Downsizing for Your Retirement – What Are Your Options?
With over three million homeowners aged over 55 thought to be living in a property too big for their means, these so-called ‘last-time buyers’ represent a quarter of all households over the age of 55. While age-appropriate housing is one of the most under-supplied areas of the market, there are plenty of choices in Chichester for those considering downsizing.
Downsizing your property in later life makes for an easier retirement. If your house is too large for the necessary upkeep and maintenance, or you simply don’t need as much space as you used to, it makes sense to move somewhere more suitable for this new chapter of your life.
What is a Retirement Property?
A retirement property is a residential property designed to cater for retirees. They can be fitted with modern features such as alarm systems, barriers and ramps or they are simply built in modern developments which facilitate community interaction. Some retirement properties are built specifically for older people or those with restricted mobility and offer communal areas like gardens, living rooms and dining rooms.
In most cases, there will be a lower age limit of 55 for retirement properties. If you’re purchasing one, as opposed to renting, they will usually be “leasehold”. This means that you are effectively buying the right to live there for a set amount of time.
What Are Your Property Options?
Bungalows are a popular living choice in Chichester for over 55s. Climbing up and down the stairs day and night may not be as easy as it once was. For some, it may even be something to dread. A bungalow will eliminate this problem with all of your rooms conveniently on one ground floor.
Bungalows also tend to have a smaller surface area, making them easier to clean the living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms. And with no staircases to climb, vacuuming can be much less of a chore for those with difficulties carrying the vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs.
Luckily for downsizers, there are many bungalows in the coastal areas around Chichester like Selsey, Bracklesham and East Wittering.
Town Centre Property
The commute to shops to get your essentials shouldn’t be hard work. Downsizing to a town centre property can be a great relief for retirees who no longer want to drive, have difficulty walking or carrying shopping long distances. Especially if you don’t have access to a car and public transport is unreliable.
Equally, there’s more security in town. Being surrounded by people can be essential in an emergency situation, as opposed to living in a rural area with barely anyone around to help. It can be a real comfort for older people to know there are people around them all the time.
Town houses in Chichester can be found close to the centre and some offer concierge services which are a great benefit to older people. A town centre property enables easy enjoyment of all the shops, restaurants, galleries and theatre on offer in Chichester.
Like a bungalow, a flat has the advantage of everything being on the same level, especially if it’s on the ground floor. There is less upkeep and maintenance on a smaller property like a flat and are often more energy efficient than a house. They also offer a good opportunity to get to know others of similar ages in the same development.
Chichester has an excellent range of flats both within and outside the city in central developments such as St. Agnes and just north of the city in Summersdale.
Assisted Living Accommodation
Assisted living is ideal for those in need of extra help with day-to-day activities. There are a number of assisted living residential properties in the Chichester area, and they are a great way to meet and socialise with others, and to ensure that your daily needs are met. Many have staff on duty 24/7 for extra peace of mind, while each offers a slightly different service level and apartment style. Good assisted living options are found close to the City centre at Southgate and Westgate, such as Brampton Court, Lacy House, Byron Court, The Maltings and Providence Place.
Can You Get a Mortgage on a Retirement Property?
While it can be more difficult for older people to get a mortgage, there are increasing numbers of lenders out there who can and will help. As with all mortgages though, they are subject to income and/or pension. The amount you can borrow, along with your interest rates, will reflect your personal circumstances. Our advice is to shop around to try and get the best deal possible. Always seek professional advice when it comes to managing finances for your retirement. Failing that, renting is always an option for those unable to obtain a mortgage for whatever reason.
Do You Have to Pay Stamp Duty on A Retirement Property?
Unfortunately, yes. Stamp Duty still remains a requirement for purchasing any property that costs over £125,000 unless it is a first-time purchase.
Are You Ready For A Move?
Moving home can be a little daunting, particularly when it’s paired with your life-changing retirement. You’re beginning a whole new chapter in life. Luckily, at Tod Anstee Hancock, we’re on hand to help make the process run smoother. Call us today for a chat about your retirement property options on 01243 523723.
Arrange a call back at your convenience when you leave a message online.
If you are ready to begin exploring downsizing options yourself, why not check out the latest properties for sale in the West Sussex region?