Retirement can be an exciting time! One of the most important parts of planning for retirement is deciding where to live. The size of your home, its floor plan, its location and community, how you’ll pay for it — these are all important factors that require unique considerations for seniors.
To help, we’ve put together a list of 5 quick tips for seniors buying a new house!
- Mortgages are a good option for seniors looking to keep assets liquid and have cash to spend in retirement.
- Location factors like access to healthcare, proximity to loved ones, weather, cost of living, and more are a priority for home-buying seniors.
- Aging in place means buying a home that can evolve with your changing needs over time and is an important consideration for seniors buying a new house.
- Hiring movers, housekeepers, and/or organization consultants can eliminate many of the stressors associated with the moving process.
5 Quick Tips for Seniors Buying a New House
Consider different types of homes and communities
It’s likely you lived in a traditional family-sized home for most of your life. Seniors buying a new house sometimes automatically seek another traditional family home, albeit with different considerations in mind like bedrooms on the first floor and more spacious indoor areas that can be navigated easily.
As a senior buying a house, you may want to consider a wider range of living options. Condos and apartments often require the least amount of upkeep and have elevators that eliminate any steps requirement. Private developments may come with additional costs such as HOA fees, but they make property upkeep a breeze by providing important conveniences like landscaping, lawn mowing, snow removal and more.
You can also choose to purchase a home in a retirement community that has an engaged 55-and-older population and comes with amenities like swimming pools, golf courses, social programs, and more.
In short, don’t automatically seek out the same type of home and community with just a little downsizing in mind. Instead, think about which option will be most practical and enjoyable for you in the long term.
Choose your location with intention
Location, location, location! It’s still one of the most important factors to consider as a senior buying a new house. People choose a home location for a variety of reasons, and you’ll want to think about which are most important to you.
Do you have children and grandchildren or other loved ones you want to be geographically close to? What about your church community or social activities you enjoy?
You’ll also want to keep in mind that as a senior, it’s more important than ever to have close access to life’s necessities. Will your new home location be close to healthcare facilities? What about grocery stores? Will you be required to drive on highways to get to many places?
Maybe you’re thinking about relocating to another part of the country because you want year-round warm weather or a lower cost of living in retirement.
The most important location considerations will depend on your personal situation, but do keep in mind that the right location means something different for a senior than it does for a younger person buying a home.
Think about aging in place
Thinking long-term about aging in place is an essential for seniors buying a new house. Will your new home age well with you and your changing needs as you grow older?
First-floor bedrooms, spacious floor plans and wide hallways, level sidewalks, the potential to add accommodations like grab bars in the shower are all important examples to consider. The key thing to keep in mind is that the ability to live in your new home for as long as possible requires important forethought and planning when you buy.
Talk about mortgage options
Many seniors want to buy their home in cash, preferring to own it outright and not have to worry about monthly payments or carrying debt. This can be a good option as long as you aren’t locking up all of your money into your new home. Cash offers make you a more attractive buyer in a competitive market, too.
But it’s important to know that conventional mortgages are an option for seniors. They allow you to keep your assets liquid so you have cash to spend in your retirement years, and your age will not hinder your ability to get approved for a mortgage loan. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against credit applicants based on their age, and mortgage lenders don’t take it into account when making a decision about your loan.
Seniors have unique financial considerations to keep in mind when buying a new home like fixed income, spreading out their savings over their whole retirement, and what they’ll do in the case that one spouse passes away or they are unable to continue living independently in their home.
While these can be difficult topics to explore, it’s important to do so in order to avoid complications later on for you and your loved ones. Be sure to talk to a financial advisor or your mortgage broker about mortgage options for seniors and which one is best for your individual situation.
Hire the help you need
Moving is a physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing endeavor. Downsizing, especially, comes with its own unique requirements like disposing of unwanted items and placing others in storage.
Movers are the most obvious type of help you can hire. They’ll handle the labor of getting your belongings from one location to another. But there are also other types of professionals like organization and decluttering consultants (yes, those exist!) and housekeepers who can make your moving process more seamless and less stressful.
Are you retiring in the Dayton area?
Oberer Homes can help you find or build a home that meets all of your retirement living needs. Our communities are safe and engaged, feature homes with several floor plan options, and include amenities like pools, tennis courts, walking trails, and fitness centers that you can enjoy.
Contact us today to learn more!
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