Life as a Dot Dot Dot property guardian: Kechinaeke from High Wycombe
We touched base with Dot Dot Dot guardian Kechinaeke, who is currently enjoying her 1-bed flat in High Wycombe. Kechinaeke talks decorating on a budget, how she began the search for a volunteering opportunity she loves, and why being a Dot Dot Dot guardian has positively changed her life.
What made you look into property guardianship?
So I heard about Dot Dot Dot through my friend. He’s a property guardian already somewhere else. After he’d told me about what it entails I thought that this could be great for me. I started to think maybe I don’t need to rent privately and I thought I’d take his advice and see if I can get a guardian property of my own. I began looking into it and found that Dot Dot Dot had properties in High Wycombe.
What drew you to Dot Dot Dot?
I thought it was quite nice that Dot Dot Dot has the volunteering aspect and that property guardians can get involved in charity work – especially as other guardianship companies don’t have this side to them. This made me way more interested.
What was your experience of viewing your flat?
The whole process was pretty simple and straightforward from start to finish. After I applied I had someone get back to me the following day to let me know it had been approved. The viewing for the property where I now live was actually the same week my application went through so it went really smoothly. I had my matching call and then got invited to sign up really soon and got my key to move in. It just wasn’t complicated at all.
What were your thoughts when you moved in?
When I moved in there was no proper flooring – there were very old wooden floorboards but they had paint splashed all over them. This was the main aspect that I felt needed to be done. Everything else was great actually. The walls were in really good condition but I think the previous person got it painted really nicely and so I didn’t really need to do this part in the end. I also didn’t have to do anything to the kitchen! Just get a cooker and I was sorted.
How did the decorating go?
In terms of furnishing the place, this turned out to be really affordable. The only thing I didn’t end up getting was my bed as I had this already from living with my Mum. I got some cheapish cupboards from Ikea and got a sofa from Argos along with a cute rug. For the floor, I got ‘vinix’ sheets which are really easy to put down and they look really professional. The best part was that it wasn’t even that expensive. It was £20 for a sheet and I only needed two per room. In the end, I spent about £100. Wasn’t really that expensive to do.
Where did you live before becoming a Dot Dot Dot Property Guardian?
Before I became a Dot Dot Dot Property Guardian I was living at home with my Mum and younger brother. My mum decided to go and be with my dad in Nigeria so I had to find somewhere to live on my own. My sister said I could stay with her so I did have a backup option but I wanted to get my own space and take my time to move in and settle down in a place I’d love to call my own.
What do you like about where you currently live?
It’s nice and quiet, very residential. I like the area, and that there are no disturbances. I’ve not been living here for too long but my neighbours are great. Everyone is really welcoming and I really like them. I’ve spoken to my next-door neighbour as well and had a good chat. I’ve lived there for two weeks.
What volunteering do you do?
I’ve found a few places where I’d like to volunteer and I know you’re allowed to choose multiple places to do this. I’m particularly interested in doing litter picking in the area – I’m a clean freak and so I like things to be nice and neat. My contribution would make me feel better if my surroundings are clean.
I’m also going to do some church work and some gardening. I work in an office 9-5 every week so I’d like to do something more interactive outdoors so I can talk to people in a different environment. There’s nothing daunting about volunteering in any way and you get to choose what you want to do which means you can ensure you’ll be doing something you enjoy and that you can get things out of.
Has property guardianship positively impacted your life?
Definitely! I’ve been wanting to save to buy my own property for a long time so this is a great way to help me do this – it’s the best opportunity. In fact, even when I was at home I was paying £500 each month and now I’m only paying £300 which is a huge saving. To think that I’ve got my own flat to myself and the space is mine. I love it. Getting to live on my own and affording a flat isn’t something I expected I’d be able to do and It’s only because of Dot Dot Dot that I can do this.