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Question please

Hiya

Late last year my husband I put our first floor flat up for sale.

Yesterday, we had our first viewing. Email from agents afterwards said they want to come back next week for another look and are really keen. We also have a second viewing on the same day.

Question now

I don’t know if any of you have heard of anchor housing? They are advertised as retirement properties with support. Some have communal areas. They have properties around the country and it’s something my husband and I are looking at. We have already registered and printed off favourite places we like…York and Lincoln.

Does any of you live in a similar environment and if so would you mind giving me your opinion. Happy to have your thoughts even if you don’t in one.

I’m 60 next…although I do feel young at heart!! depend a lot on my husband who is not in the best of health (he’s 66 ).

I don’t know with my ppms if it will stay stable…just want to plan for the worst and get on with living. The reality is with my short term memory problems and physical issues, I couldn’t manage on my own if my husband dies before me.

Promise I am not being negative but actually just want to cover all angles.

Noreen x

Hi Noreen

Sorry I have no experience of this, but my initial thoughts were that is sounds like a positive idea, especiallyy as you both have health issues to deal with.

A couple of miles away from me, there is a development called Richmond, which is where people buy a property within the development, but there is help there also if needed, and communal areas for socialising. Hope that makes sense, I suppose its like sheltered housing, everyone has their own property, but there is someone like a warden keeping an eye on everyone.

Might be worth giving it some thought, its always worth looking forward.

Pam x

Hi Pam

What you describe does sound similar. The ones we are looking at have communal areas in some of them. You can be as private or social as you wish, which is what appeals to me.

Thank you for your input Pam, much appreciated.

Noreen xx

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Hi Noreen, I live in sheltered housing, which is the rented equivalent of what you are interested in. Only I think if you buy it’s even better.

One thing for sure, Anchor are the very BEST of this type of housing. In fact I’ve got my name down for 2 schemes run by Anchor… and 150 people in front of me. This is because so many people want to live in Anchor Housing!!!

My experience of living in sheltered is excellent. It’s not perfect but I do not live in Anchor but with another provider who aren’t as good. But in terms of my PPMS it has been a godsend. It means I can go to activities in the building when I’m not well enough to go out. As I live on my own that’s important.

Also the flat I live in is very warm and cosy. Emergency cords in each room in case I fall, plus I wear an emergency pendant. I have a level access shower and grab bars in the bathroom.

I just have to ask for help if I have a problem I can’t deal with. I have a ‘care plan’ done every 6 months to make sure I have everything I need.

I would say go for it. I moved in when I was 56 (5 years ago). The cuts have changed things a bit since I moved in, but that won’t affect you if you are buying.

Let me know if you have any questions.

All the best with it. It’s a good decision ESP with Anchor!

Pat xx

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Hi Pat

Thank you so much for your helpful and informative reply.

We will be choosing to rent Pat and keeping the small equity we will have left following the sale.

The rent doesn’t seem cheap on the face of it but it does include service charge, heating, hot water and water rates. Plus the all important security.

It’s good to know you think highly of Anchor too. I hope it’s not long before you get a place. I’m thinking now, if we get an offer on the flat, we may have to rent somewhere in the short term. We are quite flexible, so I’m keeping my fingers we don’t have to wait too long.

The people at Anchor said to contact the managers at each of the properties and arrange to look round, with a view to registering on the day.

Thanks again

Noreen xx

Sounds good Noreen XXX Don

Hi again Noreen, remember that I’m down for schemes in London and actually a very popular area of London to be close to my mum and sister (Kensington & Chelsea) so that’s why the lists are so long.

The rents are a lot but as you say it includes a lot of extra’s plus the support… ie manager or warden, emergency cord service etc. They are always being inspected by local authority, fire service etc so are really kept up to scratch.

If your equity is above £16,000 you won’t be entitled to housing benefit. Between £10 and £16k you will be entitled to some housing benefit and below £10.000 you will be entitled to full housing benefit.

When I moved in here I had also sold a flat and had some equity (not a great deal as had only had the mortgage for 6 years and it was just after the crash) but I was advised by manager here to spend some on things I needed for my new home… and to keep the receipts for benefits… who of course want to know how much you made on the sale and where are the funds!

It’s a good idea as it can lower your saving threshold and you are allowed to spend it on your home. So I bought new carpets, mobility scooter, recliner/riser chair etc etc etc.

Hope this info is of use,

Pat xx

Pat do you know what the income limit is, eg a private pension? To qualify for housing benefit.

Jan x

Hi Jan, It varies according to rent, saving etc.

