Retirement on the coast is a dream for many, but for Wendy and Peter and their much-loved black Labrador Frank, it’s a reality.
They purchased a Blue Cedar Home in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, 18 months ago and haven’t looked back since. After spending most of their working life in Epsom, Surrey, finding a spot to enjoy a peaceful retirement – somewhere where Peter, aged 65 could wind-down from a successful but highly stressful career in global computer sales – was always a priority for the couple.
But making a move to the country became even more important when eight years ago, they adopted rescue dog Frank, who’d had an unhappy start in life. The couple invested significant time and energy into rehabilitating Frank, and after a crash course of training and obedience, he quickly established himself as a key member of their family and – through his need for long daily walks – reinvigorated the couple’s love of the outdoor lifestyle.
After researching a number of age-exclusive developments, they settled on Blue Cedar Homes’ The Gardens in Budleigh Salterton, a nest of eight houses, set around private landscaped gardens and with a communal summerhouse. The couple were attracted not only by the stunning location of the development, which is just a short walk into the bustling sea- side village, and the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the South, but also by the fact that Blue Cedar Homes offer all the benefits of a retirement village, with none of the downsides.
Wendy, aged 65 explains: “The idea of living in an age-exclusive development appealed to us for many reasons, but we were put off some other similar schemes by the fact that even if you owned a house, the property was still leasehold, with restrictions placed on the sort of home improvements and decoration you can undertake.
“That’s not the case here, so the first thing we did was take up the carpets on the ground floor and replace them with wooden flooring. Pale cream carpets and black Labradors do not mix!” And one of the reasons that carpets will no longer work in the house is that because of the outdoor lifestyle they now enjoy, muddy paw prints are now par for the course. Peter explains: “We knew we wanted a happy retirement for ourselves and we also wanted the same thing for Frank. After all, his first years were not all that good and now he’s 84 in dog years, he deserves to spend each day doing the things he loves.”
And what Frank loves more than anything is exploring the Devon coastline – the sand in his paws and the wind running through his coat. “We take a daily walk down to Budleigh Salterton beach,” explains Peter. “As well as the picture-perfect scenery and fresh air for us, there’s plenty to keep Frank entertained like the smell of the sea, crab-pots and wildlife. He, and we love it.”
For Wendy and Peter, their Blue Cedar Home enables them to make the most of their retirement now, and make sure they are prepared for the future too. Wendy said “We’re living life to the full at the moment, and Budleigh Salterton is the perfect place to do it. The village and nearby Exmouth has most of what we could ever need, with Exeter, just a short drive away. We’re also reassured by the fact that if we go away on holiday (as we certainly plan to!), the estate manager will be able to keep an eye on the property in our absence and even water our plants.
“It’s just the perfect place for us to spend our retirement. Now, and in the future.”
For further peace of mind, all Blue Cedar Homes properties carry a 10 year NHBC 'Buildmark' warranty.