A retirement property is a new purpose-built house, bungalow, or flat designed for older buyers (60+ years old).
Such homes are perfect for buyers who want independent living combined with assisted care when needed. Moreover, buying a retirement property also means living in a community of people of a similar age.
Most retirement homes are leasehold properties, with the leases typically having long tenancy terms (125 years and more). This mainly applies to retirement flats, the main focal point of this guide.
Buying Retirement Properties: a Simple Breakdown
- Work out the budget
- Look for available options
- Get help from agents and professionals specialised in retirement housing
- Work with an agent and secure the deal
Retirement Properties Costs
There are several additional costs associated with the process, apart from the purchase price of new retirement flats and houses.
Most retirement properties come with service charges as services like gardening, window cleaning, and maintenance will be taken care of for residents. Another cost is ground rent, a fee paid to the freehold owner because buying a retirement flat is a leasehold deal. In other words, you are paying a fee for the land the building is on. Charges may differ significantly from one retirement housing development to another, so carefully review the fees before agreeing on a deal.
Thankfully, there are many buying schemes available for senior buyers. The Older People Shared Ownership scheme is a case in point. It allows owning 75% (max) of the property and means you do not need to pay rent on the rest 25%. Should you have any questions about retirement housing, feel free to contact us – we will be happy to help.
Retirement Property Types
There are three main retirement housing types: sheltered housing, retirement villages, and assisted living.
Sheltered housing is often what many think of when they first consider retirement homes. This property type is flats specifically designed for senior buyers.
Opposed to conventional blocks of flats, sheltered housing offers facilities and features for older residents to enjoy, such as communal rooms, spas, and pools.
This property type is relatively new but very similar to sheltered housing. However, it has one key difference. Retirement villages typically comprise a mix of houses, bungalows and apartments in a village-like environment, as opposed to the typical blocks of flats often associated with traditional sheltered housing.
Residential villages create a greater sense of community and are becoming popular among many senior property buyers.
Assisted living is also similar to sheltered housing, but it boasts a wider selection of amenities and features for residents who need extra care and support. However, Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) still offer residents a great extent of independent living.
ALF housing typically has 24/7 onsite care staff and designated nurses, so residents feel at ease and can get care when needed.
Special Offers From Retirement Housing Developers
The sets of amenities, features, and charges differ from one retirement housing developer to another, so it is critical to research the market and find the most favourable deals.
McCarthy Stone developer is a case in point. The professionals offer two main retirement property plans: Retirement Living and Retirement Living PLUS.
Retirement Living Properties
Retirement Living Homes by McCarthy Stone are new homes designed for buyers over 60. These properties are 1- and 2-bed homes, sitting in peaceful locations in the very heart of local communities.
In addition to featured developer offers, Retirement Living flats offer residents easy access to communal areas, social events, and an on-site manager for peace of mind.
Retirement Living PLUS
Retirement Living PLUS Properties offers everything we have just described but more. These homes are available in McCarthy Stone's retirement villages, meaning greater community spirit and a village-like living environment.
Retirement Living PLUS is only available for buyers over 70 and includes features like bespoke domestic and personal care packages, additional onsite amenities, and subsidised restaurants.
Retirement homes in London
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is possible to get a mortgage for senior buyers, but there are some limits and underlying conditions. First, it is typical to see an upper age limit for new mortgages of 65 to 70 or repayment limits ranging between 70 and 85.
It means that getting a mortgage for a 65-year-old buyer is challenging and implies higher monthly repayments because of shorter mortgage terms (15 or 20 years instead of the typical 20–25 years).
Note that smaller banks and building societies are more likely to offer older borrowers a mortgage on a case-by-case basis.
Once you know the basics of buying a new retirement home, you can start the retirement property search. Our section at 1newhomes offers a wide selection of retirement housing for sale in London, with lots of handy filters such as location and property type and features like the price trends tool.
Feel free to get in touch if you still have any questions or concerns about buying a retirement home.