Estate agent commentary on retirement developments in KZN

Private Property South Africa

Local property experts discuss what buyers should be looking for in a retirement development.

When should buyers start to consider investing in a retirement village?

The decision to invest in a retirement development is not easy, simply because most retirees would rather stay in their existing homes. Most retirees only start thinking of making the decision when some of the following issues arise: their health starts failing, their current home starts to become a burden in terms of upkeep and costs, and their need for access to a care centre. Unfortunately, this decision is often made when retirees are in their late 70s or even early 80s. My recommendation is to move when you are still healthy and able to enjoy your retirement, and to choose a development with facilities that suit your needs.

Roy Alderdice: Developer, Rob Roy Luxury Retirement

What type of amenities appeal to those looking to invest in retirement developments?

Based on existing research into retirement developments nationally, and specifically KZN, there is a significant trend that sees people prioritising healthcare facilities first and foremost, with security being second on the list. Aside from that, there is a massive demand for traditional facilities such as integrated community facilities like heated pools, outdoor recreation and other activities such as bowls and bridge, for example. A gym, yoga classes and shuttle services to and from shopping malls are also key requirements. The biggest thing in addition to this is that people are wanting a pet-friendly environment. Although not a facility, this is definitely a purchase differentiator.

Stefan Botha: Director, Rainmaker Marketing

What should buyers be looking for in a retirement development?

Frail care must be seen as the cornerstone of retirement villages. Offsite frail care facilities may be more economical because a number of villages can contribute to the running expenses, but it makes visiting very difficult and traumatic for the spouse. Other issues that make for peace of mind are knowing that the frail care centre is registered under the Older Persons Act and that the retirement villages themselves are registered with the Department of Trade and Industry under the Housing Development Schemes for Retired Persons Act. Maintenance, levy structure, outpatients, sporting facilities, activities, meals, laundry and cottage cleaning must all be taken into consideration when looking for a suitable retirement village.

John Webster: CEO, Hibiscus Retirement Villages

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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