Lock Up & Leave Homes

New Lock Up & Leave Homes Suitable for Globe Trotting Retirees

by Environ Communities

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Many find that as they reach retirement they want to downsize their home and spend more time travelling. Leaving a home for extended periods of time can be a worry but new homes called ‘The Manor’ at Kings Hill in Kent by eco house builder Environ Communities, could be the answer.

Kings Hill is a well contained and safe community, providing a secure environment for residents to relax and enjoy their home. Security features of the properties include inbuilt locks on the windows and doors, a burglar alarm, external low energy lighting and for the apartments a remote external entrance door access system. There is only one road in and out of the enclave in Kings Hill and regular security patrols keep an ever present eye.

Colleen Knoesen, who retired to Kings Hill four years ago, saysWe love to go off travelling in our motor home and never worry about the house when we are away. You seldom hear of any crime on Kings Hill and we feel that it is an incredibly safe place to live.”

One of the most outstanding features of the Manor is the view down a tree lined and landscaped avenue to a 150 acre country park to which residents have direct access. Owners can enjoy walking, cycling or just taking in the beautiful nature surrounding them. Yet the homes are only a ten-minute walk from a lively centre with a number of shops including Waitrose, restaurants, doctors’ surgery, hairdressers and a post office.

For those more active residents, there is also a David Lloyd centre with outdoor tennis courts, and heated swimming pools, as well as a nearby 18-hole golf course and cricket green. The Manor offers an exceptional lifestyle and a truly spectacular place to live in.

This prestigious development is designed to reflect one of the old Kentish manor houses with a wide three-storey central section flanked by a 2 storey building either side, each divided into 2 cottages. The Manor is a collection of finished two bedroom apartments, penthouses and cottages, all generously proportioned and well above the national average size; the cottages are 818 sq. ft. and the two bedroom apartments vary in size from 1051 to 1145 sq. ft.

The homes, designed to an exceptional specification, have light, airy and contemporary interiors with open plan living. All apartments have oak flooring in the living area, fully fitted bathrooms and kitchens and several full height fitted storage cupboards. There are also external store cupboards in the Penthouses’ carports and the apartments’ communal landing- a much needed fixture when downsizing.

The 2 bed cottages start from £327,500, the 2 bed apartments are £365,000 and the penthouses are £397,500.

One advantage of The Manor homes is their low running costs due to their high level of insulation, and they require little heating thanks to a clever heat recovery ventilation system that recovers heat from exhaust air and uses it to heat incoming fresh air whilst removing any stale odours.

The gardens and landscaping of The Manor, using plants specifically suitable for the region and climate, are an eye-catching feature.  In addition to the communal garden at the front of The Manor, which includes a formal rose garden with seating arbours, the ground floor apartments and cottages have their own private gardens too. Ground floor apartments feature two planted gardens with an area of stone paving for table and chairs, surrounded by estate railings, formal rose beds and yew hedges. While the cottages each have their own walled landscaped garden to the rear with an area of paving and raised beds. Higher level apartments have decked balconies, which are dressed with planted pots of topiary.

The Manor at Kings Hill is within easy commuting distance of London and is ideally placed for motorways (being just off junction 4 of the M20), airports, channel ports and high-speed rail. There is a regular shuttle bus service to West Malling railway station, where there is a direct train service to London Victoria with an average journey time of 49 minutes. There are also commuter services that run to London Blackfriars.

The Manor homes will be completed in May 2014.

Photos: Captions L-R Interior of an apartment at The Manor, external photo of the Manor, View from the Manor to the Country Park (Feb 2014)

Environ Communities, headed up by Tony Dowse, has recently won an award for ‘Best Small Developer’ by What House? Magazine and was overall UK winner of the coveted Green Leaf Award, amongst others. Environ create lifetime houses with a traditional and timeless beauty: from iconic, modern homes overlooking the Atlantic to spacious, unique family homes in Kentish hamlets and even cosy and peaceful retirement homes in quiet market towns. Attention to detail, landscaped gardens and sense of place and community run through everything they do.

Environ’s modern homes developments aim to achieve a true sense of that old fashioned notion of “community” and this is the reason they are called Environ Communities.

Royal Westmoreland, Barbados

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Royal Westmoreland, Barbados, announces new sales promotions for 2014


ST. JAMES, BARBADOS –27th February 2014: Royal Westmoreland, the most exclusive villa community and golf, beach and spa resort located on the prestigious west coast of Barbados, announces three new sales promotions for 2014. For a limited time only, buyers looking to purchase this year from Royal Westmoreland’s portfolio of luxurious residences can take advantage of three new incentives – a guaranteed rental program, trade-in program and golf-buggy with purchase.

Royal Westmoreland has introduced a guaranteed rental program for new owners who wish to reside part-time, removing the hassle of renting independently while covering running costs. Six weeks in the winter, including Christmas and Easter, plus two weeks in the summer are given over to Royal Westmoreland for rental control. In exchange, Royal Westmoreland will cover the following costs to new homeowners for two years: social club membership, Property Owners Association, block/neighbourhood charge as applicable, land tax, and housekeeping and electrical while Royal Westmoreland is in rental control of the residence. The club initiation fee is also waived.

Royal Westmoreland’s new trade-in program is perfect for young couples and families looking to purchase their first Caribbean home. For up to five years from the purchase of an apartment or townhouse in 2014, the estate will guarantee the trade-in value as the cash paid on initial purchase – plus an additional 10% – against the purchase of a bespoke, custom-build home from Royal Westmoreland.

As a value-added incentive, buyers who purchase a Royal Apartment in 2014 will receive a complimentary golf buggy with purchase.

“Now is the time to buy in Barbados as the property market is buoyant and prices have stabilised,” says Kim Goddard, Director of Sales at Royal Westmoreland. “Royal Westmoreland is unique in that we are the most well-established community on the island, and the only completely gated community. We provide homeowners with an unrivalled level of privacy and security, two main drivers behind our buyers purchase decisions.”

About Royal Westmoreland:

Royal Westmoreland is an exclusive golf, beach and spa estate located in St. James on the prestigious west coast of Barbados. Royal Westmoreland’s unique range of private villas, townhouses and apartments are available both for home ownership and holiday rentals. Bespoke, off-plan custom build homes provide buyers the opportunity to design and build their ideal holiday home. Five-star amenities include the championship golf course and pro shop, beach club, three diverse restaurants, children’s facilities, tennis courts and spa. Developed in 1994, the estate was purchased in 2004 by UK-based Pure Leisure Group, turning it into one of the most prestigious, well-managed properties in the world. For further information visit www.royalwestmoreland.com

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