A new kind of retirement living

“Retirement homes of the 21st century are an attractive proposition,” says Bill Spreckley of Stacks Property Search.

“Retirement homes used to offer a safe place for the elderly to live out their latter years. But you rarely heard ‘seductive’ and ‘retirement’ in the same sentence. Much has changed. The new breed of retirement homes offer an attractive way of life, with many retirement home providers focusing clearly on the modern retiree and what they are looking for in later life.

“And retirement can be an extended period of time accompanied by good health, and a desire for a sociable and active life. Those looking for specialist retirement housing have a wealth of choice from fairly basic property and limited facilities, to something that more resembles a four star hotel with restaurants, gyms, swimming pools and clubs, but with the back-up of in-house care.

“This kind of property requires residents to buy rather than rent, or pay for a room and care by the week or month as you would in a residential home. So buyers in this market really need to be sure of what they are buying into before making a commitment. A purchase of this sort needs to be for the long term as it’s a complicated to make changes further down the line.”

Stacks Property Search advice for buyers who are considering the retirement home market:

“Retirement accommodation is expensive per square foot, with a premium of as much as 100% (or more) compared to local square footage, and the costs don’t stop there as there are high service charges. The value comes from the care and the facilities, but make sure you can see the value, and compare different schemes. And that you have done your sums properly and can afford to live there for as long as you need to.

“Parking can be limited. You’ll often get just one parking space, and shared parking for visitors. You may not be able to park outside your door.

“There are varied amenities. What does the retirement home provide? Offerings are varied and becoming increasingly sophisticated including cinema, music rooms, spas, hair dressing, film clubs, bridge clubs, social gatherings and much more. Check out the competition and don’t settle for less than you really want.

“Look carefully at restrictions on exit, such as who you’re allowed to sell to. Sometimes you have to pay a percentage to the owner of the home of as much as 20%. Find out how they’ve got on with re-sales in the past, and what the re-sale price has been.

“Check out management charges, who the management is, and who’s responsible for what. You will have much less control than in private ownership. You need to be sure that the management company is sound and that they will do all the things they promise to do.

“Consider how much space you really need. This will probably be your final move, are you ready for it? Do you really need to make this move now, or is it too early? Might you be better off somewhere else for an interim move? You may find that you still aren’t really ready to downsize to this extent.

“Will you be allowed to take pets? And how much freedom/space will the pet have? Is there decent walking? Will it be allowed to run around freely?

“Research local services and amenities. The wider environment is important even though much of what you need is provided on site. How accessible is the local town or village, and will you need to be able to drive?

“This is an unusual kind of transaction, being half way between a tenancy and an owner occupation, so you need to take good advice from your solicitor, accountant, and speak to your family to share your thoughts and take on board their ideas and views..

“Think of the future, don’t just consider your current needs. As you get older you may need more help. What medical facilities are available such as push-button response, qualified nursing practitioners, on site doctor. In America, some of these developments have small hospitals/surgeries attached; this may even be the way forward in the UK.”

Stacks Property Search & Acquisition / 01594 842880 / www.stacks.co.uk

– Ends –

For more press information, contact:
Amanda MacCaw, 01386 700068 / 07977 238175 / amanda@wildmaccaw.co.uk

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