Buying a retirement home is generally something you only want to do once. This means you need to get it right first time.
But as you probably know, buying a property is not easy – and retirement homes come with additional considerations, making the process all the more overwhelming.
So if you are thinking about buying a retirement home, here are a few things you must keep in mind.
Think carefully about location
When viewing a retirement home, think carefully about its location. Is it near to a supermarket or shop? Is there a doctor’s surgery nearby? Are there good public transport links? How far away are your friends and family? Having amenities and support networks close by can be essential, particularly if old age, illness or immobility are an issue. On the flip side, if you are hoping for some peace and quiet during your retirement, you might not want to live next to a main road. So, weigh up all the factors and find a property situated in your perfect location.
Investigate what facilities are provided
Different retirement homes offer different levels of service. Some have an extensive array of facilities, including free shuttle buses, exercise classes and social nights. Others, however, offer little in the way of ‘extra-curricular’ activities. Consider what is important to you. You might prefer to lead an independent life. Although that being said, you might feel more comfortable if there is a warden or manager on site. Alternatively, you might relish the idea that you do not need to leave the complex in order to socialise with people of your age.
Calculate the costs
It typically follows that the more extensive the facilities on offer, the more expensive the service charge. The concept of paying a service charge might be unfamiliar to you. However, most retirement homes are leasehold rather than freehold, so you must pay a fee to the landlord or management company. There may also be other costs involved, such as council tax, water/gas/electricity rates, ground rent and mortgage repayments. Calculate the costs and ensure you can afford your desired property.
Check the management company
Not all management companies are made equal, and some are better than others. Investigate the management company and see how experienced they are at managing retirement homes. Check if they belong to a recognised trade body, like the Association of Retirement Housing Managers. And if possible, speak to the other residents and gauge their opinions. Remember, management companies have a lot of control, and are also responsible for things such as repairs and upkeep. So, you need one which is more than competent.
Determine your rights and responsibilities
If a retirement home is leasehold, then you too will have various rights and responsibilities. If you have always lived in a freehold, this can be difficult to get used it. Additionally, you may come unstuck if you are not fully aware of your legal position at the outset. Most of your rights and responsibilities as a resident are detailed in the lease, which is a legally binding contract. Be sure to examine the lease and establish what these are. If you feel that your best interests are not protected, or the terms are too onerous, you might want to look elsewhere.
What happens if you want to leave?
It can seem strange to think about leaving your retirement home when you have not even bought it yet. But it is better to plan ahead. What happens if you fall ill and want to sell? Or maybe you would like to sublet a room, or the entire property? Some management companies charge a transfer or exit fee when the occupancy changes. Again, these are additional costs or obligations that you might not have accounted for. Therefore it is best if you are aware of all eventualities, or it could cause you problems in the future.
Speak to a solicitor
As soon as you find a retirement home that meets your requirements, and you have an offer accepted, contact us at Breens Solicitors straightaway. Our specialist conveyancing solicitors can examine the lease and other documents before explaining your rights and responsibilities, and the costs involved. Getting such legal advice before signing anything is crucial. That way you can be sure that your retirement home is the perfect match. If there are any issues, it is better to uncover them now, rather than later. This will save you considerable time, money and stress.
Contact us now
To speak to an experienced conveyancing solicitor about buying or selling a property, please contact us now at Breens Solicitors.
Call Debbie on 01704 532890 or 0151 928 6544 or email email@example.com
contact us now https://www.breensonline.co.uk/online-enquiry/