With the oldest baby boomers about to turn 70 years old this year, the majority of these post-war babies are too young-at-heart for retirement villages and still many years away from requiring aged care accommodation. They prefer to downsize from family homes to smaller, luxurious apartments.
Below are some thoughts on what to consider when going through the downsizing process.
Baby boomers should consider the mix of ages among other residents when choosing the right apartment or condo for luxury downsizing. Some apartment-complexes have a wide range of ages, including young families, while others cater for baby boomer and empty nesters which tend to develop into retirement communities. Many retirees and baby boomers regard community friendliness as an important aspect when choosing the right place to live later in life, and like to have access to local attractions and leisure facilities and be closer to the action than they were before.
To get baby boomers’ attention in today’s highly competitive new apartment market, many health-conscious over-55s clients are looking for onsite gyms, concierge services, underground parking and ground level shops, restaurants and cafes. The inclusion of a pool is also a must for many people, not just baby boomers.
When making your choice of apartment, the older buyers need to make sure that they think the process through and buy in an A-grade location so your home/investment’s value is assured in future years. There are advantages in small boutique apartment complexes, but if there are many onsite features – pools, gyms, communal spaces etc, you will need to assess how much these facilities will cost you and include that in your deliberations.
Facing Old Age and Vulnerabilities
Getting older brings new perspectives on life for some people. They begin to value convenience and realize their vulnerabilities. Ground floor apartments with lovely views in low-rise developments with an elevator become a preference and wheelchair access becomes more of a concern.
- How much are the maintenance costs and how are they budgeted?
- Is there a long-term maintenance plan for the complex and how has this been budgeted?
- Are there non-slip surfaces? If so, how much of the home has non-slip surfaces?
- Are areas suitable for use with walking aids?
- Are cupboards easily accessed?
- Is the lighting suitable?
- Can power outlets be easily reached?
- Is the bathroom designed well? Can the bath or shower be easily accessed?
- Is there enough room in the bathroom for a wheelchair?
- Are the ‘high tech’ features in the apartment including automatic drape opening/closing, security features or remote control of lighting easy to understand and operate?
- Are there any communal areas (dining/function rooms) that can be booked for entertaining bigger groups?
- Are there enough storage facilities?
- Are dogs or cats allowed on the premises? Are there any local council rules?
- Are there any examples of the developer’s previous projects? Can I speak to any residents?
- Is access to the benches low enough if I later need a wheelchair?