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Waitlist FAQs

Guidance   »   Getting Started   »   Waitlist FAQs

Once you have found the perfect apartment in your dream community and you are feeling eager to begin this next exciting phase in your life, waitlists can catch you off guard and leave you feeling anxious to get things moving along as swiftly as possible. Therefore, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process of moving into a senior living community so you can manage your expectations, timeline, and finances accordingly.

How Can You Set Realistic Expectations?

By reading up on the moving-in processes at various facilities and talking to friends or family members who have recently made a similar move, you can start to manage your expectations with regards to the timeline ahead of you and the fees involved in making this type of move come together seamlessly.

What Factors Will Determine Your Timeline?

Some senior living communities will have no waitlists for your preferred apartment choice, which means that you will be in charge of setting and managing your own timeline. You may need to account for the time it will take to downsize, move out of your apartment, sell your home, etc. Thinking about all of these pieces of the puzzle ahead of time, will help you set a realistic timeline and reduce the stress involved in making this sort of move.

Other retirement living communities may have a waitlist ranging anywhere from a few months up to several years, depending on your chosen apartment or home size. If this is the case, you will most likely need to work towards completing all the tasks mentioned above within a timeframe that has been determined for you, not by you. But here’s a hot tip for you… don’t get sidetracked and lose sight of time. A few months or years may seem like a lot of time, but taking the first steps to start downsizing earlier rather than later can be a massive help to avoid any last-minute moving stress. If you are moving from a family home into a senior living apartment, chances are you will have lots of decluttering and organizing to do, so why not start early and give yourself ample time to take care of all of your affairs. The big move-in day always comes around sooner than you think!

How To Manage Your Finances?

You have most likely already started working out your finances to know which types of senior living options you can consider. However, not all communities are equally transparent with their pricing. If you have worked on your monthly budget and found a place that suits your needs, you may not have known about the various move-in fees until it comes time to sign your contract. Asking questions ahead of time to learn about any other upfront move-in fees that should be budgeted for, can be a real lifesaver as the big move nears closer.

Most established senior living communities will charge a deposit fee to secure a specific unit in their complex. This deposit acts as your guarantee to get the individual unit or house that you have chosen. Newly developed communities will typically charge a reservation fee to reserve a unit or house that is currently still under construction. Some communities will charge a waitlist fee to get your name added to their queue. All of these fees can be fully or partially refundable, or they can just as easily be non-refundable, so it’s a good idea to inform yourself about all of these fees when speaking with senior living operators at various communities.

How Much Will It Cost To Add Your Name to the Waitlist?

When considering the communities in our database, the waitlist fees can range anywhere from $500 to $5,000 and can be fully, partially, or non-refundable. This range varies widely and will therefore be a question that is best answered by the individual senior living operators you have been speaking with.

Will a Deposit or Reservation Fee Be Charged At the Same Time As the Waitlist Fee?

This can also vary depending on the community you are dealing with. However, most communities will add your name to their waitlist and only charge the waitlist fee at that point in time. Once a unit of your liking becomes available, you will then be given the chance to pay a deposit fee to secure that specific apartment or home. Oftentimes, the waitlist fee is much less substantial than the deposit or reservation fee. Nine times out of ten, it simply acts as a placeholder for your name in a queue along with other interested parties. Once the time comes to put down your deposit or reservation fee, you will want to be 99% sure that this is the right decision for you. As there is typically more money tied up in this next step of the move-in process.

These are some of our visitors’ most frequently asked questions but if you have any other unanswered questions for us, please send us an email at and one of our friendly team members will be happy to assist you.


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