JANE SLADE offers some essential tips and questions you should ask when you go and view a retirement development

  1. Do your sums and remember it isn’t just the price of the property you need to consider but communal charges.

  2. Decide whether you want to live in a simple complex with no special facilities but perhaps an owners’ lounge or a luxurious village with a spa, restaurant, gardens and on-site care.

  3. Think about where you want to live not just now but perhaps in 10 years time. Near family or friends? In the country, town or coast?

  4. View as many properties as you can with your family or friend if possible so you can see what is available and how far your money will go.

  5. Find out if the development charges ‘exit fees’ – these are more common with retirement villages that have lots of facilities. This fee is only payable when you move

  6. Is there car parking? You will definitely want to be able to park your car if you still drive – but consider the day when you can no longer drive. Is public transport close by or does the development provide transport?

  7. Are there care facilities on site? You may not need them now – but what about the future? If you need nursing care will you want to move again?

  8. What kind of lifestyle would you like to pursue? Think about the facilities provided so you can learn something new or continue your existing hobbies.

  9. What are the staff like? It is very important to meet them before moving in.

  10. What are the fellow residents like? It is very important to meet them too.

  11. Try before you buy – many developments over overnight stays so you can test out a development before you commit.

  12. Ask what value-added extras the developer will provide. Some will offer complimentary removals, decluttering advice and part exchange on your existing property.

  13. What is the complaints procedure? You need to know if the management team will help if something goes wrong.