Are you retirement ready? Have you started to plan for those years that are not quite senior citizen but are post child-rearing? There is a wonderful in between time, when you will get the opportunity get away from city life and enjoy a slower pace without giving up the comforts of home. As Canadians many of us aspire to become snowbirds and spend the winter months in warmer climate and live by the beach. Whether it is Florida, Arizona or even Mexico, retirement living does not mean that you need to move to another country.
Many ‘young’ retirees have re-thought their options by staying closer to home. Why? For the grandkids of course! Many do not want to leave for months on end and lose contact with the kids. They grow up so fast, it’s nice to have them spend some time ‘at the cottage’. Many baby-boomers are now looking for a place of their own without having to pay exuberant prices in US dollars. Others just want to be in Canada and enjoy the seasons. There are options which you can find within a relatively short drive from many Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver.
Recently, I spent a weekend away with a few of my blogger friends and few of their kids. A few others took the opportunity to have a girls getaway – a fun and relaxing weekend catching up and enjoying the area. We were hosted by Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities in the beautiful Lakes of Wasaga Resort and RV park. We had fully equipped cottages for each of the families and the ladies. I have stayed before with my family and loved the amenities that are available (pools, community centre, mini-golf, basketball court and ice rink). There are both indoor and outdoor pools and even one for adults only. There are many fun activities which you can find at most Parkbridge Resorts. Our stay included a tour of cabins you can rent for a weekend, week or the season, as well as a tour of the retirement community adjacent to the resort. We had the opportunity to view one of the single-family homes. Wasaga Meadows has 75 residences and is one of the 125 properties owned by Parkbridge with land lease options which make home ownership affordable.
Parkbridge Lifestyle and Retirement communities are usually outside core urban cities which allows small municipalities to grow. The communities are located primarily in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. They are also often situated in vacation areas and become convenient go-to cottages for extended families. It’s very appealing to have the family visit for a while without having to leave your home. The kids come and enjoy the facilities, the beach and the parks without the cost of renting a cottage or camping. The best part is that it is your ‘home’ and you sleep right in your own bed!
When you build a home in a land lease community you are free to customize your home on the inside: upgrade your kitchen with granite counter tops, add an extra den or sunroom – the decisions are yours. The exterior requirements may set a limit on those funny garden gnomes but the curb appeal was undeniable – beautiful. You don’t have to worry about cutting the grass or shovelling the driveway – all these pesky tasks are taken care of – including having your eaves troughs cleaned! The residential area we visited had a common meeting area with a kitchen (for events), picnic tables and an area where you can meet with your neighbours. The land lease options helps those that want to own a home but are not comfortable with owing a larger mortgage for the land. It is another option should you chose not to rent anymore. So many people are unaware that this particular option – land lease – exists in Canada.
During our visit we met a couple who had recently moved to the Wasaga Meadows – Parkbridge community (located just minutes from Wasaga Beach) after re-locating from a vacation home in the southern United States. They had decided that they wanted to return back to Canada and live in an area that provided the amenities in the resort (adult pool, community center, community events, etc.) as well as access to the fourteen kilometers of fresh water in Wasaga Beach. There were many things I loved about this property:
- custom kitchen
- guest bedrooms
- custom interior
- attached garage
- covered patio
- green space in the backyard
- golf cart can be used on property
- access to all resort amenities
- affordable housing without cost of land
- full service maintenance
- proximity to Wasaga Beach
- proximity to shopping, restaurants and bars
- quiet neighbourhood
- community feel
- common areas
- adult pool
- mini-lending library
- walking paths
- security gates to enter and exit
- property managers on site
- Parkbridge takes care of rental if you want to rent out your property
There are so many reasons why having a land lease property is a good investment in your retirement future. Consider the different retirement and lifestyle properties that Parkbridge has to offer across the country.
Disclosure: My son and I were guests of Parkbridge for a weekend of rest and relaxation with a group of Canadian bloggers. No other compensation was received and all opinions of the property location are my own. For further in-depth information about Parkbridge communities please visit their website.