See video followed by written blog
Do you know the truth About 55+ Strata Condo Living for Seniors? Do you know the Pros and Cons? “No more yardwork, we get to sleep in, no noisy kids nearby to wake us. I am looking forward to the good life!” “Ah, easy living” This is what my friend John, recently said to me while planning his wife’s and his retirement. He was going to sell his big old house and move to a nice comfortable 55+ age-restricted strata condo or townhouse.
But I said, “Hold on a minute, John. Not everything is roses in retirement land. Especially with 55+ stratas”. So I told him “I am going to tell you about the pros and cons of purchasing a 55+ age-restricted strata condo or townhouse. You absolutely need to know this before you spend a single dollar on that next purchase decision.”
Do you want to know what I told him. Then watch the following video.
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Rosemary and Gary
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Read the Full Written Blog Here
The Truth About 55+ Strata Condo Living for Seniors
Pros and Cons
“No more yardwork, we get to sleep in, no noisy kids nearby to wake us. I am looking forward to the good life!” “Ah, easy living!” This is what my friend John, recently said to me while planning his wife’s and his retirement. He was going to sell his big old house and move to a nice comfortable 55+ age-restricted strata condo or townhouse.
But I said, “Hold on a minute, John. Not everything is roses in retirement land. Especially with 55+ stratas”.
So I told him “I am going to tell you about the pros and cons of purchasing a 55+ age-restricted strata condo or townhouse. You absolutely need to know this before you spend a single dollar on that next purchase decision.”
Do you want to know what I told him. Then continue reading!
Hi, I am Gary,
Did you know that recently, in British Columbia the Provincial Government removed all rental restrictions from strata properties except for the 55+ age restriction. Because of this a large number of stratas where they previously had 19+, 45+ or other age restrictions have quickly changed their by-laws to incorporate the 55+ age restriction. And many that had no age restriction (which we believe is a mistake) have jumped on the bank wagon and added the 55+ age restriction.
So, now when you are out looking for a strata condo or townhouse to purchase the odds are that you will find more with this 55+ age restriction than previously.
Just a note, you can own a 55+ age restriction strata property if you are younger than 55 but you just can’t live in it. Boy, what gives? The strata restriction rules were removed on November 24, 2022 by the Provincial Government except for the 55+ age restriction and the ability to prevent Short Term Rentals.
People already living in the strata when a 55+ age restriction bylaw is enacted are grandfathered and can remain living there unless they leave for a significant time (i.e. move for a year or two elsewhere for work). Upon return they may be restricted. Not very nice.
Another thing is that 55+ buildings tend to be older buildings. Virtually all new building will not have any restrictions of any kind as set by the developer, so these are not generally age 55+ restricted until over 75% of the owners decide that they want this kind of bylaw. This might take many years or may never happen in the current world.
So. what does this mean as a buyer of a 55+ strata property. Here are our Pros and Cons of purchasing a 55+ strata property.
PRO 1 – Cheaper Purchase Price
The price of a 55+ strata property might be a bit cheaper than a non-55+ strata. Normally, the lack of any kind of restrictions means the units may have rentals making them a bit more valuable (and more expensive to purchase) and this increased valuation carries through to the non-rental units. However, the 55+ age restriction limits the type of rentals causing a smaller buyer pool and therefore may lead to the purchase price being a bit lower. Good if you are buying!
PRO 2 – Supportive and Like-minded Community
Often 55+ people are in similar phases of their lives, being senior-oriented with common interests and abilities. So, they might enjoy a real sense of a supportive community with help for
a) Rides to the doctor
b) Watching their units while away
c) or food and care provided when sick or injured and resting at home
PRO 3 – Retirement Amenities
A lot of 55+ strata complexes being older and built when land was cheaper and more available may have some great amenities like a swimming pool, sauna, and tennis and pickle-ball courts. Newer non-55+ complexes being built on very expensive land tend to be quite a bit smaller and without these kinds of amenities.
PRO 4 – Quieter Living
55+ strata complexes being age restricted means that generally there are no children or teenagers (other than when visiting grandparents) so the children noises may be minimal and temporary leading to a more peaceful and quiet living space.
PRO 5 – Aging In Place
Some 55+ strata complexes may have been specifically built for seniors and others may be renovated to provide facilities for aging in place. This can make it a lot easier to stay in the units to an older age. As we age, many of us really don’t want to move too often. If we can stay in one place for a longer time, then this can be quite a comfort and relief.
(See the video titled: Downsizing Checklist – 4 Things You Must Consider When Downsizing at https://randg.video/25)
PRO 6 – Lower Maintenance and Cost
With usually, most senior residents being owners rather than tenants and seniors not being particularly hard on facilities but valuing quality and peace, the strata complex may keep in better condition and possibly lower strata fees. The overall condition of the strata may be better maintained than one perhaps used for family rentals where there is lots of activity.
By the way my wife, Rosemary and | have lived in a senior oriented strata condo for the last 10 years and we love it. And we have experienced many of the Pros just mentioned. Contact us if you would like to chat about downsizing to a strata condo or townhouse.
Lets continue with the Cons.
CON 1 – Advanced Ages of Residents
The advanced age of some members of the strata complex might be too old for recent retirees in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. There could be established cliques that could be hard to join and some people may feel a bit left out or unwelcome in the community.
CON 2 – Too Slowed Paced
Even though everyone may be seniors and in retirement there could be more than a 30 year spread between the younger and older residents. The younger group might not find any common interests with the older group and find it hard to mix. People in the younger ages may have grandchildren to come around frequently but the noise and activities may be a bit too much for the older group who are not welcoming to them.
CON 3 – Unwanted Amenities
As seniors age in the 55+ complex they may discontinue using some of the facilities like the swimming pool or pickle-ball court. (Unless you are going to play these into your 90’s?)
However, they will still have to pay their share of the strata fees and may resent having to pay for things they don’t use.
CON 4 – Too Many Rules and Bylaws
55+ strata complexes tend to be older and tend to have more bylaws and rules added often every year the by various Strata Councils. Residents may have to deal with restrictions like:
a) Where they can put their carpet on what rooms
b) Whether they can have wood floors or not
c) The size and number of pets – for example a dog may be restricted to 10 kg or 12” high at the shoulder
d) Length of time children can stay in owners condos — many have a 7 day limit
CON 5 – Extra Strata Fees
Eventually the older 55+ strata complexes may require significant maintenance or remediation. Special levies could be required for things such as
a) Balconies and Windows
b) Replacing copper or Pex water piping
c) Elevator replacement
d) Parking Water Membranes
CON 6 – Lower Selling Price
As mentioned in the first Pro the 55+ age restriction could lead to a smaller buyer pool and therefore, your selling price might be a bit lower than for a similar unit in a non 55+ complex.
This is Rosemary’s and my list and everyone has their own opinion. It is up to you to decide whether buying a 55+ strata home is a better or worse fit for you. Let us know what you think. We love your comments and will respond to all constructive questions or comments.
Thanks for reading this blog and I will see you next time.