Looking for a retirement village unit or villa to buy or rent?

Retirement villages are a very popular choice for downsizing seniors, as they offer independent living in a community setting with access to shared facilities, leisure and social activities, with optional support services if needed. Many retirement villages provide both independent living villas or units and serviced apartments providing meals and other support services for those aged 55 and over.

The benefits of living in a retirement village include security and low maintenance living, as well as assistance in the event of declining health. Most offer emergency call buttons, dining rooms and clubhouses, with swimming pools, golf courses, and bowling greens becoming increasingly common. Catering to the high expectations of more affluent and sophisticated babyboomer retirees, the trend in recent years has been the development of modern retirement communities offering larger luxury homes in a resort-style setting, with discreet hotel-style support services if needed.

There are thousands of retirement villages all around Australia offering a wide variety of facilities and styles of accommodation, and price points from budget to several million dollars, with senior rental villages also available. The fees and charges and conditions of occupancy will vary widely so it is wise to ‘shop around’, make comparisons and then get legal and financial advice before you commit.

When buying a retirement village unit the occupancy arrangements may differ from other types of residential property ownership. In retirement villages it is common for occupancy rights to be determined by loan and licence agreements; leasehold title; strata and community ownership schemes; company title or rental arrangements, so it is important to obtain legal advice before signing an agreement so you fully understand what this means - and whether you are buying the villa or apartment, or leasing the land or occupancy right - and what this means when you want to sell.

Just like paying strata fees if you buy an apartment or townhouse, there will be recurrent charges which will vary widely from village to village, and in some cases also deferred management fees and charges on departure when you eventually sell. So you need to be fully aware and prepared for any future financial obligations and implications.

Retirement villages legislation applies in each Australian state, and this requires the prior disclosure of certain information and allows a cooling off period, and in several states you can change your mind and ask for a refund within 90 days if you later decide you don't want to live in the village after all. There have been recent changes requiring standard form contracts for villages in some states, and you can read more in the News page articles on the Seniors Housing Online website. [Or note links to relevant articles on the right hand side of this page.]

Easy way to search for your perfect retirement village unit or other over 55 property:

The Seniors Housing Online website enables you to uniquely tailor your retirement village search to suit your particular needs and tastes; you can filter the search by location, price range, the number of bedrooms, the type of onsite facilities, the level of care and support available, whether pets are allowed and much more. You can readily identify golf retirement properties; beachside retirement properties or even waterfront retirement properties using the search criteria on the main search page, or just click on the handy category directories, such as the “browse retirement villages by region”, with quick links below:

Find in-home and community based support services in your area:

There is a NEW search option to help you locate in-home care and community support services in your local area, to help maintain your independence. So in line with public demand and increased government funding for in-home support services under recent aged care reforms, you can move into an independent living unit or villa, knowing that you can stay there and apply for more support if your health needs change later on.

News and Information page - with articles and links to help you plan

The News and Information page contains handy articles and links relevant to planning your retirement, including information on the proposed reforms to Australia's aged care system and stamp duty exemptions for downsizers.

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