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How to find a retirement home in five steps

Finding your dream retirement home doesn’t need to be a chore. Discover how to find a retirement home in 5 steps with the experts from McCarthy Stone.

A stylish living room of a McCarthy Stone property, featuring large doors that open out to a garden patio.
Property advice
Posted 22 May 2024
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How do I begin to find a retirement home?

Moving is a huge step—and if you’re searching for a retirement home, you need to be sure it’s the right one for you, now and in the future. With plenty of choices available, like whether you should buy or rent and differing types of retirement community and property types, it can be difficult to know where to start. Our five step guide shares all the things you should consider when finding a retirement home that’s right for you.

A retired couple sits at their kitchen table, listing their top priorities to help them find their dream retirement home.

Finding your dream retirement home—a five step guide

Finding your dream retirement home is an exciting prospect—but there’s a lot to think about. Where would you like to live? Would friends and family like you to move closer? What type of property is right for you? For example, if you have a dog, you’ll need to make sure your new home is pet-friendly.

Follow our five steps for finding the right retirement home and you’ll be on your way to moving into your new property in no time!

1. Research your ideal location

Deciding where you want to live in retirement is usually the most important decision–so it should be one of the first things to narrow down.

Perhaps you love your local community and simply want to downsize to a stylish and more practical retirement home. Or maybe you want to be nearer to family, to help out with grandchildren, or to be closer to good friends?

Many people see retirement as the ideal opportunity to fulfil a long held dream. For some that means moving abroad, for others it’s finding a home in the heart of the countryside or with views of the sea.

Whatever your reasons for moving, you should aim to spend plenty of time in your desired location to check if it’s right for you.

Make sure your retirement location offers easy access to amenities, including shops, eateries, leisure facilities, health centres and dental surgeries. Do you really want to drive every time you run out of milk?

A view of the sandy beach from the cliff tops in Cornwall

2. Choose a property type to suit you

The next step is assessing what kind of property you’d like. Are you after the benefits that come with a retirement bungalow? Or would a retirement apartment better suit your lifestyle?

Consider how much space you really need and the overall upkeep that comes with it. How many bedrooms are essential? And how much square footage, inside or outside, do you actually want to look after long-term?

Most people find downsizing to a lower-maintenance property physically, emotionally and financially liberating. It means they can spend more time on hobbies and less time on DIY, decorating and household chores–and it often reduces their costs of living, too.



3. Do you want to buy, rent or consider Shared Ownership?

Moving into a retirement property requires financial planning for now and the future–so it’s always a good idea to get independent professional advice.

If you’re thinking of a McCarthy Stone retirement property, there are many ways to move into your home, including buying outright, renting or part buy, part rent. Shared Ownership is also available if you meet the criteria. These different options are designed to give you the financial flexibility to suit your circumstances and all give you exactly the same access to our fabulous lifestyle and services.

The stylish, open-plan living area of a McCarthy Stone retirement apartment. Featuring a warm, neutral decor with hints of blue from the furniture, chairs and pillows.

4. Think about the lifestyle and services you’d prefer

If you’re considering a retirement village or retirement development, the on-site facilities and optional services can be just as important as the amenities in the surrounding area.

Most McCarthy Stone retirement developments offer large communal lounges with free Wi-Fi, ideal for meeting friends and family for a coffee or glass of wine. We also have beautifully maintained gardens, terraces or roof terraces for socialising in warmer weather. There’s a House Manager to look after you and our hotel-style guest suites provide a place for your visitors to stay—and double up as accommodation for homeowners to holiday.

Our Retirement Living developments include all of the above as standard. For additional support, our Retirement Living PLUS developments provide an array of independent lifestyle services to help with everyday tasks such as laundry, meal preparation and cleaning, as well as managers on-site 24/7 and a bistro serving fresh and seasonal meals.

McCarthy Stone chef serves food in stylish retirement Living PLUS bistro.

5. Prepare for your move

One of the biggest barriers to moving house is exactly that: the move. If you’re lucky enough to have had decades of happy memories in your current home, preparing yourself to move elsewhere can be tricky.

That’s why the McCarthy Stone team is on hand to help you through the whole process. From our Smooth Move service, featuring free specialist removals, to our pet-friendly policy, you’ll never have to leave behind the things you know and love.

Should you wish to clear out your clutter, our professional teams can help you box the things you want to keep—and remove the things you don’t. We can also organise tradespeople to help you with tasks, such as hanging pictures and mirrors, to make your new home feel like ‘home’ in no time.

Find your dream retirement home with McCarthy Stone

From our thriving communities to our vast collection of awards, you can rely on us to help you to find your dream retirement home.

Got a question? We’d love to hear from you. Send us a message online or call our friendly team on 0800 201 4811 today.


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