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Meet our homeowners: Charles from Sherborne

Charles Pyman, 77, moved to Sherborne in May 2021 with his Cairn terrier-whippet cross, Hinney, to live in a more accessible location for his family to visit.

Why did you move to Platinum Skies’ Sherborne community?

I had some family down in the west country in far end of Devon for some while but my son, Thomas, was leaving there so I was going to be slightly stuck on my own. I decided to move further east so I’d be closer to London where my other son is and closer to Heathrow for when my daughter comes back to visit from Dubai.

Why did you specifically choose to move to Sherborne?

I’ve lived in Dorset before with the Army in Bovington and Lulworth, so I know the south of the county well, but it’s also convenient as it’s close to the A303 and Salisbury, so when I saw the advertisement for this place, I thought I’d give it a look and here I am.

I think Sherborne is a nice place and it’s on the edge of the town, which is where I would prefer to be, and geographically it’s suitably much better than being in Okehampton, close to Dartmoor.

How did you hear about Platinum Skies?

I heard about Platinum Skies in one of the Sunday papers, so I contacted them and they were very helpful.

Platinum Skies Sherborne homeowner Charles
Charles feeling at home in his new house

What did you think when you came to look around?

I liked the place immediately. I have lived in an awful lot of places and this is really not unlike a lot of them. With the army, both married and unmarried, I was on a quarter’s patch which was very similar to this, which the army owned.

I care to think that I don’t need looking after yet, but I’ve living on my own for seven years and I really wanted to have more people around. I often thought in the previous place that if I had fallen down the stairs, nobody would’ve known until the dog complained because she hasn’t been fed. This really wouldn’t happen here.

Have you heard of shared ownership (OPSO) before?

I haven’t heard of shared ownership before. It seems a very sensible arrangement. It allows me to move my capital about rather more of choice than being dictated by the price of the building and the size of a mortgage.

What does the shared ownership scheme offer you in terms of financial freedom?

Shared ownership has really allowed me more flexibility with my capital. As it happens, my children don’t need any help because they’re well into their forties and one is nearly fifty. But my daughter might in the future because she lives in Dubai and non-Arab Emiratis aren’t actually allowed to own property, so I need to have capital in place for if and when she returns.

“There are certain benefits for an ex-serviceman, but they’re quite hard to come by, and the shared ownership scheme allows me the flexibility of capital to invest in my own health and being looked after properly.

I think with my elder brother, who has sadly gone and was also soldier, he hadn’t taken the trouble to save and that made his last three years difficult to finance a care home. It was costing his family a great deal of money, – perhaps £1,000 a week, which works out as £4,000 a month and £52,000 a year, which knocks the spots off most people’s incomes. I’m sure that would be more than his pension and it’s definitely more than mine, just to exist, which is not the way you want to do it.

Whereas with this arrangement, I am looking to the future to when my finances are a bit tighter. Of course, if I was needing care, it’s extremely expensive. I did 47 years in the service and so my pension facilities are pretty extensive, but they wouldn’t cover accommodation at present costs.

Charles Sherborne Homeowner at Platinum Skies
Charles at his new Platinum Skies home

How did your children get involved with the purchase of your house?

My two children did get involved, particularly my younger son, Thomas, who was living down in the west country anyway and it was his move that really sparked my move as well. I saw Platinum Skies in the paper and my son, Thomas, followed it up and found out about it, and what there was to offer. He looked it up and mentioned it was in Sherborne, which is not a town that I knew but my nephew works here and one of my cousins came to school here, so it wasn’t totally unknown to me. Then I came up and had a look around it with him, and then with a friend as well. We decided that it was pretty much what I needed and also it is what I liked. Not least the garden, which I will have sorted by the end of the summer. My first rose flowered yesterday, and it’ll be planted today.

My nephew, Richard, comes up from his home which is down Taunton way, so it seemed a good place to have a look and it was also set in the part of the world that I wanted to be in. Additionally, there’s quite a good score of my regiment, despite it being Scottish, who live down here in the county, which is nice, some of which I have known since I was 20.

Why did you decide to move now?

The reason I decided to move, as I have already said is because my son, Thomas, was leaving that part of the west county and going abroad. I’m a great deal closer to my son in London who has got three children. A five-hour drive down to the western end of Devon is impossible, but three hours to come down here for lunch and go home again is far more manageable.

Also, I was in a four-bedroom house and I just didn’t need four bedrooms. I was living on my own and my family didn’t come and stay very often for exactly the reason I describe and so I seemed to be getting to grips with a number of problems which were only going to exacerbate rather than getting better.

Do you ever feel lonely and isolated in your own home?

I don’t really feel lonely in my own home. I have a dog which makes a surprising difference as I have to live to a proper discipline. If I don’t feed her, I get a foot in my ear, so I have got to lead a normal controlled life as if I was living with other people. The television helps and I have no doubt that the wireless would too if I didn’t have television. I would prefer not to live on my own, but life is what it is. My poor wife died a little early of a disease that neither we nor the doctors had ever heard of and that was bad luck on both of us.

I lived in an old mill where there were five families and they were all working so they were out for the day anyhow. I see more people here in a day than I did in a week in my previous house, so that’s nice.

What security does it offer to have an on-site Community Manager?

We say ‘hello’ most days and it’s a very nice change because before I was living absolutely on my own, whereas there is a society of friendly people here. It’s also nice, that as I get older, the evil day will come when I may fall down the stairs or whatever, and it’s nice to have somebody whom the dog can go and shout at.

It is nice to have active neighbours with whom I am in touch and to have someone to provide professional help, so if something went wrong, it would be very nice to be able to go and ask for help.

Was there anything that surprised you about the Sherborne community?

I find this is very similar to an army patch, as you had a profession in common and here, I’m sure we will have age, interest and finances in common. I hadn’t hear of this sort of organisation until I saw Platinum Skies and as I say, it’s extremely similar to how I lived when I was married within the service for quite a long time.

Come and experience Platinum Skies in Sherborne yourself

Prices at our Sherborne community start from £130,000 for an apartment and £230,000 for a house, based on the buyer paying 50% of the property’s full market value. The homes at Chapters are made affordable as part of a government-backed shared ownership scheme delivered in partnership with Homes England. Commonly known as part-buy, part-rent, shared-ownership homes enable people to move and potentially downsize from their existing home which may no longer be suitable for their needs while freeing up money from the sale of the property to use on other life events.

To reserve an appointment at Platinum Skies in Sherborne, call the team on 0808 301 0649.

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