Lock-up-and-go living is no longer just for the young and trendy. There’s a growing demand for easy living among South Africa’s mature population as well, and lifestyle retirement villages that offer affordable and secure apartment living are becoming increasingly sought-after. We are seeing significant interest in apartments in lifestyle estates that promote wellbeing and social interaction, instead of merely providing a retirement solution.
Bearing in mind that many people of retirement age are choosing to continue working, either to maintain their standard of living or to remain active and involved in their communities, Evergreen Lifestyle Villages encourage an active and social lifestyle.
Change is always challenging, and the prospect of a significant change in lifestyle late in life can be particularly traumatic if it involves downsizing from a much-loved family home or relocating to a new area. “For many, the prospect of packing up a lifetime of memories to move into a single room in an old-age home exacerbates the uncertainty which retirement may hold. If children have emigrated, the prospect of growing older without family support is an added burden.
But downsizing need not mean compromising on quality of life. In the case of Evergreen Lifestyle Villages, scaling down to one of the group’s modern, stylish apartments affords retirees new opportunities to live their best life. Unfettered by the maintenance that a larger home demands, they are able to enjoy the expansive resort-style facilities and leisure activities on offer. They can even elect to have meals delivered to their apartments – like room service in a hotel. “Nobody wants to spend their Golden Years bothering about cooking and cleaning, maintenance and repairs to a home that might have seen better days, or the day-to-day upkeep of a large property and garden.
A lock-up-and-go apartment also allows for easy travel to spend time visiting family. And relatives - especially those living overseas - have peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are safe within a retirement village with state-of-the-art security and controlled access.
Downscaling from a larger home also provides considerable financial relief, explains Wilson. Evergreen Villages offer a range of pricing models that make their upmarket accommodation accessible to a wider range of retirees. Instead of buying a physical property, clients purchase the inalienable right to occupy their home for the rest of their lives. The Life Rights model makes sound financial sense at a time when security about money is most important. Unlike a sectional title development - where one might be liable for steep levy escalations and special levies to cover improvements and maintenance - levies within a Life Rights village tend to be more affordable, and are calculated and communicated in advance so that residents can plan ahead. Additionally, no special levies apply as the developer bears the costs and responsibility of property maintenance.
Ownership of the physical property remains with the developer, so there are no transfer duties payable. There is also the assurance that the developer, with a vested interest in the upkeep of the property, will manage it effectively to make sure it is maintained to the highest standard. Apartments are a much more affordable option, especially for single buyers, with 1-bedroom units priced under R1 million. With COVID-19 affecting many people’s financial stability, the Life Rights model enables the purchase of a ‘forever’ home at an affordable price.