Make the right choice for retirement living

For many home owners retirement signifies the need to downscale to a smaller apartment or townhouse.

This transition allows for living expenses to be reduced and safety and convenience to be improved, and also provides the opportunity to be a part of a community in your later years.

“The greater Cape Town region offers many retirement villages and retirement friendly locations and there are areas and price brackets that could suit almost everyone,” says Wilma Vorster of Knight Frank Residential South Africa.

“When planning to move to a smaller home or retirement complex you need to be sure what you can afford and what the area you are moving to has to offer.

“In retirement villages you need to look at amenities like frail care and security, as these are high priorities later in life. Many retirement villages offer transport to and from shopping centres, on-site maintenance personnel, restaurants, libraries, exercise facilities, internet connectivity and organised social activities – all built into the cost of the property. This makes these complexes a prime choice compared to moving into an apartment not in an estate catering specifically to these needs.”

Some retired people might prefer simply to downscale. Important considerations to keep in mind for this type of move are the upkeep that a new townhouse or apartment will require, as well as the costs involved. This could for instance mean looking for a home with a smaller garden, fewer bedrooms and foregoing homes with swimming pools.

Vorster says that you need to be sure that your existing home is neat and clean when put on the market. Large renovations are usually unnecessary as buyers will make their own changes, but the property should be presentable and attractive to view.

“To ensure the process of selling your home runs smoothly, set a realistic listing price that is competitive, but not excessive. Compare the selling price you are considering to that of similar properties in the area to ensure it is realistic.

“If you keep all of these factors in mind, you will soon settle into your new home with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you chose a practical retirement solution,” says Vorster.

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