The demand for innovative living solutions has never been higher as active adults approach retirement age. One housing model that has gained popularity in recent years is the Life Lease model – a unique arrangement that provides adults 55+ with the benefits of an engaging turn-key lifestyle without the full responsibilities of home ownership while remaining invested in a private market. 
But what exactly is a life lease, and how does it work? As the #1 desired life lease location in Ontario, here are the top 10 most frequently asked questions about our life lease accommodations.  

  1. What is a life lease and how does it work?   

Life Lease offers an alternative housing option for individuals who are 55+ and looking to downsize and for those who value community living. In a life-lease property, individuals purchase the right to occupy a unit for the remainder of their lifetime. Unlike traditional homeownership, life lease residents do not own the property outright, but rather purchase the right to live in the unit.  In our model you do receive your money back (what you paid at the time of purchase) as well as a share in the appreciation. 
Life lease properties are typically operated by non-profit organizations or retirement communities who develop and manage the property, providing services and amenities tailored to the needs of the residents.  
Learn more about how a life lease works on our blog: How Does Life Lease Work?


Two residents enjoy coffee at Luther village on the park


  1. What’s the difference between purchasing a condo and purchasing a life lease?  

When you purchase a condo, you are considered the owner of that unit. When you purchase a life lease, you own the right to occupy the home, but you don’t own the home itself.   

There are nuanced differences between them both. One major difference is the turn-key lifestyle you find in a Life Lease versus a condo.   
We go into more depth on our blog: Condo vs Life Lease blog.   


Resident sitting on the 20-acre campus at Luther Village on the Park


  1. Am I guaranteed a return of my original investment?  

Prospective residents can feel confident knowing that they would be investing in a historically stable market with a promising return on investment. On average, residents receive a return of 128 percent of their original investment. This year alone, nearly half of our life lease units will receive a return above this average.   

  1. What do Luther Village’s monthly fees include?  

Monthly fees at the Village include a blend of costs that ensure residents have access to a multidisciplinary team of professionals who are available to support active aging and wellness initiatives. They also include property tax, water usage, maintenance, groundskeeping, garbage removal, capital reserve contributions, and access to amenities and services right on site.  

  1. What happens if my Life Lease unit depreciates in value?  

Within our Life Lease model at the Village, we would share depreciation (split the loss) in the event of a decline in the market value. Despite market volatility, The Village has observed consistent trends that have shown 20+ years of increased market value in Waterloo Region.  

Find out more about the current life lease market on our blog: Spring Market Update   


Resident playing games outdoors at Luther Village on the Park


  1. Do Life Lease residents get priority in the Sunshine Centre?   

Yes, they do, and they also get preferred pricing.  

  1. Do I have to pay Land Transfer Tax on the purchase of a Life Lease?  

No, you do not – we are a non-for-profit organization, and a Life Lease purchase is not considered a traditional real estate transaction.   The deed remains in our name which is how we pay property tax on your behalf. 

  1. Can we move within the Life Lease model if we require a downsize in the future?  

The short answer is, yes. However, we encourage all prospective residents to consider what they would like the next ten years to look like! This can be helpful when choosing between a suite in our 5-story building and a villa (townhome).  


Residents holding hands at Luther Village on the Park


  1. What maintenance is provided in a life lease?   

In our life lease model, our team provides maintenance and replacement of the furnace, water heater, water softener, AC, electrical panel, HVAC, windows, doors and roofs. For our Garden Villas (townhomes), we also provide maintenance and replacement to the eavestroughs and patios) . We also take care of the lawn care & snow removal.  

  1. Can you get a mortgage on a life lease?   

Since you are purchasing a right to occupy a unit, banks would not consider a mortgage and may instead provide bridge financing.   
For active adults 55+ in Ontario seeking an alternative to traditional homeownership or renting, a life lease can provide an attractive, financially flexible option to downsize and enjoy an amenity-rich, maintenance-free, turn-key living arrangement. At the Village, Our Life Lease complex consists of a five-story building with 154 Atrium Suites and 72 Garden Villa townhomes located throughout our 20-acre campus. Check out our active listings and upcoming opportunities to see if one is right for you!