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Questions you should be asking before choosing a lifestyle village

If you’re looking forward to retirement, you might want to consider downsizing and moving to a lifestyle village to make life easier. After all, lifestyle villages aren’t just for the frail anymore. Many of them are resort-style homes with a luxe lifestyle to match.

To make sure that you find the right retirement village, you need to ask the right questions. The conveyancing experts at East Coast Conveyancing have compiled a comprehensive list of retirement village questions you should ask the sales staff before you sign on the dotted line:

Questions to ask yourself before you look

 

Before you even begin your search, you need to determine what kind of retirement village you want to consider. These questions will help you narrow down your choices before you tour your various options.

  • Do you prefer a suburban, city, or rural location?
  • What kind of home do you prefer—a freestanding home, a townhouse, or apartment?
  • Who do you want to live close to friends, family, or medical providers?
  • What amenities do you want to have nearby—shopping, places of worship, gyms, or other facilities?

Financial, legal, and management questions

 

When you consider the question, ‘what do I need to know when moving into a retirement village?’ you need to look at the financial, legal, and management aspects of each lifestyle village option. Here are the questions you need to ask.

  • How is the village managed?
  • Who manages the village?
  • Is there a homeowners’ association?
  • What kinds of staff work at the village?
  • What type of contract must I enter into?
  • What kinds of fees, such as service, maintenance, laundry, food, and other amenities) does the village charge?
  • Are there departure fees, exit fees, or deferred management fees?
  • What is the process for addressing complaints?
  • Is there a maintenance or service fee?
  • What is included in the services and maintenance fees?
  • When are these fees payable?
  • How often will these fees increase?
  • Who is responsible for maintaining the homes, community facilities, gardens, and grounds?
  • How—and how quickly–does the village handle maintenance emergencies?

Village life questions

 

When you choose a home for your retirement, you want a laid-back lifestyle with fewer hassles and more amenities. Make sure you ask the right questions to address your specific concerns—be they your ability to have visitors and pets or if transportation and activities are available. Ask these questions to narrow down your selections.

  • May I have pets, my own garden, or overnight visitors? Are young grandchildren welcome to stay over?
  • Is there covered parking for my car?
  • What amenities are included in my monthly fees?
  • Does the village provide transportation?
  • Does the village offer regular activities and outings for residents, and if so, what kinds?
  • Are there doctors, shops, and a library in the village, or are they close by?
  • What kinds of healthcare services does the village provide?
  • What kind of security do you offer?
  • Is there a residents’ committee?
  • How does the residents’ committee interact with the management?
  • What authority does the residents’ committee have?
  • Is there a clubhouse in case I want to entertain a crowd?
  • If there is a clubhouse, what are the fees to use it and the process to reserve it?

Contract-signing questions

 

Before you sign a contract, you should obtain copies of several important documents. Read them carefully. If your conveyancing firm specialises in conveyancing for seniors, it would be a good idea to provide them with a copy to read over before you sign.

  • May I have a copy of the resident contract?
  • May I have a copy of the village rules?
  • Do you have your notice of rights under NSW state and territory laws?
  • Do you have all the financial information that relates to your village, its fees, and payments?
  • What type of contract must I sign—strata title, leasehold, or rental?

After you have all the information that the facilities on your retirement village shortlist, it’s a great idea to compare them side by side. Consider your budget, your household cash flow, as well as the amenities you want. Then, if you find a retirement village that ticks off all your boxes, you can start looking at downsizing your home.

If you want even more tips about preparing for retirement by downsizing your home, you need to download our new e-book, Downsizing Your Home: Selling and downsizing tips for seniors. Get your copy today.

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