Ghislaine Watts

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Ghislaine Watts, 56, had been privately renting a two-bedroom house in Letchworth for herself and her youngest daughter since her divorce. The rent was rapidly eating into her savings but she didn’t know what else she could do. Seeing an article about shared ownership, she thought it was a good idea but wondered if it was possible at her age.

Then Ghislaine saw an advert from Grand Union Homes for Meadow View, a shared ownership scheme for over 55s in the picturesque village of Langford, Bedfordshire, three miles south of Biggleswade. The scheme consisted of just six homes, three 2 bed bungalows and three 2 bed houses, and sounded just what Ghislaine was looking for.

“I had no idea that shared ownership was available to people my age but I am so pleased that it is! I had looked round another shared ownership house but when I saw the plans for these homes at Meadow View, I was so keen I actually bought off-plan.

“The sales team at Grand Union Homes were absolutely wonderful. They were very helpful throughout the whole process and were really patient with my endless questions.

Ghislaine, her daughter, and her rescue cat Lily, moved into her two bedroom home six weeks ago and couldn’t be happier.

“I totally love my house! I love the village location, the development, my neighbours, the shape and size of the rooms, the perfectly-sized garden and my patio. I was surprised to find I even had a shed and a washing line provided! Of course the best thing is the wonderful view of the countryside and seeing all the wildlife wandering by.

“With my hobbies including reading, sketching and walking, I’m in the perfect place to enjoy all three with peace and quiet, amazing views and great walks down by the river, or sometimes to the local pub.”

Whilst bringing up her five children, Ghislaine had worked part time in the care sector, providing support for adults in nursing homes, those living with Alzheimer’s disease and people with learning difficulties or recovering from head injuries.

“Since 1982 I hadn’t worked full-time until a couple of years ago. I now work in Housing Support in Luton, helping to house those who are homeless or who are recovering from addiction. I understand just how important it is to have a place to call home.

“We are very happy here, and that goes for Lily too; I’ve never seen her so content.”