Choosing the perfect home for your retirement means you need to carefully consider factors such as location, costs and inheritance tax.

Adrian Bird, sales director for David Wilson Retirement Homes, which is currently building at Willow Grange, Wantage, said that location tops the list of priorities for people on every stage of the property ladder - and retirement living is no different.

He said: "Our homes provide the perfect lifestyle choice for those looking for a great new environment with security, independence and convenience.

"For those looking to downsize, the location is important for a variety of reasons from good public transport to nearby family or first-class local amenities.

"But of course there are so many other factors to consider that we have put together an easy checklist as a good starting point for potential buyers.'' For further details of Willow Grange call the sales office, which is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, on 01235 768806 or visit the website

What to look for in a retirement home

To help buyers through the maze of options, David Wilson Retirement Homes has devised a list of essentials people need to consider when looking for a retirement property.

Location: Do you want local amenities within walking distance? Are you more at home by the sea? Do you want to be near family or friends, or are transport links your priority?

Specification: It is important that your retirement property has everything you are ever likely to need, so check that power sockets are at a sensible height, are doors wider to allow for walking frames or a wheelchair? And is there a video entry door system so you know who is calling?

Community: Choosing retirement living can provide the perfect balance between independence and being part of a community. A lounge for residents is the perfect way to mix with your neighbours.

Guests: Very often a one-bedroomed property is perfect for retirement living but having a guest suite in the development means that you can still entertain friends in style.

Facilities: A house manager will take care of all building maintenance which removes all of this stress. A lift for easy access and secure parking should all be considered.

Surroundings: Are the grounds kept neat and tidy?

Repairs and maintenance: If you buy a retirement property consider any ground rent or service charges. Also include costs for energy bills - new-build developments will be the most well insulated and mean lower costs.

Equity: Downsizing may release a lump sum for you to enjoy in retirement, but take advice from a financial advisor to ensure this is invested either for your future - or that of your children.

Peace of mind: Check if your chosen retirement home is linked to a 24 hour care-line system, should emergency assistance be required.