Gay Geursen and her husband are embracing a new stage of life. They are moving out of their Wellington home and into a retirement village in Cambridge.
Their decision was driven by a range of factors, including health issues and a desire to relax and enjoy life with some support.
Geursen says they downsized to a smaller property a few years ago, but their changing needs meant the time felt right to buy into a village.
“After looking at lots of places, we fell for Te Awa, and we’ll be moving into a decent sized two-bedroom villa there. It’s not attached to anything, so it’s private, but the broader village offers companionship and support.”
But it was the sale of their home that has enabled them to make the move. Their Te Awa villa cost $1 million, which was similar to the price they sold their home for.
They sold their rental property this year, too. This meant they could afford to buy the home they wanted in the village of their choice, rather than a smaller or cheaper option.
“We are happy with our decision and looking forward to the move,” she says. “But we are lucky to be in a position to do it as there are a lot of people who can’t afford to do this.”
Summerset’s Ellerslie retirement village in Auckland.
What if you don’t own a home?
Geursen is correct that not everyone has the option of moving into a village. While 14 per cent of people over 75 now live in villages, and the number is growing, if someone does not have the funds to buy a licence to occupy, the usual route in, they are out of luck.
Te Ara Ahunga Ora – Retirement Commission retirement villages lead Michelle Reyers says it is necessary to have a capital sum upfront. Licence to occupy costs vary widely depending on the location and the village, she says. “A quick look at Trade Me Property shows options ranging from $180,000 for a smaller, studio-type apartment in Nelson to $2 million for a place in Devonport.”
Prices are set at about 25 to 35 per cent less than the average freehold home would be priced in the surrounding area. Reyers says the idea is someone can sell their home, buy into a village and have …….