Organised retirement communities have long been established in America and then in Europe. We are seeing a trend in construction of such complexes, such as in Spain, which should be of interest to Cypriot real estate developers and investors.
When one refers to retirement homes, most Cypriots think of the wretched image of most nursing homes in the country, which can only cause embarrassment.
Although there are new projects of this kind with high standards, the new concept of retirement homes is another more upgraded product, aimed at both Cypriot and foreign buyers and investors.
These projects have high quality specifications and facilities for the tenants. The concept is something between full ownership and an organised, managed complex.
As people get older and any children move out, their existing homes become very large and lonely, while its maintenance and its costs take a toll. Retirement housing projects are aimed at active retirees who wish to have their own home, but which meets their needs.
In general, these projects come in the form of organised complexes with 30-60 units mainly with one or two bedrooms. The units should be open plan, on one level with a small garden or if on two levels, there should be a private elevator per unit.
Any doors and elevators on the property should be wide enough to fit a wheelchair and the units must be fully equipped with furnishings and appliances.
The facilities should include a main administrative building, with a bar and games rooms, spa facilities and an indoor pool, but of a shallow depth and preferably heated. Outdoor facilities can include tennis courts, a bowling green and so on.
All units should have modern security systems, a direct connection to the receptionist, internet and numerous TV channels.
There should be regular visits from a doctor or a good connection with a medical centre for the needs of the residents.
These units are available in the form of a long-term rental, the period of which depends on the age of the buyers and the terms of the project. A tenant prepays the rent and if before the expiration of the rental they wish to dispose of their unit, they can pass it on to another person, so, the original ‘buyer’ is not trapped for their lifetime.
If a tenant is not a permanent resident they should be allowed to rent their unit to third parties.
So it is like a hotel complex with administration and management, but everyone has complete control over their own unit without restrictions.
The advantages of this set up are the cleaning, maintenance, management services of common areas, companionship of others in the same phase of life, the possibility of having live-in carers and independence.
Ideal locations might be 3-5km. away from coastal towns in locations that offer views and facilities near villages, where there are shops, supermarkets, recreation centres.
These kind of projects could be of interest to investment funds, insurance companies or provident funds. As innovative as they may seem, projects such as these, which started in Florida, will not be long in making their appearance in Cyprus.
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Valuers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants, www.aloizou.com.cy, [email protected]