Buying a retirement property can feel more daunting and challenging compared to any other house purchase you may have already made. This is because you are choosing a property where you plan to live throughout your retirement, enjoying your golden years without the burden of doing much work to the house. If you’re considering purchasing a retirement property, here are the top six things that you should consider:
- Service charges
Retirement properties are frequently subject to service charges; compulsory payments all residents must pay. This could be on a monthly or on an annual payment basis, the money will be used to pay for things like; building maintenance, gardening and landscaping, security and on-site support.
One tip is to make sure to ask about any annual increases and what the service charge has been over the past years so you can see for yourself what the previous increases have been. Another tip is to 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 and instead purchase some new plants for the garden!
Are you a pet lover? Some retirement properties may not allow you to have a pet. Make sure 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 a pet such as a dog or cat and are looking to buy a retirement flat, a ground floor property with direct access to outside space or garden 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 have friends and families come and visit. Many retirement developments offer guest accommodation which you can book as and when you need it (a surcharge may apply). This allows the family to come and visit without taking up all the space in your home which is always a bonus!
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 reasons for moving to a retirement property, make sure to check out the security arrangements as these will be really important for you.
We suggest you look for measures such as gated entrances, which prevent anyone without a code or permission from entering the development, 24-hour staff on site, CCTV and telecom answering services, which won’t allow people direct access to your building without permission.
A majority of the new retirement homes have advanced security features as standard, including circuit breakers, fire and smoke alarms. Retirement properties often also benefit from additional features such as alarm cords, video entry and other enhanced security and welfare products and services to offer increased peace of mind.
- Communal space
Are you worried you’ll get bored during your retirement? If you are a sociable person and worried about feeling alone in a retirement property, look out for facilities which include communal rooms. These spaces, which might be a drawing/games 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.
- Help available
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. Some properties will have alarm systems, as emergency pull cords, in every room which you can use if you need to call for help. In some of the higher end retirement properties, you can also find concierge services to assist you in any way that you need. For example, delivering fresh flowers every week, arranging transportation, excursions and even meal deliveries for you.
In addition to the advantages of purchasing a retirement property mentioned above, there are many other benefits that buying a retirement home offers. The main reason being when you buy a new retirement home, you can move in as soon as it is finished. There’s no need to spend money or time redecorating and repairing your new property. Some new build home developers even give you the option of designing your new home before it’s built so it’s decorated exactly to your taste. Making your retirement even more hassle-free!
Looking to purchase a retirement property? McEwan Fraser Legal are selling a number of retirement properties across Scotland. A number of stylish two bedroom apartments available in Auchlochan Garden Village. To find out what’s available, please contact us today.