Ideal investment for retirees

Choosing where to retire and what the retirement village offers should be a careful consideration, especially if the retiree requires a certain level of care or access to a frail care facilities, says , Christo Slabbert, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Independent Properties Walmer, which services Walmer, Lorraine and the surrounding areas in the Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth.
He notes that aside from the location of the retirement village and the lifestyle offering available to those that purchase there, it is important for the complex or estate to have other facilities that specifically cater to senior citizens and their various needs.

According to Slabbert, one such option for homebuyers in their golden years is Stanbury Park Retirement Village, which is situated in the prime real estate of South End, Port Elizabeth. He notes that the complex falls under the Echo Foundation, a non-profit organisation housing over 1300 residents within its twelve villages and frail care facilities.
“Stanbury Park is managed by a resident supervisor and professional nursing is available to residents anytime of the day, seven days a week. Another benefit is that every resident is guaranteed entry into the Echo Foundation’s frail care facility at a discounted fee, should the need ever arise,” says Slabbert.
He notes that this housing development consisting of 71 units is for senior citizens who are aged from 60 years and above and each unit is fitted with an emergency alarm connected to the supervisor and nurse stations. Well-trained staff members make sure that the facility is a safe and caring environment and daily contact is made with residents who live on their own.
With security a top priority to ensure the safety of the residents, Stanbury Park is surrounded by a brick wall and electrified fencing that is connected to 24-hour security.  Other features of the complex include the fact that the exterior and interior maintenance of each unit is undertaken by the Foundation at no additional cost. The development includes a 307m2 community centre with entertainment facilities that can be used by the residents for personal functions at no extra cost.  Daily meals can be provided to residents on request, which vary in both size and cost.  The development is close to the beach and shopping amenities.
According to Slabbert the units are sold on a life-right ownership system. These rights do not give the purchaser ownership, but rather the right to occupy a particular property for the rest of their life, and fall under the Housing Development Scheme for Retired Persons Act. This right extends to both parties in a marriage or partnership so if either one dies, the other continues to remain in occupation. There are no legal costs, transfer duties or tax payable in this option. The life-right contract purchase sum must be paid before occupation is taken as a once-off payment. On vacating the property, either on death of the last surviving spouse or simply the last surviving spouse vacating, 50% of the purchase price will be refunded. Echo Foundation guarantees the occupiers the right to reside in a particular property and be able to afford to stay there for the rest of their lives.

“An affordability policy will be provided to the buyer to ensure financial security for the future and in the event of the death of a spouse, no transfer is required into the remaining spouses name so no additional expenses or stress are incurred during this traumatic time,” says Slabbert.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa says: “Due to the fact that there is no transfer duty or legal fees payable on a life-right purchase, there are no time delays because the transactions are not registered at the deeds office. Essentially the purchaser is paying a life time rental, which is paid in advance and guarantees their occupation of the unit for the rest of their lives.”
Slabbert notes that of the 71 units, 28 have been sold and 19 families have already moved into the complex. The free standing, two-bedroom units range in size from 84m2 to 160m2. Pricing for an entry-level home will start at R760 000, with the larger units costing up to R1.395 million. Levies range from R672 to R1280 per month, depending on the size of the unit. No additional rates and taxes are paid.
“Retirement and choosing right retirement property can be intimidating thought for some, but it doesn’t have to be. Retirement villages such as Stanbury Park provide retirees with excellent lifestyle offerings, while still providing them with access to top-class care if they need it,” Slabbert concludes. 
Vesta Construction and Worthy Homes are the building contractors on site and they have been household names in Port Elizabeth for years. The architect, Ray Koen, is a very successful architect in Port Elizabeth who designed the units.

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