Buying a home after you retire is much different than searching for your first home after your got married or when raising your family. Not only are your needs much different, the real estate market and costs associated with owning a home have changed as well. Even when downsizing to a smaller home, townhouse, or condo, retirees often overlook new home ownership costs. They might also not consider how their physical needs will change as they age. Below are some important factors we urge you to consider before making this important decision.
Owning a Home Means More Than a Monthly Mortgage Payment
If you have owned a home for many years, your mortgage payment is likely to be much lower than the current going rate. You might even find the current rates unaffordable over the life of the loan while living on retirement income. Before you close on a new home, be sure to work out your new budget to see how 30 years of mortgage payments fits into it. Of course, you always have the option of taking on a larger monthly payment and a shorter loan term if you have the funds to do so.
While preparing your budget, don’t forget to include additional housing costs such as homeowner’s association dues if applicable, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and the cost of maintenance and repairs. Your best estimate may have to do in some cases, but make sure the added expenses won’t increase your debt before signing the mortgage papers.
Is the Location of Your New Home Realistic as You Age?
Many people are healthy and active when they retire and assume that they always will be. Perhaps you don’t visit the doctor too often right now, go out with friends frequently, and have no driving restrictions. Unfortunately, both eyesight and reflexes tend to diminish with age. Although you are completely independent right now, you may need to rely on public transportation in the future or live closer to medical facilities for frequent treatment. It is always a good idea to consider the layout of a community along with its transportation options.
Will You Be Able to Age in Place?
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recently conducted a study to determine where older Americans want to live after retirement and into old age. Over 90 percent of the respondents stated that they wanted to remain in their own home for as long as they possibly could. That is certainly understandable, but it may not be possible with the home you purchase. For example, stairs may become difficult for you to navigate if you develop arthritis in your knees or hips. Keeping up with outdoor maintenance can be a challenge as well.
The best way to avoid having to move again after getting settled into a home you love is to carefully consider if you will be able to navigate the home as you age and have less physical stamina. Preferably, you should be able to stay in the home you buy now in early retirement for the rest of your life or until you need outside care.
Solivita Living is Here to Help You Find the Ideal Post-Retirement Home
Solivita Living offers 55+ retirement living at its finest. Conveniently located in Central Florida, we are available now to help you find the perfect home as you enjoy your new retirement lifestyle. Please contact us today to start your search.