Questions you should ask before buying a retirement property

Admin October 11, 2022

Whether you picture yourself living your golden years in a vibrant retirement community, jet-setting from a lock-and-go home base, or settling in a quiet cottage by the lakeside or in the countryside, choosing the right retirement property isn’t a task to be taken lightly.

Before you proceed to make a decision on what you want to buy as a retirement home, there are questions that we feel  everyone should be asking to make better decisions.

Will I be close to friends and family?
Most retirement-aged people will have spent a number of years in one town or neighbourhood, setting down roots, building a friend group and being with family. While retiring to a quaint cottage in resort towns or countryside may sound idyllic you must not take your community ties for granted.

It’s very easy to say, ‘My kids and my friends will come visit me,’ but in reality, life often gets in the way.The last thing you want to do is end up feeling isolated and alone in your retirement. If you’re not joining a community where you can easily forge new ties it’s best to stay within comfortable reach of the people you love.”

Will I have easy access to the amenities I need?
Realistically, most retirees reach an age where they’re not comfortable driving long distances. That makes it important to find a retirement property close to the amenities you may need. It’s best that when looking for something to buy you check out the shops, restaurants, parks, social clubs and medical facilities in a neighbourhood before deciding to move in.

Will I be safe?
It’s a sad fact that we become more vulnerable to crime as we get older. Your retirement property should be a sanctuary where you (and your belongings) feel safe and secure.

Security is one of the biggest draw cards for community living in retirement. Both retirement-specific and ordinary sectional title developments offer far more sophisticated security than your average freehold property.

It’s also comforting to have neighbours nearby who will notice if anything happens to you or your property, freehold homes may offer more space and privacy, but can also be more isolating.

How much maintenance will I need to do?
Getting older inevitably makes basic home maintenance like mowing lawns and clearing gutters a lot more difficult to DIY, opting for a low-maintenance property that won’t take too much effort to keep in shape.

What costs will I need to budget for?
All properties come with monthly bills. Freehold properties have rates, water, electricity and sanitation services, and sectional title properties add levies to that list as well.

Retirement communities often have much higher levies to pay for value-adding services like social clubs, healthcare and communal dining, for example. You’ll need to weigh up the value these might add to your life to figure out if they’re worthwhile for you.

Asking these questions can make a big difference to your estate, factoring into your decision

Share this article

More Articles