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Retirement villages

(57 Posts)
Diemme Sat 21-Nov-20 23:44:07

Has anyone had any experience of elderly parents moving into retirement accommodation, particularly mcarthy and stone or elysian. My parents are looking into it and I've been really happy for them. But now I'm feeling uneasy about it. There's a LOT of small print which is hard to feel completely clear on. Has anyone got any experience, good or bad.

OP’s posts: |
titchy Sat 21-Nov-20 23:53:27

Very high service charges, payable even if the flat becomes vacant though death. Very high costs if you can't pay those charges. Be careful!

Diemme Sun 22-Nov-20 00:02:27

Thanks, that's one of the main things I was concerned about.

OP’s posts: |
RomaineCalm Sun 22-Nov-20 00:21:37

On the plus side FIL lives in one of these developments and loves it. He's retained his independence and pre-Covid had a great social life making the most of the communal areas and events. The warden in his building is fantastic and we're reassured knowing that there is someone there just in case.

Yes, the service charges are high. Look at the small print.

MinnieMountain Sun 22-Nov-20 07:02:38

DH’s DGM lives in one. She likes it. She can socialise when she wants (presumably not right now) but has her own front door for when she doesn’t.

Also be aware that on most, you have to pay them 1% of the sale price when you sell. This goes into the fund to cover sporadic major works.

ZadieZadie Sun 22-Nov-20 08:57:37

They can be extremely difficult to sell on, and you need to pay high service charges until it shifts even if the owner has died or is in care.

I've done some work with McCarthy and Stone, and having seen it from the inside I wouldn't touch it with a barge
pole.

Chevron123 Sun 22-Nov-20 09:06:07

My parents moved into one very young (60s). Mum is still there nearly 20 years later. She loves it. My MIL has also recently moved into a similar setting. Yes, the service charges can seem high and there is a lot of small print but the advantages of having a caretaker on site and communal living areas as well as the personal alarm system if anything goes wrong (we've now used this a couple of times and it works) are worth thinking about.
Through Covid the residents have been able to socialise a little - sitting out in the garden, coffee mornings (limited numbers).
Obviously it depends on the individual development. My experience is with relatively small blocks, close to shops and public transport. Neither of the developments I am thinking about struggle to sell flats on when they become available.
While we constantly quibble about the service charge, I am happy to see my mum living independently with minimal support but knowing that she has a social life and someone keeping an eye out for her.

Diemme Sun 22-Nov-20 09:40:08

Really reassuring to hear positive stories.

They can be extremely difficult to sell on, and you need to pay high service charges until it shifts even if the owner has died or is in care

This is my big worry. There's no way they'd knowingly let me and my siblings inherit their debts so I'm certain this hasn't been explained to them.

OP’s posts: |
MotherExtraordinaire Sun 22-Nov-20 10:44:00

Very difficult to sell on.

blue25 Sun 22-Nov-20 10:48:37

Not really a concern for you unless you’re worrying about a possible inheritance.

Madbengalmum Sun 22-Nov-20 10:52:02

Heard lots of negatives about McCarthy & Stone, regards to costs and particularly when it comes to selling them on.

TooManyDogsandChildren Sun 22-Nov-20 11:01:57

Can they look into renting one? Many retirement village have properties for rent as well as to buy.

ItWorriesMeThisKindofThing Sun 22-Nov-20 11:15:28

My PILs are very happy in their McC and S property. Been there for 10 years now. It’s a small development close to public amenities like Chevron describes.

The flats normally sell on quickly according to FIL, but this summer he mentioned that for the first time since they have moved in there have been a few standing empty.

user137425689631 Sun 22-Nov-20 11:18:20

Ooh, I read a Which article about this the other day. Not this one but might be useful:

www.which.co.uk/later-life-care/housing-options/retirement-villages

bilbodog Sun 22-Nov-20 11:20:07

My MIL died last year and so far we have been unable to sell her apartment. She bought it brand new for around £320,000 about 3 years ago and weve re-painted it, re-carpeted it so it is like ‘new’ and still cant sell even though we have dropped the price to £210,000. There are still some brand new ones for sale at over £300,000 that aren't selling either.