So obviously if the rent is high, as it is in London, the income could be higher and still qualify.

And then also the size of household, so a couple would qualify at a higher income than a single person (although to be honest I’m not sure if that’s still the case).

This is even more complicated by the Bedroom Tax… meaning that a single person in a 1-bed flat might qualify for full housing benefit (ie the total rent is paid by Housing Benefit) but a single person in a 2-bed flat would not qualify for the full amount of the rent.

All very complicated.

The best thing to do would be to call into your local Housing Benefit office and ask.

Pat xx

I was thinking about the future and if I needed to sell up to go in sheltered housing. My son tells me that will never happen as I would live with him…what he fails to ask is whether I would want to live with him!!

Jan x

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Ah Jan I can see your problem completely. My son has also said that if things get worse I could go and live with him.

However much I love him… and his wife and my grandson… I would never want to live with them!!! And it’s so peculiar that they just assume that it’s what we would want.

You just have to go ahead and do what you want. Our children… without meaning too… can bully us into doing things we don’t want to do!

Pat xx

Glad I’m not the only one feels this way

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Hi again Pat

I didn’t realise you lived in London. I can imagine the lists will be long.

We never qualify for housing benefit pat because of mine and my husband nursing pensions. It is good to know those figures though, for reference.

Lets hope if we do get an offer after this Saturday, we managed to get a flat with Anchor quick.

To be honest, I am starting to feel the stress. Part of me doesn’t want to move from Bridlington, we do love it here. Maybe we should just move to a flat here temporary and take our time. I may even die before my husband, then problem solved. I just don’t want to be the one left behind because I depend on him too much. I don’t want to live with my daughter as much as I love her. I need my own space and so does she.

Of course it sounds selfish the way I’m talking but I’m just being honest in my feelings. If I didn’t have this stupid ms I wouldn’t even be thinking like this. In reality, with the right support I should cope-other people much worse off than me do. Telling myself off now lol

Sorry but just needed to rant. I am fine but some days yah just gotta let it out

Thanks again

xx

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Hi Noreen,

Know how you feel. We really loved our old home but because of this horrible disease we have sold up and bought a flat off plan. At the moment we are renting but we have an appointment tomorrow with the builder to look over our new flat. It’s very exciting but it has been so stressful. This was never the game plan.

I also love my three girls to bits but I would never want to move in with any of them. I really hope I go first because as long as someone is willing to cook for him my husband would be happy anywhere.

Mags xx

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Moving is a very stressful thing on its own without the added stress of being ill and unsure you are doing the right thing. Perhaps renting and taking your time choosing the right place will be beneficial. I was fortunate in that I sold my house put furniture in storage then lived with my mum while I took my time finding the Bungalow I now live in, I really don’t think I could have coped with the stress of selling, buying and moving in one go.

Take your time choosing somewhere to live you are going to spend an awful lot of time there in the coming years.

Best wishes

Jan x

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Blossom, I also adore my son and his wife too but I couldn’t live with them…they too have said the same thing, that I can live with them if ever I need too…what I would consider is a little log cabin at the bottom of their garden so that we could all have our own space and our own TVs !!

Hope you get sorted soon …selling /moving is such a trauma…we have our house on the market too. I love it here, we designed the place to fit my needs but what we didn’t take into consideration at the time was that eventually all the outside work would become too much for my husband.

Best of luck with your potential buyers, take care,

Nina x

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You’re too hard on yourself Noreen. It’s only natural to worry about the future when you’ve got MS. We can always find someone worse off than ourselves but it doesn’t help matters.

One thing that might help. A lot of people think of moving into sheltered as their ‘last home’. Not so!!! Lots of people move again into another sheltered scheme or move back out of sheltered.

My mother (87 years old and as mad as a hatter) has moved 5 times in sheltered!!!

If, when you see a flat, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t take it. As you say, you can always rent temporarily for a while.

Moving is always stressful. The mere thought of it stresses me out. But I know when the time comes I’ll get through it somehow… and one thing I learnt from my last move, ask for help!! And if you can afford to, pay for help!

Take care,

Pat xx

Thank you all for your helpful and supportive messages. Very much appreciated

Sorry about my last message. I’d just come back from docs about my memory-lack of. That’s another story!

It’s really helped to read what you all had to say.

Have a lovely weekend

Noreen xx

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Good luck with the viewing today Noreen. And don’t feel you have to accept a ridiculously low offer on your home. I had my house on the market and people looking around thought I’d be desperate to move due to my disability and some were extremely insulting with their offers. There will always be someone out there who does want your home for the right price and will come when the time is right. I honestly believe that.

Cath x