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The big questions

Moving into a retirement village is a big decision – here are some answers to some of the more commonly asked questions.

There is plenty more info within our “Everything you need to know” about retiring with St Ives” brochure, which is available for download by clicking on the image below.

Everything you need to know about retiring with St Ives

You can also download a copy of the “Book of Wise Moves”, a useful resource on Retirement Living developed by the Retirement Living Council of Australia.

How much will it cost?

That depends on both the Village and style of home you choose. You can view all our home prices by clicking the Villages tab at the top of this page. As a guide, the Village start prices are below. Please note there are additional costs as outlined in the next question ‘How do the fees work? (in plain English please!)’.

Albany – starting from $430,000

Carine – starting from $800,000

Centro – starting from $499,000

Lesmurdie – starting from $615,000

Mandurah – starting from $230,000

Melville – starting from $295,000

Murdoch – starting from $450,000

Northshore – starting from $209,000

How do the fees work? (In plain English please!)

Like most Retirement Village operators, St Ives has a Deferred Management Fee (DMF) model in place, which is a way for incoming residents to pay part of their costs after they move out – saving money up front so they have more to spend on enjoying their lifestyle during their stay. This is a model unique to the retirement living industry.

The model is made up of three costs.

1 – Ingoing Contribution 

On moving in to one of our Villages you will pay a price for your home, determined by its size, location in the village, market conditions, and a lot of other factors – just as you would for any real estate purchase.

2 – A monthly common services fee.

During your stay you’ll pay a monthly ‘common services’ fee, which helps cover the running costs of the Village and amenities, and keep everything maintained to a very high standard. Please note, this does not include your own general living expenses, such as telephone, internet, electricity and contents insurance. The monthly common services fee varies across Villages, depending on what amenities are on offer. When reviewing the monthly fee, consider the fact that you probably already pay an equal amount in rates, upkeep and lifestyle costs.

3 – The outgoing costs.

When you leave your Village you will be required to pay the below costs.
• The DMF, which is calculated as a percentage of the outgoing sales price. Remember how you paid less than comparable real estate in the area as part of the Ingoing Contribution? Well here is where that gap is paid – this is why it is called a ‘deferred’ fee. The longer you are in a Village the higher the DMF will be. All details of the DMF can be found in your contract and will be carefully explained before you move in.
• A refurbishment fee to bring your home back to near its original state. This helps raise the potential sales price of your home and makes it more attractive to potential buyers. The refurbishment may include new kitchens, benchtops and tiling – just as you would do when selling any home.
• Fees associated with selling your home. St Ives Realty will market your home for sale and help negotiate the best price possible. This will involve paying a commission and other fees, such as marketing costs, just as it does for any real estate sale.

Looking for more information? 

More information on this model, as well as examples of the costs can be found here.

A great short video explaining these costs can be viewed here.

A comparison of retirement living costs versus other options is available here.

And some food for thought around ongoing costs versus your current living costs can be read here.


What’s the difference between retirement villages and aged care?

Retirement villages can only be accessed by people fully capable of living independently, whereas aged care is a completely separate industry that helps support elderly people with high care needs.


Will I have enough storage?

A big part of retirement living is downsizing, so most people aren’t able to bring everything they own with them. While all our homes have been built with ample storage and many feature a lock-up garage and additional storage, most of our residents take this opportunity to clear out the things they’ve been meaning to for years and just bring along the things they truly love. Many of our villages also come with caravan and boat parking so you don’t need to leave your lifestyle behind.

How safe and secure are the villages?

All our Villages are enclosed and many are gated, with swipe access to enter. All homes come with deadlocks and have 24 hour emergency call systems in place.

One of the other big benefits of living in a retirement village is the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re surrounded by like-minded people who are all looking out for you. It means if you want to leave at any time, it’s simply a matter of locking and leaving and knowing you have a community keeping an eye on things for you.

Is there an emergency call system in place?

Yes. All our homes and common areas have a 24 hour emergency call system linked to emergency services who are able to access all places within the Village.

Can I have visitors and are they allowed to use the amenities?

Yes, absolutely you can. Your home is yours to share and we love welcoming family and friends into our villages. There are of course some restrictions on the length of visitor’s stays, which vary according to village, and we ask that for the comfort and security of our residents you accompany them while they are using the amenities.

If you are having guests stay from out of town many of our villages offer affordable short term rental options so they can be close to you for the duration of their stay.

Can I bring my pets?

Pets are welcome at our villages although, to ensure the comfort and security of all our residents, they are subject to the approval of the Village Manager.

Is insurance included?

St Ives insure the buildings and all common areas, however residents are advised to take out contents insurance. All other personal insurance, such as health insurance, is the responsibility of our residents.

Can I use the facilities for a private function?

Yes, absolutely. The facilities can be booked out for almost any occasion, you will just be required to clean up after the party!

Do I own my home?

Depending on the Village, our homes are occupied on a ‘lease for life’ basis, or you may own a strata title. All details of these arrangements can be found in your contract, or are available from your Sales Consultant.

What will I do without my shed?

Don’t worry, this is a common concern for many people. The good news is that most of our villages have a Work Shed where you can store your tools and continue your handiwork. These are some of the best used spaces in these villages, so you may even find yourself picking up more skills after you move in.

What happens if I have a complaint?

All complaints should be directed to the Village Manager, who will address it as soon as possible. As a resident, you also have the option of raising any concerns through the Resident’s Committee, or directly with St Ives management if that is more appropriate. All complaints are heard and actioned.

What do I do with all my stuff?

If you’re worried about downsizing why not follow this as a guide:

The things you love – keep them! There’s plenty of storage space in our villages – and if you’re moving into a smaller residence why not give it to people you love too. Be happy that you’ll be bringing others happiness.

The things you like but can do without – free yourself! Take a deep breath and feel great as you pack it into boxes and take it to your local charity drop-off so other people can enjoy it too, then embrace your new clutter free lifestyle.

The things that are valuable but you can’t take with you – sell them! You can make a decent buck through Web sites  that allow you to sell your belongings. Get someone you trust to find the most relevant site and help you list it if you’ve never used one before. Then, use the money you make to pay for the removalists, buy something more appropriate for your new home or else treat yourself!

What is the Retirement Living Code of Conduct?

To encourage high quality standards and showcase excellence in all aspects of the operation and management of villages, the Retirement Living Code of Conduct (the Code) has been developed by the Property Council of Australia.

The Code provides retirement community owners and operators with an agreed set of standards that they should meet to ensure retirement community residents have an excellent experience. It ensures operators are accountable to their residents for the standards they have agreed to uphold, operate with integrity and can implement best business practices across their community operations.

The Retirement Living Code Conduct came into effect on 1 January 2020.

Download a free copy of the Code of Conduct here.

St Ives Group has registered for the Code and made the commitment to high standards in retirement living. 

Love where you live

St Ives offers eight unique retirement villages situated in popular suburbs across Perth and regional Western Australia. Click to explore a location for your dream lifestyle.

Perth Central

Perth North

Perth South

Regional WA