CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cheshire Life today CLICK HERE

Financial fair play

PUBLISHED: 10:32 23 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:51 23 September 2016

Inspired Villages

Inspired Villages

Archant

Nicholas John talks to Jamie Bunce, Managing Director of Inspired Villages, about the costs of living in a retirement care village.

Inspired VillagesInspired Villages

The attractions and advantages of living in a care village are obvious, but I would imagine it must be an expensive option for many people. Can you tell me more about the costs involved?

Well of course there are cost implications of living in one of our villages, but nowadays it costs everyone to live anywhere! The majority of our residents have spent their lives living in their own property under freehold ownership. The idea of moving to our village and purchasing an apartment under leasehold ownership could be new and the concept of a lease, ground rent and service charge might be completely alien to some people.

However, for anyone who has lived in an apartment, probably in a town or city, then the legal structure of the care village is only an extension of something they might already be familiar with.

Residents of our villages pay a service charge, which covers the services and facilities provided, together with an assignment fee when the property is eventually sold.

Inspired VillagesInspired Villages

I have a couple of key questions for you Jamie: firstly, Why do residents have to purchase a leasehold property and not freehold? And secondly, what exactly would I get for my money from this service charge?

If you own your own home, it sits on a piece of land that you own. If you own an apartment, then it and others are stacked on one common piece of land.

Leasehold means that not everybody can possibly own that one piece of land, so the landlord retains the ownership of the land and a long lease is created for each apartment owner. A resident will purchase a long leasehold interest for a fixed term, often 125 years, and you would own this lease for the full length of this term. You would then pay a ground rent on the land, typically around £500 per annum initially, although this can rise over time with inflation.

Tattenhall Show apartmentsTattenhall Show apartments

The idea of owning my own property as leasehold and paying ground rent is fair enough, but a large additional service charge creates another big expense for a potential resident. Can you explain how this charge works and how much does it cost?

You pay a service charge of around £6-7,000 per annum. Our care villages employ more than fifty staff with a wide range of skill sets. These include maintenance and grounds staff, receptionists, chefs and table staff, cleaners, carers, nurses, social activities organisers and managers: all in all, a substantial operation.

In order to maintain this high level of support we make a charge, per apartment, per annum to cover the usual items found in respect of any flat or apartment, including maintenance and cleaning of communal and garden areas. It will also cover building insurance, repairs and renewals, plus all other services specific to a care village.

These comprise reception services, chauffeured transport, emergency response, the restaurant and dining facilities, broadband and telephone line rental, the spa and wellness centre and the business rates for communal facilities. We include a charge to administer these services.

You’ve mentioned an assignment fee; what is this and why is it needed?

As assignment fee is called an exit fee, or a deferred sinking fund or event fee, and is equal to 10% of the sale price. It comes into effect when the property is sold. Part of the assignment fee is used to build up a sinking fund for the replacement of major structural items and equipment. A percentage of this fee is also used to offer

bursaries for our carers to be trained for wider functions within the village and community.

Will the assignment fee help reduce the service charge?

In short, yes. We set up and control the charging structure to recover the costs

of providing all the services and facilities.

A small part of the service charge will not cover the costs for major replacements and to maintain the overall facilities as we require. We provide for a sinking fund by using

part of the assignment fee when the property is sold. Using a combination of the service charge and assignment fee for the sinking fund helps to keep the annual service charge to a minimum.

What if I need more personal care?

If you do need additional personal care, there will be a charge for specific care requirements on a menu of services so if, for example, you need an hour of care every day, then you will pay the hourly rate of typically £18 per hour for that support.

With care home charges usually in excess of £800 per week or £40,000 per annum, the ability to stay in one’s own home with care and support available as required is significantly less expensive and a more attractive option.

We are proud to offer everyone living in an Inspired Village a combination of manageable and transparent service charge, together with the assignment fee. This enables all residents to enjoy the benefits of a superb long-term living environment, complete with a highly motivated and well-trained staff.

To find out more about Inspired Villages in Cheshire visit www.inspiredvillages.co.uk or call 01829 770 997

Inspired Cheshire Retirement Village, Frog Lane, Tattenhall, Chester, Cheshire CH3 9DN

More from Homes & Gardens

Two new Kütchenhaus kitchen showrooms have launched in Cheshire and a uniting passion binds the teams behind them both.

Read more

Didsbury resident Beth Travers founded her own business in defiance of the establishment’s ‘you can’t come in’ attitude…and now doors are opening all around the globe.

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

This Prestbury family home combines traditional characteristics with luxurious enhancements

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Gordon Cooke’s artistic flair and horticultural know-how combine to create an unusual garden

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Monday, September 24, 2018

A stunning new development of ten luxury lodges at Plas Farm Caravan Park, Nant Lodges is the ultimate in holiday home retreats.

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wendy Radley looks back on an eventful first year of trade for the online flower boutique.

Read more
Thursday, September 6, 2018

Fragrant flowers, fabulous garden designs and some poignant exhibits meant the 20th RHS Tatton Flower Show was blooming marvellous

Read more
RHS Tatton
Monday, September 3, 2018

This grand lodge in wooded grounds benefits from historic charm and modern amenities

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ben Melton has taken a hobby and made it pay…in a myriad of ways

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The aim of heylo is to make home ownership accessible to everyone.

Read more

What do you get when you combine great design with innovative thinking? Arley House in Ashley, that’s what

Read more
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s innovative Create for Nature project aims to benefit nature and people

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


Local Business Directory

Property Search