We are looking forward to having the family over for one last Christmas in our property as we are thinking of putting it on the market in the New Year. We are looking to downsize to a Retirement Flat. Is there anything we can do in advance to prepare for this change?

This is a popular move these days as we look to retirement properties as lower maintenance options for later in life. It’s a very different style of living so consider it carefully and see as many different options as you can before making any decisions. Retirement properties can provide excellent support at many different levels depending on what you’re looking for and it’s often one of the biggest moves people make in terms of lifestyle choice.

Retirement properties are invariable Leasehold which means they are held on a Lease for a specific term of years. This means they are in effect a depreciating asset and they also often come with lots of rules and regulations about things that you can or cannot do at the property. Check these carefully for parking restrictions for visitors, pets regulations, etc. as these are often robustly enforced.

Lots of retirement properties also come with a variety of charges and fees. There is usually Ground Rent, Service Charges, Insurance Rent to be paid as well as all the usual outgoings payable on a property and so make you sure you factor in these charges and budget carefully. There can also be hefty charges upon re-sale of the property which can be as much as 2% of the sale price.

In terms of practical preparations you can make, you could obtain some information from local Estate Agents in your area and you should make contact with a local Solicitor about acting for you in dealing with the legal aspects of the transactions. By using a local firm of Solicitors, you will be able to benefit from a much more personal service tailored to your needs. At Harold G Walker, we are happy to meet  with you to discuss your move and address any queries you have about buying a retirement property.

And don’t forget about sorting out that loft/shed/garage/spare room which will no doubt contain years of accumulated ‘stuff’ to be sorted out! With the family gathering together over the Christmas period, it may also be a good idea to discuss your plans with your family so that they can assist and support you with your decisions.

For further information about purchasing a retirement property please contact our Conveyancing team.

01202 692448

01202 482202

01202 823308

01202 881454

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