When it comes to home-buying, those in their golden years may need to be a bit more careful than others. Even a tiny mistake made during transactions could make it harder than ever to recover from them. If you are like most seniors, your income is fixed and finite, so more care and research may be called for. Read on for some tips to ensure that you make some smart real estate moves during your senior years.
Why make the move?
It's important that you be able to adequately explain, to yourself at least, the motivation behind making a move at this time. If you can zero in on your reason, it will guide you toward making other important decisions along the way. For example:
- Do you have too much house? Downsizing is a common reason for moving in the golden years, and understanding this could prevent you from falling in love with a larger home.
- Are you fed up with doing yard work? Options abound for those who no longer want to care for the yard. While a condo seems the obvious move, you might also consider some neighborhoods where some of the yard work is done as part of the homeowner's association fees.
- Do you need to be closer to medical facilities? Aging sometimes means needing more medical care, and it can make sense to move closer to those doctors and facilities.
- Are you tired of taking care of every little thing that goes wrong with the house? Renting could be a better option for you, since you can let your landlord deal with the broken dishwasher for a change.
Considering various home options
There are more options available than ever before, and sometimes the terms can be a bit confusing. A home can mean more than just a single family residence, and many people find that they want to try something different at this point in their lives. Don't just automatically assume you'll love the same thing as always, consider some of these options:
- Condominiums – If you haven't checked out condo complexes lately, you may be in for a big surprise. These homes can be as large as you like, with luxurious finishes and lots of tempting amenities. You can even find condo neighborhoods that are just for people in your own age bracket, and there is a lot to be said for having like-minded neighbors about. You may be pleasantly surprised at what some of these complexes offer, such as transportation, game nights, resort-worthy pools, workout areas, planned social activities and more.
- Townhomes- If you want to downsize some, and want to do just a bit less yard work, a townhome could be the perfect compromise for you. These homes offer something that a condo may not: a small, private outdoor space. Additionally, you may have your own private driveway and even a garage, which can be very convenient when carrying stuff in and out. Be cautious, however, when it comes to floor plans, since many townhomes are two story and could present some challenges with stairs.
- Deed restricted/gated neighborhoods – These neighborhoods can offer more security and peace of mind for seniors, but be sure you understand the deed restriction rules, which can be over-reaching in some cases.
Speak to your real estate agent to learn more about your new senior home.