You've put in years of hard work, and now it's time to relax and make the most of your retirement years. Sometimes that means purchasing a new home. Whether you want to downsize or relocate to a warmer climate, there are many things retirees need to consider when purchasing a home in retirement. The following are seven tips our agents
recommend you use as a guideline before making your decision.
1. Consider Your Costs
Property taxes, sales taxes, utility bills, HOA dues, maintenance, and general upkeep can amount to hundreds if not thousands of dollars per month. Take these expenses into account and discuss them with your accountant when calculating how much home you can afford.
2. Look Closely at the Layout
Most retirees prefer a single-story house or condo when they retire. These are easier to clean and maintain. When choosing a home, you will want to choose one that fits the lifestyle you anticipate and isn't too large or too small for your needs.
3. Don't Tie Up Your Cash
While you will want to make a sizeable down payment, it's not advisable to tie all of your cash up in your home. Make sure to speak with a financial advisor to determine how much you should put into your home based on your expected income, anticipated healthcare expenses, and other costs you can expect in retirement.
4. Live There Before You Move There
Don't relocate to another state or city until you are sure what it is like to live there. Your favorite vacation spot may be great to visit but can feel very different once you live there. Whenever possible, move there for a few months in both the off-season and tourist seasons before you decide to make a permanent move. This helps you get a better feel for the year-round weather, lifestyle, services, traffic, etc. in the area.
5. Don't Forget the Doctor and Other Needs
Your needs will change as your retirement years roll by. You may require specialized healthcare. Declining eyesight may make driving difficult. You'll slow down, and your ability to move around the home will change. Considering these possibilities will help you choose a home and location that is suitable for your future needs. You must select a home that allows you to age in place if you so desire.
6. Pay Attention to Resale Value
Your heirs may want to keep the house and move in when you pass on. Or, they may want to sell it and use the proceeds to purchase their own home. Choose a home that will appreciate and allow them to make that choice when the time comes.
7. It is Best to Buy Before You Retire
It is advisable to apply for a loan before you announce your retirement. Lenders won't deny you a loan based on your age if you have good credit. However, you may not meet the minimum income requirements for the loan once you retire. Speak with your lender to determine what loan products you qualify for and which options they recommend as you prepare for retirement.