Guide to Property for Retirees

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What You Need to Know

  1. The manageability of a property is a big concern for many older buyers.
  2. Whilst a simple solution is simply to downsize, you may want to look at developments where all maintenance is taken care of for you.
  3. As well as practicality, developments also offer other benefits such as a strong social element.
  4. You need to think about how likely it is that you might need to move again in the future as some homes will be easier to re-sell than others.
  5. Whilst private properties can be re-sold to a larger range of buyers, specialist retirement homes will have a strong appeal within their target market.
  6. Renting is an increasingly popular move, even amongst those who’ve previously been homeowners.
  7. You can rent as well as buy specialist retirement properties.

Retirement is the product of a life’s work, and it’s only right that you make the most of it. It takes an increasingly long time to earn (only one in four over-50s will stop working after they reach retirement age) and investing in a property that suits your needs can make your new (hopefully altogether more leisurely lifestyle) exponentially more enjoyable.

There are properties aimed at every demographic, from apartments for young professionals, to houses for expanding families. Retirees are no exception. In this guide we’ll look at what you might look for if you’re taking a look at the market and comparing bespoke retirement properties.

Manageability

Whether you’re concerned about your ability to keep things in order, or you simply cannot countenance the idea of spending any more time than is strictly necessary looking after your home, there’s a good chance you’re going to want a property that isn’t too demanding in terms of maintenance.

One of the easiest ways to do ensure your property won’t be too much of a handful, and one that can have financial incentives, is simply to downsize. If you’re kids are now firmly independent and you’re still occupying a four or more bedroom home, it could be wise to realise it’s value, move into something smaller and give yourself the resources to travel, see the world or put into practice any other plans you might have made.

Alternatively you might consider moving into a development especially for retirees. Often these have amenities such as cleaners, gardeners and general property management services, meaning residents don’t need to worry themselves with mundane tasks.

Of course, these services are provided at a price, and if you want to avoid service charges and are quite independently minded, you might prefer not to go down this route. Aside, from the practicalities such as alarm systems and wardens, a big attraction of a retirement development is the companionship, but this is, of course, more important to some people than others.

Re-Selling

If you think it’s likely that at some point you’re going to want to re-sell your retirement home, this could be a major factor in determining the type of property you go for. If your property is just a home on the open market, then how much you’ll expect to recoup will come down to general considerations, such as the area and the nature of the dwelling. Though the market is sluggish, there is a wide range of people you might be able to sell to.

If you own a specialist retirement property then, obviously the market you can target for resale is going to be smaller. In some instances there may be restrictions (for example residents may have over 50 or over 60 to live in certain homes) as to who can actually take it off your hands. That said it’s also going to better suited to that niche, and, if the developer in question is in a position to help you, if might actually be easier to sell a bespoke property. It pays to know all of the terms of your lease. In some cases you might find yourself facing exit fees if you need to leave (something the office of fair trading has been looking into).

Either way, the likelihood or you wanting to move again needs to be taken into account when assessing your options.

Consider Renting

Though traditionally it has been the preserve of younger people, more and more retirees are choosing to rent rather than buy. Many of these have previously owned homes but found it either necessary or desirable not to put the money back into brick and mortar, but to rent and spend on other areas of life that have taken on greater importance.

As well as the open market, you can rent accommodation from a retirement development where you can benefit from being part of a like minded community and engage in a range of social activities. As with any property proximity to other facilities is important, and in general developments tend to be well placed.

If you opt to rent, you will be able to move at short notice should need be. This could be a major advantage in that it’s much less hassle than going through the protracted (and possibly difficult) process of a sale.

Further Reading

 

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