Housing Considerations For Retirement Living

Many people dream of retiring, buying a house on the lake and spending long days fishing, crafting, or going on long walks. However, these dreams can easily turn into a mistake if you do not plan carefully. There are many factors to consider when buying a retirement home. Do you want to deal with the maintenance that a large property can bring? Will your two-story house be accessible for you later on? Will your retirement income be able to comfortably cover all the bells and whistles of your new property? Are the amenities close by? Hospitals and other healthcare-related services within striking distance?

When thinking long-term about retirement and the ability to age in place, here are some things you should consider:

1. Affordability

It may be easy enough to purchase your home today, but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether you have a mortgage on the property or not. If you have a strict budget for each month, then consider that when making your decision. Take a look at your entire personal budget, and do your best to look into the future to decide whether or not you’ll be able to afford your expenses.

2. Equity

If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply to it the purchase of your next home, thus avoiding a contingency purchase. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to utilize, such as a home equity loan, credit line, or reverse mortgage.

3. Maintenance

As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves, and shoveling snow typically diminishes quickly. Buying a retirement home such as a condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver if your health or physical abilities decline. Consider the amount and type of maintenance you can, and want to do around your home when making your decision.

4. Security

Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. To give you some contentment, consider living in a home with added security feature such as:

  • A manned gatehouse
  • Resident-only access
  • A top-notch security system

These extra assets can bring peace of mind and are important aspects to look for when house-hunting.

5. Pets

Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits, especially for those with apparent health conditions. If you do have pets, you should keep in mind the space you decide to bring them. Dogs enjoy having more space to roam around, which may include a backyard. And having a house full of carpet may not be ideal when cleaning up after your pet. If you do have pets and are currently dealing with controlling landlords, an exclusive buyer’s agent can verify any restrictions and make sure there won’t be any problems down the line for your or your beloved pets.

6. Mobility

No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility. Large home with lots of stairs may not be a good fit for you or your spouse as you get older. You want to make sure that your home is a place where you can live in for the rest of your life, without having to do costly upgrades when you need age-friendly features.

house with sold sign


7. Convenience

Being retired usually means you have more free time to do the things you didn’t have time for when you were working. Is the new home close to the golf course, nice hiking trails, or shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to the home value, and also create a greater quality of life!

Reno’s ONLY Exclusive Buyer’s Agents

When you are buying a retirement home that’s suitable for you, an exclusive buyer’s agent will help you evaluate all the options on the market, including homes on the MLS, For-Sale-By-Owner, and new construction. Buyer’s agents will also counsel you about home location, features, condition, and cost so that your purchase provides a good long-term value. Market comparisons will be performed to ensure that you do not overpay for the home.

Throughout the home buying process, an exclusive buyer’s agent will negotiate exclusively on your behalf and obtain the best price and terms, all while protecting your best interests!

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