Cutting costs and upsizing on comfort is a double win for downsizing couple

Andrea Robertson, 61, and her husband Dennis, 73, had always thought they preferred older houses, but after downsizing to Dandara Aberdeen’s Hazelwood development, in the West End of Aberdeen, the couple have had a total change of heart. “We are saving a third on utility bills and we have lovely, comfortable underfloor heating. It’s so much warmer and there is virtually no maintenance,” explains Andrea.

The couple have only moved about four miles from their previous home, but it’s a million miles away in terms of comfortable living, says Andrea, who is a sales advisor. “Our old property needed a new roof; there was so much work needing to be done and it was just all getting a bit too much – especially as we aren’t getting any younger. I always thought I preferred an older home, but since we bought a brand new one, we haven’t looked back.”

The couple chose a two-bedroom bungalow, and were surprised to find that the floor area was much the same as their previous three-bedroom period property. “It’s much the same size, but so much easier to run – and not only are our utility bills much cheaper, the council tax and home insurance are cheaper too.” What’s even better, as far as retired painter-decorator Dennis is concerned, is that the new home doesn’t require constant work. “We loved having a period property, but we were very keen to downsize and live in an easier to manage home,” says Andrea.

Trying to move house during a pandemic wasn’t plain sailing, of course. “I knew this new range of homes was coming up for sale and I didn’t waste any time,” says Andrea. “It took a lot of time to sell our old place, frustratingly, because of Covid and people being furloughed. Our sale fell through a couple of times, but we held our nerve and eventually made it work.”

They found that they quickly felt at home in Hazelwood: “There’s a great community spirit here and all the neighbours are really lovely, which was especially important during lockdown.” The couple also made the most of their spacious new garden which was an added bonus during periods of restrictions.

Now they are able to get out and about more, the area around Hazelwood has much to offer, with one of Aberdeen’s finest green spaces, Hazelhead Park, with its maze, pets corner, children’s play areas and woodland walks, within walking distance, and the shops and entertainment of the West End close at hand. The main centre of Aberdeen is less than three miles away and nearby sports facilities include golf, hockey, horse riding and target shooting. Travel is simple, with the airport, bus station and train station all within easy reach.

After living in the nearby suburban village of Cults for 30 years, Andrea and Dennis already knew and loved the area, and being able to downsize into a more suitable home while staying in touch with all their friends and favourite places made the upheaval thoroughly worthwhile.

Claire Bathgate, Head of Sales at Dandara Aberdeen says: “We frequently find that many of our buyers who have previously lived in an older Victorian or Edwardian property discover a much easier and manageable lifestyle when they buy a new home. With much lower maintenance, better insulation and generally a more comfortable home, new homes really do perform well against some of their older counterparts. As well as offering easier living, these benefits also mean lower bills and reduced running costs – which will be a big financial benefit to any homeowner.”

A few three- and five-bedroom homes are currently available at The Wynd, Hazelwood for pre-Christmas move in, along with a handful of two-bedroom apartments at Oakfield’s also remaining, prices starting from £259,950. The next phase at The Wynd is now released with three, four and five bedroom detached properties, all homes boasting contemporary kitchens with a selection of integrated appliances, white porcelain bathroom suites and turfed front gardens.