Whilst inheriting a retirement property is similar to inheriting a mainstream one, decisions need to be made and immediate actions must be taken.
Here’s a few things that beneficiaries should be thinking about, together with advice to those who find themselves the owners of a property that is likely to have an age restriction on the lease.
Most management companies and/or landlords of retirement properties will have a clearly laid-out protocol for when owners have passed away. First off, find out what regular payments will need to continue, such as insurance, utilities, Council Tax and service charges. If the plan is to sell the property, the this won’t be possible until probate is complete, but preparations can be made in terms of research and preparing the property for sale.
It would also be prudent start organising the contents of the property but beginning with retrieving precious items such as top-line documents, paperwork, valuables, photographs, and memorabilia.
Bringing in the wider family together to divide out the contents is always advisable, and will make the task less painful. It’s advisable that major pieces are kept as the property will look better to prospective buyers if its furnished. The rest can be dealt with by charities or house clearance organisations.
Although the immediate inclination may be to sell the property, it is worth considering other options. Get as much information as possible as to the likely sale value, but also whether renting the property out is a possibility under the terms of the lease, and whether that would make financial sense. Finally, don’t rule out the possibility of moving into the property yourself.
Achieving the best possible price for a relative’s home can be challenging, but an attractive property on a well-managed estate, especially if it has been properly prepared for sale, should have held its value as well as any property on the mainstream market.
Firstly be aware that this a covenanted market, so only buyers of a particular age, usually over 55, can purchase. It’s important, therefore, to use an agent who is either a specialist or one who understands this sector.
Deep-cleaning, re-carpeting, and painting throughout is generally recommended before marketing. Some rearranging may also be beneficial, upgrading the kitchen or creating some more open plan living. Whilst some buyers of retirement properties are looking for a “project”, most want a move without the need to upgrade and refurbish their new home.