When deciding on housing options for the over 50’s, many assume that retirement villages and lifestyle villages are the same. While they both generally offer communal facilities, enhanced security features, social activities, low-maintenance accommodation, and a host of other lifestyle benefits, there are big differences mainly in regards to the contractual and financial models that apply.
Also known as manufactured home estates, residential parks or land lease communities, lifestyle villages comprise of single level relocatable homes on a site with communal leisure facilities for the residents. The resident owns their home and pays a site fee to the owner for the land their home occupies and for the upkeep of the communal facilities. Lifestyle Villages are usually marketed to the over 50’s and residents live independently, not dependent on staff for assistance. There are homes for all budgets depending on a number of factors, but they are often less expensive than retirement villages due to the cheaper construction costs.
Retirement villages are multi unit residential complexes specifically designed for older people which usually offer a range of health and support services. Some retirement villages have aged care facilities on the same site. There are villages to suit different budgets and there are also different tenure types available. Many operators offer a long term lease (e.g 99 years) although some offer residents their right to purchase freehold title. Usually, a person loans the village operator a lump sum when they enter the village, makes periodic not-for-profit payments for cost incurred living in the village and then receive an amount back from the operator when they leave and the unit is on-sold. The amount the person gets back is dependent on their contract however it is usually a combination of the entry lump sum and agreed proportion of capital gain (or loss) with deductions for deferred costs and unit refurbishment.
Anyone trying to choose between these two housing options should seek legal and financial advice as well as advice from family and friends before making their decision.
Courtesy: Retirement living council