10 guidelines for buying the ultimate retirement home

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Investing in a ‘forever home’ is a big decision that requires careful consideration of existing and future needs. In South Africa, there has been a massive shift towards coastal semigration, with retirees following suit. According to the property market intelligence report, Lightstone, the town of Margate on KZN’s South Coast is emerging as an in-demand location for retirement living. There are many great reasons for this, but investors mustn’t overlook certain key factors when choosing a home.

“There has been a significant shift in retirement trends the past few years, because retirees are living longer than ever before,” explained Reece Daniel, Developer of Serenity Hills in Margate. “People are now looking for a retirement home where they can enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle which has meant a shift in priorities. To assist those who’ve just started their house hunt, we’ve provided a list of 10 key factors as a guideline.”

1.       Self-sustainability

South Africa’s blackout woes are set to continue into 2023, according to the medium-term adequacy report Eskom released in October. Add in the climate crisis and resultant water supply concerns, and self-sustainability should be top-of-mind for retirement investors. Solar panels, LED lighting, and water storage solutions should all factor in the decision.

2.       Security

Safety and security are always key deciders for property investment in South Africa which is why security estates are a popular choice for retirees. Considerations should include electric fencing, 24-hour access control, CCTV cameras, and emergency response.

3.       Active lifestyle

With retirees living longer, it’s important to think about the opportunities for active living when investing. Gyms, swimming pools, hiking and biking trails, tennis courts, bowling greens and volleyball fields are all some of the facilities that are attractive to retirees.

4.       Natural spaces

The mental and physical benefits of the natural world are well-documented, and connecting with nature in retirement is becoming increasingly important. Nature reserves for hiking and bird watching, dams and lakes for fishing, and the seaside for relaxing and bathing … these make for happy, healthy living.

5.       Quality of life

Margate emerging as a top destination is no surprise as quality of life becomes one of the biggest deciding factors in retirement. The area’s natural beauty, accessibility, year-round subtropical climate, and laidback lifestyle have positioned it as a top retirement destination for good reason.

6.       Pet-friendly

 There are documented health benefits for senior citizens living with pets including decreased blood pressure, anxiety, and depression as well as improved cognitive function. Despite this, many retirement villages have regulations preventing pet ownership. It’s well worth considering pet-friendly estates, even if there isn’t a pet in the house now, it’s always good to have the option.

7.       Value for money

Even those who’ve put away a significant amount of money for retirement will still need to spend carefully because of extended life expectancies and the rising cost of living. That’s why it’s important to consider locations, such as the KZN South Coast, where property prices and cost of living are substantially lower than in other coastal towns.

8.       Healthcare

While it’s not something people want to dwell on, diminishing health in later years needs to be addressed. That’s why frail care, dementia, and step-down facilities are all important factors when choosing a retirement home. Where these are accommodated on-site, there’s no need for relocation in the future.

9.       Children’s facilities

An often-overlooked factor in retirement living is facilities for the younger generations. Even if grandchildren aren’t around just yet, they’re likely to be in the future and their needs need to be considered. Estates with fishing dams, jungle gyms, swimming pools, and near the ocean will encourage more family visits in future.

10.   Community

The importance of socialising and community engagement for mental well-being was highlighted during the forced isolation of the pandemic. Those residing in lifestyle estates benefit from ongoing community engagement through social clubs, sports classes, and volunteer programmes all enhance day-to-day life. 

“When developing Serenity Hills, we focused on all of these factors to ensure our retirement investors were benefitting from quality living and peace of mind,” continued Daniel. “It’s the perfect place for tranquil living that balances the needs of retirees with those of families.”

Established in 2022, Serenity Hills is a stunning eco-estate located on the KZN South Coast. Developed on the concept of sustainability and community upliftment, buyers can be assured of a quality investment. Boasting world-class 24-hour security, the pet-friendly Serenity Hills offers buyers several great amenities, including biking and hiking trails, on-site medical care, a clubhouse, a children’s play area, three-month water storage, artistic workshops, solar power options, and award-winning food and beverage outlets.

Homes are selling fast so don’t miss out! To find out more, visit www.serenityhills.co.za or follow @serenityhillsecoestate on Facebook and Instagram.