At the end of her career, in her mid-60s, Raquel Lopez sold her flat in London to move to the British seaside. No stranger to relocating, Raquel, originally from Colombia, was recommended Bournemouth by some friends. Just a few months later, surrounded by noisy neighbours, she realised she hadn’t moved for the retirement lifestyle she’d hoped for.
Raquel explains, “Moving from London to Bournemouth felt like a real adventure – I never thought I’d end up living on England’s south coast! I had my eye on a development in the town, so when an apartment came up I went for it. My friends warned me not to live in the centre as it’s so busy but I don’t have a car so I wanted to be near everything. They were right!”
After 3 years of living with the comings and goings of buy-to-let landlords and their tenants, and the loud parties of first time buyers, and facing limited purchasing options after the wrong move, Raquel discovered Platinum Skies’ shared ownership scheme. She was able to buy a 50% share of a one bedroom large apartment at Monterey, Platinum Skies’ retirement development in Christchurch.
“I wanted to move to Westbourne or Christchurch but property prices are so expensive. After browsing my local estate agents and finding nothing suitable, I was flicking through a magazine when I came across an advert for Monterey and the part-buy part-rent option.”
Having left Colombia aged 22, Raquel enjoyed moving for her work: she went from Paris to London for a Mexican oil company; then from sales department to HR at a Spanish airline; four years back in Colombia in her early 50s until she decided to return to London during 2008.
“The economy wasn’t good but I found a job with a law firm, and I was renting a small flat in Ealing. When my landlord decided to sell the flat, I applied for a mortgage and was accepted – which was a surprise.”
“When I came to sell my flat in Ealing, the effect of the new Elizabeth line had already boosted property prices in the area – even in 2015 – but my wrong move to Bournemouth didn’t leave me with much and I soon found myself stuck.”
When Raquel first spoke with the Platinum Skies sales team, she was concerned that she would only be gaining £170,000 from the sale of her flat.
Raquel said, “I only have a modest pension and the property market hadn’t boosted the value of my apartment in Bournemouth but I was desperate to move – I explained all this to the sales team and they encouraged me to come and meet Platinum Skies’ co-founder, David Hines.”
“I couldn’t wait to tell my sister in Paris – the team were so accommodating, and I was so pleased. David explained that we’re entering into a partnership together and it is in both our interests for the value of my new home to increase. Through shared ownership I have been able to move to a more secure, bigger apartment and unlock some money, which is my retirement cushion.”
Raquel finishes, “Moving to Monterey has given me peace of mind. I’m happy and that keeps me healthy. It’s nice and quiet – which is what I’d missed – but I’m still so near the town centre. Being surrounded by likeminded people gives such a sense of community; I know I can call on my neighbours if I need to.”
“I first visited Christchurch soon after moving to Bournemouth, and I loved it. I took the train to Christchurch and walked down to the development from the station. I love to walk now – it only takes me 12 minutes from the station to Monterey. Here, I have a slice of tranquillity, there’s so much gorgeous scenery nearby and lots to inspire me.”
To find out more about our shared ownership scheme or to look around one the last remaining apartments available at Monterey, please call Alison on 01202 471461 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org