How to choose the right retirement property

With so many factors to consider, the process can be quite stressful. Whether it’s thinking ahead, managing your finances or simply making the most of your surroundings, Nick Freeth at Retirement Homesearch, the UK's largest specialist retirement property agent, shares some helpful pointers

Think ahead

  • Take into consideration your proximity to shops, doctor, hospital, clubs, entertainment venues, transport links. Personal transport may not be readily available as time goes on so ensure you have easy access to local amenities
  • Is a ground floor location important? How will you tackle multi-storey accommodation?
  • Is, or will, access be important? You may need ramps, lifts, wheelchair friendly floors available to you if required
  • If you have a car, is there adequate parking space for you and your visitors?
  • You’re likely to be downsizing, so think carefully about which personal possessions you must have in your new home?
  • If you’re an internet junkie, what’s the broadband speed in the area? Also make sure you check the strength of your mobile signal when visiting new sites.

Understanding your surroundings

  • Is the social aspect important to you? If yes, are there any communal areas and how do they look?
  • Is a view important?
  • Visit at different times of the day and week to check fornoise from roads, trains, planes, schools, factories etc
  • Is the overall development well run and will maintenance be easy for the areas you would be responsible for?
  • Is the heating going to be adequate?

Working out your financials

  • Does the property need a new kitchen, bathroom, carpets or redecoration? What will this cost?
  • If service charges apply, how much and what do you get for your money?
  • Is there a reputable management company and are the accounts up to date and clear (your solicitor can help with this)
  • If timescales or minimising stress are important to you, have you considered part-exchanging your current property rather than going through the process of selling in the open market?

* Read our top tips on how to downsize successfully here. Plus equity release lets you stay in your property without the hassle of moving. Find out more here.