January is a time when a lot of people take stock of their living arrangements.
The festive season can throw into stark relief the limitations of a property – often, a home can feel too small to entertain in, but for many retired people the reverse can be true.
Once the “baton has been passed”, and Christmas starts being celebrated in the next generation’s homes, the extra space and bedroooms of a large family home can seem surplus to requirements.
The obvious answer – to downsize – can take various forms, such as a cottage in the country, a town-centre flat, or a leg-saving bungalow.
But the option that arguably comes with the most peace of mind is a property specifically built and/or managed for retirees. These typically have several advantages; with entryphone systems, on-site wardens and communal areas, they tend to be safe and secure, and have a reduced risk of isolation and loneliness.
They often also tend to be either purpose-built in the town-centre – giving easy access to its shops and amenities – or they occupy beautiful old country estates, and have spirit-lifting views.
There are lots of private properties reserved for the over-55s in our area – unsurprisingly, given that so many people move here to retire – and the following four, which all have two bedrooms, are currently for sale.
Near Hampsthwaite, the late-Georgian Hollins Hall was once the home of the famous Tetley family, but is now the hub of a popular retirement village. It has a client restaurant, paid visitor room for overnight accommodation and even a swimming pool.
Little wonder, then, that 14 Tetley Court is billed as “one of Yorkshire’s most prestigious ground-floor retirement apartments”. There are also well-kept communal grounds, an impressive sweeping driveway approach, and far-reaching private views towards Clint Bank and Ripley Woods.
The apartment at 21 Harlow Grange Park forms part of an exclusive, purpose-built over-55s development at the end of a cul-de-sac on the Beckwithshaw side of Harlow Hill in Harrogate.
It has a communal entrance and intercom entry system, as well as a garage, visitor parking and a direct dial 24-hour emergency call service. It’s spacious – with just under 950 sq ft of accommodation – and has plenty of storage capacity. To balance its practical advantages, it also has beautiful views from its Juliet balcony over the communal gardens and to the countryside beyond.
It’s a short drive or bus-ride from the town centre, but the shops on Harlow Hill are not far away, and RHS Harlow Carr, the Pinemarten pub and the Pinewoods are all on the doorstep.
A little closer to the town centre, 1 Church Square Mansions is a ground-floor flat in an over-55s development on the edge of the Stray.
It has use of communal courtyard gardens and residents’ lounge, and is warden-controlled, with emergency pull-cord system to each room. There is also an allocated undercroft parking space which goes with the apartment.
Finally, 3 Riverside House is a ground-floor flat in a purpose-built development not far from Ripon city centre.
It has its own entrance and a communal ground floor residents’ lounge overlooks the River Skell, which flows past the end of the communal gardens.