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Is it a good idea to buy a retirement property?

(8 Posts)
emeline Sun 28-Dec-14 23:20:48

Once you reach 60 or so? The pluses are, they are cheaper, and presumably quiet. Are they inevitably expensive to live in, with high maintenance charges and restricted resale? Anyone have knowledge on this?

fussychica Mon 29-Dec-14 08:52:52

Unless you have health issues I'd say 60 is too young to look at a formal retirement property. We are late 50s and have recently returned to the UK. We have bought a 2 bed bungalow on a road with similar properties and we are younger than most of the other residents! Some are still living independently at 90. Our place is relatively easy to care for and we know we can stay here pretty much indefinitely unless we needed assisted living.

Personally I'd hate to live in such a closed community until it became necessary but each to their own. I think for what you get accommodation wise they are generally expensive plus there is the ever increasing maintenance/care charges to factor in. Also think you are right re restricted resale. Just go for something small, low maintenance until you really need something like this.

whatadrain Mon 29-Dec-14 09:09:05

My grandfather bought one and hated it. He hated living with 'old people' because they kept dying! He moved out and bought a new build house aged 87!

roneik Mon 29-Dec-14 09:56:29

I am seventy and would hate to live in one. Captive comes to mind , as for the charges and small print captive again. Gimme a mixed bag any day, and I would hate to live somewhere there were no young people too.

AryaUnderfoot Mon 29-Dec-14 10:14:02

They can work well, but there are pitfalls.

DH's gran lives in one. She moved in as a widow aged 75 when a brick was thrown through the window of her bungalow and onto her bed.

She has been very happy but, aged 90, finds herself increasingly isolated from the 'young ones' in their mid seventies who have the mobility to do things that she cannot do - such as organise trips to wander around garden centres. Her peers are all dying or being moved on to care homes.

The monthly maintenance charges are eye-wateringly high and subject to change. They have had all sorts of one-off costs over the years such as new fire doors. There have been frequent changes of managment company and the current on-site warden is quite prickly.

The most difficult part has been the problems re-selling the flats. They have been really hard to sell during the property downturn - leaving some families with large inheritence tax bills but unable to sell the flats they have inherited. Consequently, the beneficiaries have put pressure on the management company to allow the flats to be sub-let (which they have given in to). Now, gran is sharing the flats with young couples in their twenties and thirties.

That being said, she has been very happy there and has enjyed 15 years living independently with a good network of friends.

SquinkiesRule Mon 29-Dec-14 15:21:45

My Mum moved into one last Spring and loves it. Even with the maintenance fees etc it's still only costing her a third of what she paid out in her 70's house each month and that includes electric, insurance, TV and all her bills.
It's a 2 bed and bigger than a lot of the bungalows we looked at with her as she wanted a bungalow to start with.
The place she bought is managed by BUPA and it's like walking into a lovely hotel.
They organize outings that are available to everyone not just the younger ones in their 60's Mum has heart probs so walking far is an issue, but she still has her car and drives daily.
Dh likes it so much hes thinking that once we turn 60 we should think of selling up the house and buying a couple of the flats at her place and letting one out.
I think the McCarthy & Stone properties gave them all a bad name, they do raise prices and make things difficult and overly expensive. A good solicitor when buying is a god send.

TinklyLittleLaugh Mon 29-Dec-14 15:40:34

There a some quite cute little over 60s bungalows in a very vibrant village near us. I would be quite tempted to be honest, just use it as a base and travel most of the year. Free up lots of money from our big house. It has it's attractions.

Viviennemary Tue 30-Dec-14 11:12:52

I think they're possibly a good idea for elderly people who want to downsize. Say over 75's. Sixty is far too young to even consider this.

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