On Monday 16 August 2021, Joan attended the opening ceremony event at Westbury Estate to celebrate the opening of our latest homes. She is local to the area, having lived near Westbury estate for around 28 years. Joan went through the bidding process to get her new home on Westbury estate and is downsizing from a 3-bed to a 1-bed property, as her children are now adults and have left home. She has watched the new homes at Westbury being built over the years, so she is excited to move into her new home and start a new chapter living on her own. We asked her a few questions to see how she is finding the new home.
What was the reason for you downsizing your property?
I was aware of the option to downsize for a while, as I had adult children at home. I lived with my two twins in our home for 27 years (they’re 31 years old now). One moved out last year, and now that the other finally moved out as well, there was no need for me to rattle around in a 3-bedroom property – what is the point of me keeping the extra space when there are other families that need the two extra rooms more than I do. I think it’s very important for me to recognise that I no longer need this much space when there are other families in need.
What was the process like when trying to downsize your property?
I went onto the bidding’s website, and because I’m downsizing I had really high priority. I used to walk past Westbury Estate all the time, as I have lived in the local area for around 28 years. I saw the scaffolding up, saw them building the new homes and read the signs but I didn’t realise that it was in Lambeth as we are so close to Wandsworth.
When it came on the Lambeth bidding site as a new build, I was surprised but also very interested! So, I placed a bid for it and thought I’d take another wander out to look at the new homes in person, and then I really started to pay attention to it every time I would walk by. I ended up watching the last few weeks of construction, as it went from being a building site to suddenly being complete. I love the green space around the building and the playground, it’s a lovely area and I thought I would be so lucky if I could live there.
Did you enjoy the opening event that you attended?
I really enjoyed the day and loved getting to meet people from Homes for Lambeth and the council. It was also nice to have a proper look at the building and the other flats that will soon belong to my neighbours. After all the homes that we viewed, I still think mine is the best out of all of them! I love my new flat.
What’s your favourite part of your new home?
I love that the living room, dining area and kitchen are open plan, it’s so lovely. It’s a nice L-shaped room, with massive windows, and a lovely big door that opens to the balcony as well.
Both of those features make it so bright, with the sunshine streaming through. Another wonderful surprise was that blinds were put up – that was something that I didn’t expect to have.
Any other positives of your downsizing process?
It was a bit daunting thinking that I could have potentially have to have moved to a completely new area, so I’m really happy that I can stay nearby to where my children grew up. Even though my children aren’t moving in with me, they are happy that we are still nearby, as they love the area as well.
Would you encourage other people to downsize if they have the chance to?
Yes definitely, it’s a good thing to do. It’s a brand-new chapter in your life, if the kids have flown the nest, you raised them well and they have gone to live their own lives now and so I feel as I am growing older, it’s time for my new start.
What do you think of Homes for Lambeth and the work that we are doing?
It’s really good work that I can see from Homes for Lambeth. I am so impressed with the new homes at Westbury, it’s a really posh apartment block. If I was privately renting, I would not be able to afford a home like this. The homes are at an amazing standard. It’s wonderful.