From Church Parish to Church Farm

Retired vicar buys first home at age 66.

According to House Buyer Bureau’s research, the average age for first time buyers is 37*. However, for retired Vicar Andrew and his wife Sarah, buying their first home has been a lifelong ambition they were able to achieve in their 60s. Andrew and Sarah found their perfect home at Church Farm – our sustainable development in Radley, Oxfordshire - just four miles from Iffley where they previously resided. The couple used their life savings to purchase the four-bedroom detached house outright for £730,000.

Until retiring at 66, Andrew and Sarah lived in a 13th century vicarage, provided by the diocese of Oxford. Andrew comments: “Being a vicar isn’t just a job, but a way of life. You are on call for people in need at any hour of the day, seven days a week. Retiring and buying our own home after 40 years means our life has changed massively, and we are thoroughly enjoying the freedom of our new lifestyle.”

Church Farm ticked every box for the couple, who were specifically looking for a newly built, EPC A-rated home to assist with keeping energy costs down!

Andrew comments:

“The vicarage was wonderful but very cold and dark inside. We knew we wanted to move into a newly built home which would be light, warm and energy efficient. When we saw that homes at Church Farm had solar panels and air source heat pumps as standard, this was a huge deciding factor for us, knowing we would be able to keep energy costs as low as possible whilst also keeping our carbon footprint at a minimum.”

The couple moved in at the end of May 2023 and have been enjoying making their house a home. Andrew says: “In the vicarage, we were restricted to what we could change in the property as the Iffley Rectory is a Grade II listed building. As a 13th century piece of history, we were only allowed to change the colours of the interior walls and the garden. Owning our own home now allows us the freedom and creativity to alter a home to suit our taste. However, ironically, since we found our new home at Church Farm, there isn’t actually anything we would change! It suits us perfectly.”

Andrew and Sarah have also settled in well within their new local community. Andrew explains:

“We love being a part of the Church Farm community. We recently helped host a party with 100 guests which was an excellent way of bringing our neighbours together and seeing new and familiar faces. Previously being a vicar, I knew lots of people and had close ties with the local community which I greatly valued.”

Church Farm is just an eight-minute walk from the village centre which is home to a community shop, village hall and a traditional country pub. The Hanson Way cycle route runs directly though Radley, providing a scenic journey between Oxford and Didcot. Radley train station can be reached in an equal amount of time and provides a direct route to Oxford in eight minutes, whilst London Paddington can be reached in just 57 minutes via Didcot Parkway. The A34 can be reached in 14 minutes by car and provides access to the rest of the Southeast.

A new phase of homes at Church Farm is coming soon. For more information visit Church Farm or call 01235 639500.

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