village in Dunchurch, near Rugby, Warwickshire.
The couple who currently live in Watford want to move to this more central part of the UK to be more accessible to their children.
They took up our ‘Try before you Buy’ offer over the winter period. We caught up with the couple recently to understand how useful this village stay had been for them. Mrs Sniders kindly provided her feedback below which she has given us permission to share with you….
What were the key benefits of trying out village life for you two?
We are making what we hope will be our final move, so it is a big decision. Being given the opportunity to stay overnight at Lime Tree Village’s new development, the Polo Field, was ideal. It allowed us to dispel the notion held by some of our friends that it is like living in an old people’s home!
Our stay gave us the opportunity to gain first hand experience of living in a Retirement Villages’ property and experience some of the activities on offer. We got a real feel for the people who live in the retirement village and whether we might fit in easily.
It was great to familiarise ourselves with the local area and amenities such as shops and restaurants, as well as entertainment on offer.
Visiting Lime Tree Village in the winter was an advantage because it is dark and cold. It meant we could see what the village looked like in poor weather, when residents might have to spend more time indoors.
Were there any surprises or anything you discovered that hadn’t occurred to you beforehand?
We noticed how relaxed everyone was and this made it easier to appreciate the reduced pressures resulting from living in a retirement village.
Also, we did not notice the age profile as much as we thought we might. People we met seemed generally quite young at heart.
Was the retirement village what you expected?
Lime Tree Village actually exceeded our expectations for the reasons above.
Does Retirement Villages’ marketing and website reflect what you experienced
Yes, it is all very clear but visiting allowed us to see Lime Tree Village for ourselves.
Did you get a chance to immerse yourselves in village life?
Yes we attended one of the regular coffee mornings, a fish and chips lunch at a local restaurant and a day coach trip to the Christmas market at Chatsworth House, a stately home in the Derbyshire Dales. We were certainly made to feel welcome!
The events gave us the chance to speak to some of Lime Tree Village’s existing residents, in particular two people who have lived there long-term and another couple who moved in more recently. We had a good chat about life in the village and what they thought of it. It was all very positive.
Do you feel in a better position to make a decision?
Yes, we looked round one of the occupied homes in the newly developed Polo Field and were able to confirm that we need a three-bedroom house rather than a two-bedroom.
The owners made us feel very welcome and were honest about the pros and cons of the new properties. What was good to see was that the few problems that existed were being tackled by Retirement Villages.
In addition to staying overnight in Lime Tree Village, we spent a couple of weeks in the general area. This helped us agree this would be a good move for us.
Was there anything lacking that you could have done with finding out or experiencing whilst you were there?
What would your advice be to other people thinking of taking up the Try before you Buy offer?
Our advice would be to think carefully about where you might like to live, taking account of your interests and proximity to family before deciding which village you want to try.
While you’re there speak to as many residents as you can to get their views on village life.
What were your motives for wanting to test-drive this living option?
We want to downsize and seek less maintenance responsibility and greater security, particularly as we have family (including grandchildren) in New Zealand and intend to visit them as much as we can.
Also, we want to settle into an active retirement community before we get too old to make the move easily. Being established in a retirement village also provides peace of mind in case one of us should be left on our own.