Many people buy a home specifically for their retirement. After all, who needs a two-story, five-bedroom home when the kids are all grown up and out of the house, and walking up and down the stairs has become a daily struggle?
Needs change with age, and there’s no better change to make as you advance in age than to buy a new home that suits your current needs when you retire. If you are seriously considering to buy a retirement home, here are five factors to consider.
Depending on your personal situation, you may want your home to be near family and friends, preferably with easy access to medical care. Or you may want to live in a place where the climate is agreeable all year round. A good location that complements your lifestyle will increase the enjoyment you get out of your retirement home for many years to come.
You will have to make compromises on your purchase based on your priorities. For instance, if you want to move to a place that’s sunny and warm, you may have to live far away from people you care for. (On the other hand, the fact that you live someplace sunny and warm may make them want to visit you more often.) Know your priorities, and weigh your options carefully. Setting your priorities straight before buying can make a lot of tough decisions easier.
You need to consider the possibility that your financial standing when you retire may not be the same as where you are now. To avoid potentially damaging setbacks, set a post-retirement budget and stick to it as best you can.
You’ll need to know how much you can actually afford to avoid becoming “house-rich” but “money-poor” when you retire. If you plan to take out a mortgage, make sure to include all your projected income and expenses, such as Social Security benefits, medical bills, etc. For your own security, get help from a financial planner.
Don’t forget to make sure that the home you choose is senior citizen-friendly. You may move around easily enough now, but that may no longer be the case later on. Step-in showers are a must-have, for easy access and egress as you may find it difficult to do so in a normal bathtub. Other features to consider are:
- No steps or stairs
- If stairs are unavoidable, the house must be equipped with a lift
- Grab bars
- Rocker light switches (instead of flip switches)
- Ample space for maneuvering
- Well-illuminated corners and spaces
All these make for a safe transition to retirement. If the house you’re interested in has very few senior-friendly features, set aside a budget that will allow you to upgrade it to your needs.
Real estate agent
Working with the right real estate agent can be the most crucial aspect of finding the perfect retirement house. When choosing a real estate agent or company, make sure they are established, have plenty of local real estate knowledge and experience, and have your best interest at heart. Check out reviews from their clients, get to know their work processes, and meet with them face to face if you can.
At Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Service, Inc., we look out for your best interests and do our best to help you achieve your goals. Talk to us if you’re in the market for retirement homes in Central Florida.