For individuals over 55 the land lease concept may be that option. Land leasing is a form of home ownership that reduces the capital costs of buying a home.

In the land lease model residents buy their homes, thus owning it outright, but lease the land from a land leasing company. Many Canadian retirees are experiencing the benefits of land leasing, and here are the top four reasons why:

1. Affordability: The key to the affordability of land leasing is that individuals purchase their homes and lease the land. Homeowners pay for just the home and not the lot it resides on, allowing the home to become much more affordable. Homeowners are then free to do whatever they wish with the money they unlock from the sale of their current home, or money they are not paying the bank in big monthly mortgage payments.

2. Freedom of lifestyle: In land lease communities homeowners enjoy security, safety, and peace of mind as many communities have services to look after and maintain homeowner’s residences, offering snow shoveling, and home watch security among others. This allows retirees to start doing the things they’d rather be doing and stop doing the things they’d rather not — like lawn mowing, salting their driveway or maintaining a house that has become too big.

3. True sense of community:  The land lease model of individual homes in walkable neighbourhoods fosters a true sense of community and social connectivity. Many communities organize and facilitate a wealth of social activities for homeowners to participate in. Homeowners enjoy their own private outdoor spaces for gardening, entertaining, and recreation. There is also a huge community of retirees where homeowners can meet other like-minded individuals. Current retiree, Harold Sharples, of Sandycove Acres, says “My wife and I, Florence, have lived at Sandycove for nine years. I am proud to be the President of the Woodworking Shop with over 100 members; I’ve done that for over eight years now. The great thing about Sandycove is the sense of community and fellowship that it fosters; there is a true community spirit here.”

4. Active living: Land lease communities often offer amenities making it easy for homeowners to stay active. Many communities have facilities such as indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centers, organized fitness classes, as well as walking and biking paths. Homeowners in these communities also often form groups, clubs or classes to stay active together, making it easy to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.