Photo courtesy of Pixabay by frabre
Advances in healthcare and in-home care are allowing more and more seniors to live independently later in life. This has allowed many people to enter the buying market and purchase homes well into their golden years. Perhaps this is why some studies have even suggested that senior home buyers are making up a larger number of new home purchases these days than other generations, including millennials or Gen Xers.
Why are more seniors buying homes? The answers to this question are as diverse as the seniors themselves. Many people decide to make a move during their golden years. Some people want to downsize from a larger, multi-level house into a smaller, one-story home. Other people decide they are tired of living in a cold climate and want to move closer to the beach. And some people choose to keep their current home while purchasing a second home to allow for more travel and flexibility.
If you (or a loved one) are considering purchasing a home during life’s Golden Years, here are a few tips for a smoother experience:
1. Search for the “cream puff”
Cream puff? No, I’m not talking about a delicious treat you might serve during the holidays. A “cream puff” home is a realtor’s way of describing a home that has been so babied by its previous owner that it is in pristine condition and most likely not in need of repairs. This type of home is ideal for elderly buyers. Although cream puff homes are elusive and therefore more expensive up front, they can save you effort, time and money because most cream puff homes may not require repairs for up to five years.
2. Find the right movers.
When we are young, it can be easy to tempt our strong, healthy friends and loved ones with pizza to help us move. As we age, moving becomes an increasingly difficult (and more emotional) process. Don’t despair; you can still find help moving by enlisting a third party moving company. There are even specialists out there who enjoy helping seniors move into their new homes.
3. Get financed.
Contrary to what some people might tell you, you are never “too old” to buy a new home. There are plenty of banks and lenders out there who offer home loans to seniors. Just be careful to consider the length of the mortgage, and how it might affect your loved ones if you are not able to make all of the payments as planned. Another important consideration is whether your retirement income will allow you to make your monthly payments. Just because you qualify for a home loan doesn’t necessarily mean that particular loan is best for your unique situation. If in doubt, consult with a financial advisor before making your final decision.
Regardless of your personal situation - whether you’re looking for an oceanside home to retire to, or just looking to downsize from your current home - there are many things to consider when it comes to buying a home as a senior. It is very possible to find your dream home later in life. Having a solid plan in place for the coming years will help you find clarity in making the decision that is best for you.
Author: Jim Vogel