New homes

Thinking of downsizing? Buying a property in retirement guide

Posted September 17th 2020

Retirement now is very different to how it used to be. Many people are retiring earlier and living longer. According to the Office of National Statistics, women will live, on average, 20 years after they retire and men,15 years. Retirement developments are different now too. Developers recognise that people want a 'community feel' to where they live, are looking for like minded people to live near and are using their properties as a base. Developers are now building homes exclusively for over 55s that offer everything you need as you start your retirement; modern appliances, excellent finishes, landscaped gardens and security. 

So if you are retiring and your lifestyle is about to change, you may be considering a house move. It may be that you’re seeking somewhere nearer those all-important amenities, or it might be time to downsize now your children have flown the nest. No matter what the reason, here are our top tips on buying a property in retirement:

1. Consider properties designed for retirement

When properties are specifically designed for those in retirement, they can offer a new and exciting way of living surrounded by friends, companionship and support. A sense of community is important at any age, but is certainly a welcome addition when relatives and close friends may live far away. What’s more, retirement developments often offer safe and accessible communal areas, giving you the opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals. They also usually provide landscaped gardens, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a beautiful garden without all the backbreaking maintenance!

2. Location, location, location

Are you seeking that tranquil countryside retreat with a variety of walking hotspots and parks? Or maybe you would prefer to be nearer a town centre for cafes, restaurants, shops and local amenities. Decide on your location wish list, and then look for locations that meet it. You can get a great feel for the area by spending some time in the community and chatting to the residents. 

3. What’s in the surrounding area?

Your new home may be ideal, but have you checked out the surrounding area? You may be looking for nearby towns and cities for day trips to look forward to, or if you have grandchildren, it’s worth researching nearby adventure centres, zoos, parks, theme parks, play areas and activity workshops.

Whilst you may never need them, it's also good to know where the local doctors and hospitals are. Are they easy for you to get to if you do need them? 

4. Check associated fees

Before you settle on your chosen retirement location, be sure to check any associated fees that come with the property. These may include leases, ground rents, service charges (for communal area cleaning, maintenance and gardening) and exit fees. It’s also best to ensure pets are allowed, if you’re planning to move them in with you.

5. Safety first

Your safety and security are paramount, so it’s important to ensure they’ll both be taken care of to provide peace of mind. Consider extra security systems such as video entry, fire and smoke alarms. Additionally, some retirement developments often have 24-hour care staff or daytime wardens to help with household tasks if needed in later years. Some sites will also offer alarm cords.

6. Facility checklist

Whether it’s allocated parking spaces for you and your visitors, environmentally-friendly features, or a private garden or sun terrace, facilities can make all the difference when it comes to retirement properties. Make sure you know what's on offer at any location you're looking at.

7. Decision time

Feeling happy? Then it’s decision time! After consulting with your family and friends, it may be the right time to put your current house up for sale and look forward to new horizons. Retirement is a fantastic achievement, and you thoroughly deserve to enjoy it with maximum contentment and minimal stress.

If you’re looking to downsize to a quiet and peaceful location yet still within walking distance of Henley-on-Thames, then Laureate Gardens could be for you.

This unique and historic development consists of 34 predominantly Grade 2 listed carefully designed 2 and 3 bedroom homes boasting beautifully landscaped gardens, conveniently tucked away close to the town centre. 

The development offers sleek modern apartments in a new build, a converted old school and beautiful characterful houses and cottages. 

Are you looking for a private garden for pets or would you prefer a sunny private terrace or balcony? Some of our properties have impressive double height ceilings and grand spaces while others feature enviable exposed beams & period features.

Of course, Laureate Gardens includes all the things you would expect such as high quality bespoke kitchens & bathrooms, secure underground parking and handy nearby amenities...Waitrose is just 300m away!

If you're interested in finding out more you can visit our dedicated development page or call us to discuss your requirements and book a viewing on 01491 412345.

Find out more