Moving to a Retirement Home
There are a growing number of people who are not only downsizing to a smaller property in their later years, but are choosing to live in retirement communities. Many people do not want the stresses and worries of living alone in their later years, so they choose to move to a retirement community so they know there will always be someone to help them. There can be a holiday feel to the atmosphere in these retirement homes and with the number of activities available to the residents it can be more like living on a cruise ship! There is company if you want it, but you can also have the privacy of your own home as well.
Things that you should consider if you are thinking of buying a retirement property:
- Discuss your move with your family; it is important to discuss how they will visit you. Many retirement homes villages will have guest suites for family members to rent and they may also have larger common rooms that can be hired for larger family gatherings.
- Make sure that you budget for service charges. They can be high, particularly if the property has extensive grounds and a lot of facilities. Some retirements homes for sale will have access to facilities such as a gym or library, and the service charges will need to contribute to the running of these facilities.
- Check exit fees. Some developers insist owners pay up to 20 per cent of the value of the home when they eventually sell. Some companies will forbid sub-letting, or may allow it subject to a hefty fee being payable. The Office of Fair Trading has cracked down on how retirement companies charge and enforce exit fees on their leases. For example, Fairhold Homes Limited, who own the freehold of a number of former McCarthy and Stone properties, have been forced to lower their exit fees, but there are still fees payable and some companies are still charging extortionate fees.
- Could you find a similar retirement home for rent, and end up spending less in the long run than buying? You could avoid exit fees and service charges altogether by renting a retirement property, and save the stress of dealing with management companies. Some of the major retirement property companies such as Anchor Retirement Homes advertise properties for rent, as well as for sale.
If you are thinking of moving to a retirement community, make sure that you have considered all of the different aspects of retirement living thoroughly. You could try visiting your chosen retirement village at different times of day on different days of the week, to get a true idea of the atmosphere of that particular community. With all of the fees and service charges involved in buying a retirement property, it could be a costly mistake if you decide that it is not for you.
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