Important Questions to Ask When Searching for a Retirement Property

If you're searching for a retirement property, for yourself or for your aging parent or grandparent, you want to ensure you take your time to shop around and compare all your options. After all, it's best if you or your loved ones move into a property you can stay in for years, rather than feeling you can simply move out if you end up at a complex that is not to your liking. Note a few important questions to ask when searching for a retirement property, and this will help you to find the right one for your family's needs.

Ask about an assignment fee

An assignment fee is usually charged when you sell a property in a retirement village. If you're thinking of buying an apartment rather than renting, be sure you understand if such a fee is in place. You may need to pay this fee, if the seller rolls it into the purchase price, and will also need to pay it when you sell the place as well, sometime in the future. Whatever the case, be sure you know if there is any type of assignment, transfer, or other such fee when a unit it bought or sold.

Ask about communal energy costs

Communal energy costs are costs related to community areas, such as hallways, parking lots, kitchens, the pool, and so on. These energy costs are often split among residents in a retirement village, if they all have shared ownership of the property. It's good to note these average costs, as you may need to pay them separately from your association fees and other such dues, so you'll want to know if they're typically very expensive for a certain property.

Ask about changes to a property, and what is allowed

You might want to make some changes to your own unit after moving into a retirement village, but don't assume that any and all changes will be allowed, even if you own the place. You might not be allowed to remove walls or flooring, or even have new windows installed, without approval of the management company. This is especially true for exterior changes; even replacing a porch light fixture may need written approval from the homeowner's association! Get a list of changes that are allowed or that need prior approval before you buy any unit, so you know what you might expect by way of interference if and when you want to make changes to your new home.

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