Retiring – Do You Know What to Look in Your Retirement Home?

If, like many baby boomers you are getting close to retirement age, it might be time to look at your home and decide whether it can be adapted to meet your needs. When you look at the real estate market today, you will find there is a shortage of both starter homes and “trade-up” homes. If you should decide that you want to move after you retire, there has never been a better time to sell. We have put together a few things you should consider before you make your final decision.

1. Cost

In this case, cost is more about added expenses on top of the cost of buying your new home. This could include things like HOA fees, paying for lawn care services, and any other contractors you need to keep your house up. What about taxes? Are they going to increase or decrease? Weigh costs such as these against your expected monthly retirement income.

2. How Much Equity Do You Have?

If you have equity built up in your current home, it could be enough to help you buy your retirement home without having to take out a mortgage or perhaps be able to minimize how much you must borrow to purchase your new home. According to the latest figures, the average homeowner here in the U.S. saw an increase in the equity of their home of approximately $9,700.

3. Routine Upkeep

One issue we all face as we age is the slowly diminishing ability to handle many of the routine upkeep tasks that we once performed with ease. This includes tasks such as moving the lawn, cleaning the gutters, shoveling snow, etc. As your health declines, you might find a condominium with a home owner’s association that takes off all maintenance and upkeep rather than having to do it yourself or pay someone to do the work for you.

4. What About Fido or Smoky

Whether your furry friend is a dog or cat and you plan to rent, you need to make sure your new home allows pets. Pets are wonderful companions and provide both physical and emotional support. If you can’t bring your pet with you, you might want to reconsider. Points to ponder, will you be required to pay a pet deposit or fee? Is there a fenced-in yard where your dog can run around and play? Is there a good vet’s office or animal hospital nearby?

5. Is the Area Safe and the Property Secure?

Sadly, in today’s world, the elderly are the most common targets of a wide range of scams and break-ins. Consider looking at homes within gated communities with resident-only access and a security system. The more security features your new home has, the more comfortable you will feel living there during your golden years.

6. Mobility and Access

While none of us want to think about the possibility that we might need a walker or wheelchair, but you should be looking at homes designed with these issues in mind. You should consider things like ramps, handrails in the bathroom, and doors/hallways that are wide enough to accommodate walkers, wheelchairs, and possibly electric scooters. It’s a lot easier to buy a home that has these features already installed than having to pay for them on top of purchasing the property.

7. Location, Location, Location

Hollywood is not the only one who needs to worry about location. When you are looking for your retirement home, consider local amenities. These include things like golf courses, shopping centers, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and great restaurants.

If your current home can be adapted to meet your needs as they change during your golden years, you might want to consider aging in place. If the idea of buying a home that is already adapted to meet your changing needs, you should contact a realtor in the area you are considering moving to.