City and town centres have been hugely impacted by the pandemic. While the number of offices may dwindle, property developers are reportedly snapping up urban developments to turn them into retirement villages. It could offer retirees considering these types of properties far more choice.
While moving out of your home and into a retirement village can fill some with dread, today’s retirees have more options than a traditional nursing home. A retirement village can provide security, access to a range of facilities, and a community, but they’re not the right option for everyone.
Retirement villages might usually be associated with getting away from the hustle and bustle of urban centres, but some developers plan to use vacant retail and office sites to build new apartment blocks, according to a Guardian report. If you enjoy living in an urban location it can make local amenities, from shops to entertainment attractions more accessible in your later years. It could also help to regenerate town and city centres after a challenging year.
Retirement villages aren’t a new concept, but they’ve evolved over the years. They are simply housing developments built especially for older buyers. The properties could be houses, bungalows, or apartments. They usually come with communal areas and it’s these spaces that have developed over the years. As well as dining rooms, some retirement villages now offer onsite amenities like swimming pools and restaurants. Often there will be an onsite manager to provide extra support if it’s needed.
So, what are the pros and cons of retirement villages?
The pros of living in a retirement village
Properties are built with older people in mind
Your current home may be suitable for you now, but will it be in 20 years? Properties within retirement villages are built with older people in mind to provide a comfortable place to live in your later years. This may mean they are more accessible should you need to use a wheelchair in the future, or the bathroom already has mobility features in place to help you live independently.
They can provide a community with facilities in your later years
Retirement villages offer more than just a home; they also offer a community for you to be part of. Other residents provide an opportunity to make new friends and be involved in clubs that interest you. Many retirement villages have onsite facilities to support a community feeling that you can enjoy.
Many sites offer additional support and care options
If you’re worried about how you’ll cope in your later years, a retirement village can offer peace of mind. There will usually be a site manager and staff who can offer additional support and, in some cases, care services can also be provided in your new home.
Property maintenance is usually taken care of
If you buy a property within a retirement village, you won’t usually need to worry about things like repairing a leaking roof or maintaining the garden. There will typically be a team to take care of this on your behalf, meaning you can focus on enjoying your free time.
The cons of living in a retirement village
The community has a lack of diversity
While many retirement villages benefit from guest facilities so your friends and family can stay, the community will be made up of other retirees. While some will see this as a benefit, the lack of diversity can mean it’s not the right decision for some people.
Properties in retirement villages are usually leasehold
In most cases, retirement villages sell properties that are leasehold. This means you own the property, but not the land it’s built on. Instead, you have ownership of the property for a set period that’s defined in the lease. This means you’ll need to pay ground rent and service charges, so you need to consider how this will affect your retirement income. It could also impact the legacy you leave behind for loved ones.
You could face exit fees
There are many reasons why you may want to sell your property within a retirement village. In some cases, doing so will mean you face an exit fee. It’s important you read the small print before purchasing a retirement property to ensure you understand all the potential costs and keep in mind that your situation and wishes could change.
Retirement properties can be more difficult to sell
While there is a demand for retirement properties, there will be restrictions on who you can sell to. For example, buyers may have to be over 55 and this naturally limits the number of potential buyers. As a result, it can make a retirement property more difficult to sell than a traditional home.
If you’re thinking about buying a property in a retirement village, you need to consider your lifestyle goals and how your finances will support your decision. If you’d like to make purchasing a retirement property part of your financial plan, please contact us.
Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.