As winter approaches, the temptation is simply to hunker down and wait for the return of spring.
But when the fixes and repairs to get properties through the winter join a to-do list that just gets longer every year, the instinct to stay put begins to make less sense. Add in soaring heating bills, and the seasonal hibernation seems even less appealing.
A tempting alternative has presented itself at Haslemere, in Surrey, where award-wining Linden Homes has created Wispers Park, a warm and welcoming community exclusively shaped around the lifestyles of people aged 60 and over.
Set within a 25-acre country park are three collections of high quality one and two-bed apartments: Howard Place, Wycombe House and Wallis Court, plus a dedicated 54-bed care home, Buckton Manor.
The benefits are cosy, well-insulated and spacious rooms where energy efficient technology helps to drive down heating bills. With dedicated wardens on-site, plentiful company, and maintenance taken care of, the question is: why wait?
It’s an issue whose seriousness is echoed in the statistics. According to UK figures collated by Age Concern (page 20), about 775,000 people aged 65 or over (seven per cent) say they are always or often feel lonely. Alarmingly, loneliness is as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
One woman who took the step was former air traffic controller Joan Holloway (88). She moved into her one-bedroom second-floor apartment at Wispers Park to be closer her daughter, Jane, near Petersfield.
Joan found it was everything she had hoped for: as well as excellent facilities, a free mini-bus service and a beautiful location cocooned by the rolling Surrey Hills, the relocation crucially provided her with the life-affirming sense of community and friendship.
The development’s centrepiece is Oak Hall, a Grade II listed Elizabethan-style building constructed in 1911. It houses a traditional country club, to which residents enjoy free membership, and boasts a bistro, events and even a gym.
Joan explained: “When she discovered it, [my daughter] Jane said, ‘I have found just the right place for you’. We arrived at Wispers Park, had a look round and we chose my apartment.
“It has a roof terrace and it’s really very pleasant – I was impressed. It’s very good quality, spacious and finished very nicely.”
She added: “It’s comforting to have the care home, Buckton Manor nearby. You know that you can move next-door if you need to and don’t have to go a long way. That’s one of the things I liked about Wispers Park.
“It’s a delightful place, it really is. It’s going to get better and better as more people move in. To anyone thinking about moving here, I would say give it a go! It’s going to go from good to even better.”
The homes are appointed with top quality flooring and granite worktops to reflect the site’s traditional feel, mixed with the latest energy-saving appliances and luxury bathroom fittings. A 10-year NHBC guarantee and two-year customer care warranty give peace of mind too.
Linden Homes Guildford managing director, Peter Youll, said: “People often think they have to wait until spring before they can start househunting. But there’s no need to endure the winter in an old property when a new, warm and efficient home is ready and waiting.
“At Wispers Park we talk buyers through the process, help them settle in, and can even handle the sale of their old property. It can feel daunting but we’re the experts and will do everything to assist and make it as straightforward as possible.
“The joy of Wispers Park is that you’re not just arriving at a beautiful new home, you’re also joining a community of independent and like-minded people. There are events, get-togethers and clubs. Come and visit to see for yourself.”
The bustling heart of Haslemere is just two miles from Wispers Park. Bus services connect the town to Guildford, Godalming, Farnham, Chichester, Bognor Regis and neighbouring villages.
Wider transport links are good too, whether for residents travelling further afield or friends and relations coming to visit. Services from Haslemere’s mainline station can reach London Waterloo in as little as 49 minutes.
The major road connection between London and Portsmouth on the south coast, the A3, is just a few miles to the west.
Originally built for Scottish landscape and portrait painter, James Coutts Michie, Oak Hall retains many of its original features: mahogany panels, marble floors, heraldic stained glass and extravagant fireplaces, topped with tall brick chimney stacks.
For more information call the sales office on 0844 417 3260, open daily 10am-5pm.
For further information, contact Claire McCowan or Claire Bradley at Remarkable Public Relations on 01962 893 893.
References to “we”, “us” or “our” are to the part of the Vistry Group (including Linden Homes, Bovis Homes, Countryside Homes, Drew Smith, Vistry Ventures or one of Vistry’s joint venture companies) from which you are intending to purchase a new home. References to "you” and “your” are to the prospective buyer or buyers of a new home from us.
All images are used for illustrative purposes only and are representative only. They may not be the same as the actual home you purchase and the specification may differ. Images may be of a slightly different model of home and may include optional upgrades and extras which involve additional cost. Individual features such as windows, brick, carpets, paint and other material colours may vary and also the specification of fittings may vary. Any furnishings and furniture are not included in any sale. Please check with our sales consultants for details of the exact specifications available at the development(s) for each type of home and the associated prices.