Weigh up purchase options in retirement villages

When you decide the time has come to sell your family home and move to a retirement village, you will most likely have to choose between sectional title and life rights options.

“And there are quite a number of factors you will need to consider in making the decision,” says Keith Nash, sales director of Sable Homes, the developer of the Retreat at Hazeldean retirement village to the east of Pretoria.

“The big advantage of a life rights purchase, for example, is that it will usually be cheaper than sectional title unit. On the other hand, a sectional title purchase gives full ownership of the unit, subject to the rules and regulations of a body corporate, and owners get the full benefit of the appreciation of the value of their property.

“Sectional title buyers are acquiring an asset that they can leave to their heirs or dispose of as and when they please.”

Another plus for the life rights sales method, however, is that it keeps the development company involved in the retirement village, because it is the actual owner of the units and has a vested interest in maintaining their value. This ensures the proper management of the village - and the delivery of promised facilities such as community centres and frail care units.

“Such facilities are very expensive to build and run, and many people who have bought retirement units on a sectional title basis have been disappointed because the body corporate could afford to not provide them. Buying on a life rights basis is a way to prevent this from happening,” says Nash.

What is an even more important consideration, however, is what on-site healthcare services and facilities are provided in the retirement village you choose, what access you will have to those services as you age and what they will cost over and above your monthly levy. This is especially relevant if you will be on a fixed income in retirement.

“It is definitely the case that not all retirement villages are created equal when it comes to healthcare,” says Nash. “Most offer access to emergency assistance and many make provision for a healthcare professional to visit the village for consultations once or twice a week, or for residents to receive home care of they are recovering from an illness.

“But there are very few that offer proper Mid-Care or Assisted Living facilities for elderly people who need ongoing assistance with physical tasks such as bathing and getting dressed, and with managing their medication, but still wish to retain their independence and privacy. And it is essential that you choose a village that does offer Mid-Care, unless you want to face the prospect of moving again at an advanced age and possibly in ill-health.”

Article by: www.sablehomes.co.za