28 September, 2017
Buying a retirement property can feel more challenging than any other house purchase you may have already made. Why? Well, the clue is in the title, this is a property where you will live throughout your retirement, enjoying your golden years without the burden of work. If you’re considering purchasing a retirement property soon, here are the top five things that you should look out for when doing so.
Retirement homes with service charges
Houses or flats located within retirement complexes are frequently subject to service charges; compulsory payments all residents must pay. This could be a monthly or an annual payment and the money will be used to pay for things like building maintenance, gardening and landscaping, security and on-site support.
Be sure to ask about any annual increases and what the service charge has been over the past three years so you can see for yourself what previous increases have been. Also, ask if any part of the service charge is optional. For example, if you are happy to maintain your own garden then you may be able to save some of the cost of this service charge.
Can I take my pet to my retirement home?
Some retirement properties may not allow you to have a pet, even if you purchase the property. Ensure you check this if you have a pet now or think you might want to get one in the future. Also, if you do have an animal such as a dog or cat and are looking to buy a flat, a ground floor property with direct access to outside space will make life a lot easier for you in the long term.
Space for guests
Although you may be looking for a retirement property in order to downsize, that doesn’t mean that you won’t still want family to come and visit. Many retirement complexes offer guest accommodation which you can book as and when you need it. This allows family to come and visit without taking up all the space in your home.
Retirement home security considerations
One of the main reasons that people choose to move to retirement properties is to increase their security and feeling of safety. If this is one of your main motivations for moving, checking out the security arrangements will be really important for you.
Look for measures such as gated entrances, which prevent anyone without a code or permission from entering the complex, 24-hour staff on site, CCTV and telecom answering services, which won’t allow people direct access to your building without permission.
If you are a sociable person and worried about feeling isolated in a retirement property, look out for ones which include communal rooms. These spaces, which might be a drawing room or lounge, are a great way of getting out of the house without having to travel too far and can lead to making some wonderful friends.
Many retirement properties offer personal help from a professional assistant who either lives on-site or is available during a set time to provide assistance and support should you need it. As a matter of course, you’ll find alarm systems such as emergency pull cords in every room which you can use if you need to call for help. In retirement properties at the high end of the scale, you can also find concierge services to assist you in any way that you need, from delivering fresh flowers every week, to arranging transportation, excursions and even meal deliveries for you.