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Housing options available to empty nesters and retirees
The kids have grown. Pension is just around the corner. The home that you've lived and loved is just too big for the two of you.
Your friends have downsized to smaller homes and retirement communities. The advantages are obvious they say - smaller homes translate into lower costs and less maintenance. Retirement communities ensure like-minded neighbours. The lifestyle decision is yours.
For empty nesters and retirees, moving can be an overwhelming experience both physically and emotionally. But preparing yourself for your move - before you make your move - can make all the difference in the world. Once you've determined that you're ready to take the plunge, there are an abundance of options available to you.
Ideally, the perfect "retirement" home is one that provides for the inevitabilities of aging and accommodates changing needs. The closer the home matches your needs; the less chances are of a subsequent move.
Numerous and various formulas
Making the right choices can save you a substantial amount of money. Determine how much you have to spend and what your dollars will buy in areas which you are interested.
When choosing a new home, your first decision is whether you want to remain in the same neighbourhood. You've called this neighbourhood home for many years. Can you leave behind the friends and acquaintances you've made over a lifetime? Can you say goodbye to your trusted doctors, friendly shopkeepers, and familiar surroundings? Only you can answer these questions.
If the decision is made to move out of your neighbourhood, determine where it is that you would like to go. A better neighbourhood within the city? A community outside a major center? Down South?
What type of property would suit your lifestyle? Is it a condominium promising little or no upkeep or a small bungalow that would still allow you to garden?
Short on maintenance and long on amenities, the condominium lifestyle has been a favourite of empty nesters and retires since its inception. Condominium apartments and townhomes are available in virtually every price range and neighbourhood. Many offer recreational facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and fitness areas. Some include golf courses. Unlike owning your own property, owning a condominium means that you're governed by the by-laws, rules and regulations established by the condominium board. Generally, these rules are necessary to ensure the enjoyment, safety and cleanliness of the condominium. It may be a wise move to check with the condominium board to determine how these by-laws, rules and regulations will affect you as an owner, especially if you have a pet.
Single, detached and a bungalow
Bungalows provide empty nesters and retirees with the best of both worlds - the opportunity to own a house and a yard with minimal maintenance.
The "bungalow living" concept has surged in popularity in recent years, especially in smaller communities outside major centers. Many empty nesters and retires are considering the sale of their larger, more expensive homes in the city to purchase less expensive bungalows in more rural areas.
Retirement communities offer retires the amenities often associated with condominium living, smaller homes and the opportunity to live with like-minded individuals.
Adult lifestyle communities came into existence in the 1970s in Canada. Today's complexes generally house approximately 500 - 1000 families in dwellings ranging from apartment units to single detached homes. The focal point of these communities is the clubhouse, where a variety of amenities including fitness facilities, tennis courts, games rooms, swimming pools, and in some areas, golf courses are available.
Current day retirement communities are resort-like in nature. For the most part, they're built in rural areas that are close to large urban centers, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle of city living.
If you're uncertain about the alternatives available to you, you may want to speak to your sales representative. He/she can provide you with a free estimate of the value of your home and help you to determine what type of property will best suit your lifestyle.