Retirement Living: How to Search for Retirement Villages & Communities Near Me

Retirement Living: How to Search for Retirement Villages & Communities Near Me

Posted by Declan Davey

Retirement Living: How to Search for Retirement Villages & Communities Near Me

UK retirement living has never been so diverse and it’s becoming harder and harder to produce a formal categorisation for the variables on offer.

Having a safe, comfortable space to live in is certainly an important factor, and care homes can often provide that. But what about lifestyle, customised support, and opportunities to mix with others?

Retirement Living on Autumna features properties, communities and villages.

The actual accommodation too is now more varied due to the increased popularity of retirement villages and communities.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “how do I find retirement villages near me?” or “can I rent rather than buy a retirement property?” then you’ll want to read today’s blog.

Here’s a preview of what we’ll discuss:

What Are Retirement Villages & Communities?

How Do Retirement Communities Differ from Care Homes?

Retirement Village Rentals vs. Buying 

How to Search for Retirement Communities & Villages Near Me

Browse by Lifestyle, Facilities & Price

What Are Retirement Villages & Communities?

Retirement villages and communities are designed with the “young-at-heart” retiree in mind. 

There are two main ways that these larger property developments excel compared to other retirement living options:

  • Lifestyle: Facilities such as restaurants, spas, libraries, swimming pools, and social clubs are available.

Comparisons can be made between retirement villages and sheltered housing. Both styles of accommodation put their focus on allowing seniors as much independence as possible. 

However, retirement villages tend to have more of a “bespoke” feel with extra facilities that sheltered housing can lack.

  • How Do Retirement Communities Differ from Care Homes?

Looking for a summary of what’s on offer in retirement housing, retirement communities (e.g. villages), and care homes? 

This graphic from Arco UK breaks down the key differences:

The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO)

Retirement housing and communities are generally for more active or able seniors. They provide self-contained homes, which may have two, three, or even four bedrooms.

Standard care homes will, in most cases, simply offer a single room with an en-suite bathroom.

Although care homes provide round-the-clock support, retirement communities still offer 24-hour staff access. Often, domestic and care services can be added if your needs change in the future.

Gardens and lounges are typical across all types of accommodation, but retirement communities go a step further with facilities such as gyms, hairdressers, and wellness hubs.

Whilst more comprehensive facilities can certainly improve quality of life, make sure that any retirement communities you’re looking at provide the essentials. Factors such as build quality and storage space are equally important for longer-term satisfaction.

Retirement Village Rentals vs. Buying

It used to be that retirement village residents had to buy their apartment or house outright, but things have changed.

Certain schemes now permit part-buying or renting a property on-site.

The good news is that retirement village rentals usually feature the same benefits as ownership does, such as being able to:

  • Bring your own furniture
  • Invite family or friends
  • Decorate the property
  • Have pets

Although you’ll need to be aware of potential exit fees (as high as 30% in some places), a retirement village rental can serve as the smart option for those who prefer the “enjoy now, pay later” model. 

Renters will need to pay for service costs, maintenance fees, and ground rent, but they can avoid the stress of buying and managing a property. 

How to Search for Retirement Communities & Villages Near Me

Searchers typing terms like “retirement villages near me” or “retirement communities near me” into Google can quickly get a headache.

You click on one page here, another there… the information is scattered and confusing.

Our team at Autumna has therefore created a tool for you to be able to make specific searches for retirement living accommodation in your area.

As we’ve discussed there are an increasing number of descriptions for retirement living, so Autumna has  simplified them into these broad categories:

Retirement village = large

Retirement community = medium

Retirement housing = small

Within these categories a provider can offer all or none of the available services we list.

To start a search, head over to this web page.

You’ll see four icons: 

  • Care homes
  • Live-in care
  • Home care
  • Retirement living

Click “Retirement Living” and type in your location. Then, press enter to begin the search.

Retirement Living on Autumna features properties, communities and villages.

  • Browse by Lifestyle, Facilities & Price

In the search results, you’ll be able to browse retirement living options in several ways.

Here is what a search results page will look like:

Retirement Living on Autumna features properties, communities and villages.

Notice the orange buttons at the top? 

Click on any of the buttons to view their respective drop-down menus, where you can place specific filters on your search.

For “Living Type,” the options are retirement housing, retirement villages, and retirement communities.

“Housing” includes 1-3 bed apartments, 2-4 bed houses, bungalows, and studios.

Retirement Living on Autumna features properties, communities and villages.

“Support” shows you properties with domestic help, personal care, and/or companionship.

Finally, “Price” lets you filter by purchase or monthly rental fee, as shown in the image below:

Search by price for Retirement Living on Autumna

We realise that seniors will have different retirement living preferences, which is why we’ve worked hard to build this search tool. 

We’ve also partnered with the likes of Cinnamon Care Collection, Birchgrove, Westward Care and Retirement Security to feature a greater range of accommodation.

As always, please feel free to get in touch with the Autumna team for advice. We’re more than happy to guide you on how to find retirement communities and villages near you.

The best way to contact us is via phone or email:

Phone: 01892 335 330

The line is open Monday to Sunday (8:30am - 5:30pm Mon-Fri, 10am - 5pm Sat, 10am - 4pm Sun).


One final thing, you can find out more about the benefits of Retirement Villages, Retirement Communities and Retirement Housing in general in this Autumna YouTube Live presentation.

Thanks go to Declan Davey (Health Copywriter) for co-authoring this article.

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