5 Tips to Select the Right Retirement Property for You
Imagine waking up in your stylish apartment, walking down to the Village restaurant for breakfast before indulging in a spa treatment, gym session or hobby group. This is the delightful reality for those retirees who have made the step to rightsize to a lifestyle village designed for the over 60s.
With a choice of attractive retirement properties on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one might be right for you. Angela McKimmie, Sales & Marketing Director at Rangeford Villages, gives her advice on what to consider before making the move. Angela has extensive experience in helping downsizers find their perfect home as Rangeford Villages are experts in this area. The company’s flagship development, Wadswick Green in Wiltshire, is now launching its latest phase Almond Close.
1 – Are you ready to downsize/rightsize?
Once the children have fled the nest, the upkeep of a family home can easily take over your life. Maintenance, repairs, as well as running costs can quickly become a concern for homeowners and remain a key reason to consider downsizing. Many people find that the earlier they do it, the earlier they can start enjoying their retirement to the fullest.
Pat Fuggle, who is a resident at Wadswick Green comments: “I think a lot of people are waiting far too long before moving to a 60+ property and it ends up being a forced decision. We realised that if we made the step now, rather than later, our overall lifestyle would improve immensely and we could fully enjoy our new freedom. I no longer have to worry about the garden or cleaning the windows!”
Her husband Norman adds: “Initially, some of our friends were surprised to hear about our decision to move whilst others have actually been inspired to look into 60+ properties themselves. One thing they have realised is that the term ‘retirement development’ shouldn’t put them off. Modern places like Wadswick Green offer incredible living and lifestyle facilities with a community feel and calendar of activities.”
2 – Location Location Location
No matter how nice a property is, if the location is inconvenient or has nothing to offer, it won’t make you happy in the long run. For many downsizers, the deciding factors to find the right property are proximity to family and friends as well as good transport links to local towns and cities.
Carry out research to determine that the surroundings of the property you are interested in offer plenty of lifestyle choices. The most recent survey by Octopus Healthcare and estate agent Strutt & Parker revealed that retirees are particularly keen to be close to shops (63%), public transport (63%), medical facilities (61%), family and friends (53%), restaurants (40%) and amenities/culture (35%).
3 – Onsite amenities and services on offer
Today’s retirement villages are forward thinking and often offer an abundance of facilities and services that cater to the residents’ current and future requirements. At Wadswick Green, for example, residents can take advantage of a swimming pool with Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, gym as well as a spa and hair salon. In addition, Wadswick Green is home to The Greenhouse restaurant, which has proven popular with residents and the Wiltshire community alike.
One factor that is important for many downsizers is the extent of care they are able to receive, should their health deteriorate. It’s important to check what’s included in your service charge and, in case you require additional care, what the expected costs are.
4 – Combatting loneliness
Age UK’s latest report found that the number of over 50s suffering from loneliness is set to reach two million by 2025/6. Approximately five million people in Britain turn to the television for their sole companionship, and one million elderly admit they haven’t spoken to anybody for a month!
It comes as no surprise that for many retirees, particularly for those who have no spouse, it’s important to move into a friendly community that looks out for one another. Being sociable benefits your overall health and wellbeing, so finding a village that offers plenty of activities or hobby groups is a good idea. Being surrounded by like-minded people also makes the moving process easier.
Wadswick Green resident Wendy Osburn says: “I remember visiting Wadswick Green for a tour of the apartments, and bumped into Marilyn who had already been living in the village for a while. We both grew up in the Bromley area in Kent, so we had a lot to talk about from the start. It wasn’t the easiest decision for me to move but Marilyn’s company has really helped me find my feet within the community and our little adventures help me take my mind off things.”
5 – Property layout and features
When it comes to the layout and features of a retirement property, it’s important to think ahead and bear potential physical changes in mind. Although you may be able to step into a shower easily now, think about accessibility in the future, should you become less agile or flexible in the future.
When you review your property of choice, ensure that it features mid level ovens, easy to reach power sockets and shelving units. An increasing number of people also prefer an open-plan layout as they get older. The space makes it easy to move around, whilst it creates a bright and welcoming living environment.
Wadswick Green’s latest phase Almond Close features 45 modern one, two and three bedroom apartments. If you are interested in finding out more about the properties, visit the launch event at Wadswick Green on Friday, 15th February 11am to 4pm. The show home will give you the chance to experience the feel and quality of the apartments and village first-hand, whilst the friendly team is onsite to answer any questions you may have.
To register your place at the launch or to find out more about living at Wadswick Green, please call 01225 584 500 or visit www.wadswickgreen.co.uk