The other competion in the area are some much older mcarthy and stone places - so they are not as swish and modern as the new ones - but they sell for less than £100,000 for the same size apartment!

I would seriously look into renting one if these if you can so you are not left with an unsaleable property which still costs thousands per year in service costs.

1starwars2 Sun 22-Nov-20 11:26:06

My Dad, and my Aunt (mum's sister) live in a Mccarthy Stone and an Audley. My aunt has no relatives nearby and it is perfect for her, although she expected to hate it, it is much better than she hoped.
I am pleased she is safe and kept an eye on.
On the whole I think they are better if you move there early while you still have your independence and can get the value from them.
They are bad financial investment if you only have a few years left.
For my Dad he is much happier not having to worry about the roof or the boiler, and there is buy in care easily available.

sophandbridge Sun 22-Nov-20 11:26:28

I've got an elderly relative living in one. We haven't been able to see them due to Covid, not because of where they live but because they are ECV and in our household we are in three different schools and a care home so are quite likely to be exposed to it and pass it on so we've been asked by our relative not to visit.

They say that the service charges are expensive but affordable if you have a good workplace pension or other funds available. They don't use any of the social facilities at all as they hate that kind of thing. Getting a ground floor apartment is essential they say and one that faces out to the road and not into the gardens because then you can see life outside not just some over manicured gardens. They also say that having the option to go out of the complex without going through reception is useful when you don't want to be stopped for a chat.

They like that they can, in my usual times, just lock up and go on holiday and not have to worry that they might get burgled and they like that the place is so quiet - the internal walls are apparently very thick and they never hear any noise from next door.

Diemme Sun 22-Nov-20 11:31:35

Not really a concern for you unless you’re worrying about a possible inheritance

Not sure what you mean by this. Am I wrong to worry about taking on service charges of around £500 per month if the property doesn't sell when they die? I simply can't afford it, it could mean losing my own home. So it really is a concern for me.

OP’s posts: |
user137425689631 Sun 22-Nov-20 11:34:04

Am I wrong to worry about taking on service charges of around £500 per month if the property doesn't sell when they die?

It would be the estate being charged not you, so they'd come out of the proceeds once the property was sold.

Yohoheaveho Sun 22-Nov-20 11:34:12

ZadieZadie

They can be extremely difficult to sell on, and you need to pay high service charges until it shifts even if the owner has died or is in care.

I've done some work with McCarthy and Stone, and having seen it from the inside I wouldn't touch it with a barge
pole.

That's very interesting👀
would you be prepared to elaborate🙏

user137425689631 Sun 22-Nov-20 11:34:41

As in, your parents' death estate.

1starwars2 Sun 22-Nov-20 11:36:03

The service charges would be owed by the estate though. For my Dad's you would pay it all (plus an extra fee) once the property sold.
Like any property it's important to buy well. Eg Ground Floor in property near amenities etc.

Keepthebloodynoisedown Sun 22-Nov-20 12:00:07

A family member who recently passed away was in a McCarthy and stone property. It was brilliant for him, he still had some independence, and didn’t get lonely as met lots of people, but wasn’t rattling around family home alone, and having to worry about making his own dinner or upkeep.
As pp have said, service charge comes out of estate.

Diemme Sun 22-Nov-20 12:08:15

It would be the estate being charged not you, so they'd come out of the proceeds once the property was sold

Ok that's the big I wasn't understanding. I honestly thought the charges had to carry on being paid by someone.

OP’s posts: |
titchy Sun 22-Nov-20 12:27:09

Except if there is no cash in the estate to pay the service charges, there will be late payment fees in top of the service charge itself. The eventual sale may not even cover these.

Although you wouldn't be liable of course, but your parents may not like the thought of leaving a bankrupt estate.

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