Where should you buy a home as a retiree?

As an Australian retiree, there are certain regions around the country that cater better to your needs. According to a CoreLogic RP Data report from August 29, 2016, there are 43 suburbs that have at least 25 per cent of their population over the age of 65.

So many retirees (and older workers, for that matter) can't be wrong, so what's got them flocking to these regions? And how should you go about getting into one for yourself?

Which regions are attracting the over-65s?

CoreLogic states that the suburbs with the highest representation of over-65s include Victor Harbour in South Australia (37.9 per cent of the population), Queenscliffe in Victoria (35.3 per cent), Great Lakes in New South Wales (33.5 per cent) and Yorke Peninsula in South Australia (31.3 per cent).

Three out of the top four suburbs for over-65s have median house values under $420,000.

One of the most attractive parts about these suburbs is their median dwelling values. Three out of the top four have median house values under $420,000, and all except Queenscliffe have median unit values of less than $320,000. For retirees living on a pension, or those who are concerned about their upcoming retirement and lack of steady income, buying a property that doesn't break the bank is vital.

A July 7, 2012 article from The Australian suggests that buying in a retirement-friendly suburb or region could save you a significant amount of money, while providing a much more enjoyable lifestyle in your twilight years (which are hopefully long and fruitful).

"We love it," said John Henderson, a retired bank executive who bought in Singleton upon retiring.

"We have bought an 1892 mansion in town on one acre for half what we got for our standard Lindfield house [in Sydney]. Everyone is friendly. We are close to Sydney, Newcastle and all the [Hunter Valley's] wonderful golf courses and wineries. Singleton is a thriving, prosperous town and the mining that fuels that gives Singleton a strong sense of purpose."

Moving from the big city to a smaller town can be hard, especially if you're used to the hustle and bustle of the big smoke. However, it can also be relaxing, and depending on where you buy, can open up new activities. Golf, community events and day trips to the wineries around your new home can become the regular, and you'll be surrounded by people wanting to do the exact same thing.

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Of the top 50 suburbs that attract over-65s, Greater Taree in New South Wales has the highest number of residents at just under 50,000. Of that number, 24.9 per cent are over 65. This is likely because of the low median house and unit values ($290,586 and $220,577 respectively). For a fraction of the cost of a home in Sydney (which has a median dwelling value over $1 million), over-65s can move into a home that caters to their needs, and be surrounded by people at the same life stage as them.

To take all the stresses out of buying in one of these suburbs, a Cohen Handler buyer's agent can step in and shoulder the load.

What else do over-65s look for?

Along with great community, being surrounded by similarly situated people, fabulous activities and a lower home value to leave more money in the kitty for other things, over-65s want specific factors included in their purchase.

Your Life Choices states retirees tend to look for new challenges when they retire. That might be something as active as taking up surfing or golf, or an activity as interior (but equally demanding) as writing. These things point toward specific locations – for surfing, a beach with a wave break is required. That might be a quick walk down the road, or even a 40-minute drive, depending on what you want.

It can take a whole lot of time and energy to get your retirement home purchase right.

For a quiet day of sitting at a desk and writing, you might be after a more peaceful location. A beach can be relaxing, but the best ones in Australia are always busy with tourists and locals trying to catch that perfect wave. Somewhere remote in the countryside might be more appropriate, but that also might put you too far away from amenities you want. These are just some of the factors you need to consider when buying, and it can take a whole lot of time and energy to get right.

What's the best way to find the right place?

To ensure you aren't wasting precious hours researching where to buy instead of enjoying your hard-earned retirement, let a Cohen Handler buyer's agent take care of the legwork for you.

The team of experienced professionals can take your specific requirements and create a shortlist of homes for you to choose from. They can even help you to place bids, negotiate and buy at auction, so you can sit back and relax.

To get started on finding the perfect home for your retirement, get in touch with Cohen Handler today.

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