The Star Phoenix,It's time to sell your oversized family home and opt for the suite life. If you thought your choices were limited to renting or buying an apartment-style condominium, think again! Consider a third option: a life lease.
"With a 'life lease,' you own the lease, but not the property. In a sense, it's like paying an entrance fee in exchange for a low monthly rent in a building you'd like to reside in, such as Hyde Park View," says Greg Foley, executive director of Elim Lodge.
Hyde Park View is Elim Lodge's newest 50-plus adults' residence, now under construction at 333 Slimmon Place, in the Lakewood Suburban Center just north of Rosewood. The Christian-based charitable organization has provided seniors' housing and property management for 33 years in Saskatoon.
The impressive 4.5-storey residence, designed by aodbt architecture + interior design, offers 140 suites; 100 are life lease units. The remaining suites are comprised of 15 affordable rental apartments and 25 personal care units.
"There are many advantages to life leasing as people age," says Foley. "Most of our buyers are in their 60s, 70s or even higher. Typically, when people are younger, they're looking for a return on their investment. People who are at a later stage in life are more concerned about the security of their investment. A life lease comes with a guaranteed buy-back; that money is secure."
There are no legal fees or real estate commissions associated with Elim Lodge's life lease agreements, resulting in further savings.
Life lease owners are also spared from the headache and expense of costly repairs and maintenance, says Foley. "With a life lease, you will never get a surprise bill for major repairs. As property owners, Elim Lodge Inc. has the responsibility to manage the property and keep up the building in a fi rst class manner."
Expert maintenance service is just a phone call away, he notes. "If a tap is leaking, or if you're having problems with the heat or air conditioning, you just call the offi ce and we send our maintenance people up to take care of the problem. Because we own the property, we take care of it. A life lease really means worryfree living."
Residents pay a low monthly occupancy fee, which covers their share of property taxes, operating costs, applicable utilities and one indoor parking stall per unit.
"At Hyde Park View, that monthly fee also includes eight meal credits per person, per month, in our dining room," says Foley. A Red Seal chef will preside over the dining room, offering a variety of menus that are sure to delight residents, as well as their invited guests.
Additional amenities that will enhance the feeling of community within the building include a large hotel-style lobby, a fi tness room, mini-theatre area and a private dining area.
Of the 100 life lease units at Hyde Park View, 73 units have been sold to date. Remaining suites are priced starting at $300,000. "We've been told by many people, including our construction manager, that this level of sales is unprecedented so early in the project. We feel pretty good about that," says Foley.
A major selling feature at Hyde Park View is its unique agein- place design. "We're told by our architect, Charles Olfert, that Hyde Park View includes some amenities that don't exist in any other facility in the city. The building offers agein- place design, which includes wider doorways, wider hallways and barrier-free walk-in showers in each master bedroom," says Foley.