Tips For Buying A Home For Retirement


When you are about 40 or 50 years old, you may still feel as if it is too early to worry about life after retirement. If you are buying a home right now however, and you’re planning to settle down there, you should keep in mind that, the home you select now plays a big role in impacting your options for the future. Below are some considerations that you should make before you buy your next home, especially if you are planning on living there for the rest of your life.

What Should Couples Do When Downsizing in Retirement … via The Wall Street Journal

What About Your Parents?

Many people 40 or 50 have to also consider helping their parents Downsize or move into Assisted Living. This can be extremely difficult if you live in another state or even another country. Your not there… How do you go about the task of finding the Best Realtor to sell their house? Do you move there for that time period? Do you move your parents to your home until you can figure out what to do? Do you pay someone to live there with them; do the shopping, cooking, cleaning, errands, Doctor appointments? This can become quite expensive, do you have the money to run two Households and pay for a Caregiver? What if one or both of your parents need the services of a Registered Nurse for bathing, mobility issues and the like.

Having personally gone thru this with my parents, friends parents and countless clients across the U.S. and Abroad – it is not as difficult as you may fear. The style of home is one of the most important considerations. Ranch style homes provide the best options, for many reasons and will be discussed in detail later.

Can you walk along the neighborhood?

In your later years its important to consider living somewhere that’s centrally located. A place where you can walk or utilize public transit will make your life drastically easier.

The neighborhood should be well lit, well maintained and therefore safe for pedestrians. The neighborhood should also have some nearby restaurants, grocery stores and retail stores. It would also be ideal if it wasn’t far from your doctor & a pharmacy. Here are some things to consider about a neighborhood when buying a home via Anita Clark

Are there local social opportunities?

Life after retirement can be fun if you live in a strong community that has many activities to be done and at the same time has many people to meet. A place that has enjoyable activities and can give you a chance to meet new people (especially if there is a nearby community center) is ideal. Note that, if there is a nearby community center, may of them have programs especially for Seniors. There may be some fun activities, volunteer opportunities and even some interesting classes that you can enjoy. Places of worship, libraries, parks and even museums should also be nearby. These areas are going to be very important later in life and they should be easily accessible. The most successful retirement community, since the 60’s in the U.S. is in Sun City, Arizona, which has all these amenities. But there are additional tips for buying into a 55 and over retirement communityvia Bill Gassett

Is it the right size?

When moving to a home that you are going to retire in, you should consider downsizing. It is true that a big house looks beautiful with its green lawn but you should ask yourself the question. How am I going to maintain it? A bigger house requires more effort to maintain and if you’re not able to take care of it yourself, will you have the ability to hire a home maintenance company? The wisest thing to do is to move to a smaller house with less space that you can easily manage yourself.

Should I downsize my House?   via The Ferris Property Group

Accessibility Challenges In Later Years

Accessibility is very important because it makes it easy to live in both now and when you are retiring. The home should have;

· Wide walkways

· Single storey layout that has no entry stairs

· It should not have random steps

· There should be enough lighting

· The storage space should be easy to reach

· The counters should neither be too high nor too low

· There should be a walking shower with a seat

· The floor space should be big enough for easy movement

If you are having some accessibility challenges right now, it will only worsen as you age and therefore you should consider renovating it. Alternatively, you can move to a house that will make your movement much easier.

How to renovate, to improve accessibility

Looking for the perfect house is not an easy thing and sometimes, you may find one that you love, but its accessibility design is not good enough. If that is so, you should consider renovating it and doing so can make it ideal for aging. Some of the things that you can do include;

· Installing more lighting both indoors & outdoors to improve visibility

· Choosing chairs and sofas that have sturdy armrests & back support

· Installing handrails in the bathroom(i.e. to the bathtub & toilet) for extra support

· Adding non slip surfaces in the shower & bathtub to prevent falls

· Adding handrails to the indoor & outdoor stairs to help you maintain your balance

· Replacing doorknobs that are round with lever handles that can easily be opened

· Choosing countertops & tables that have rounded edges

Keep your plan in mind

Some people are concerned with all the ‘stuff’ they have accumulated over the years, especially with a larger home. Don’t worry – there are many options to help you, here are four tips.  via Karen Highland  

I have worked with Hundreds of couples who are Downsizing, want a Ranch style home, but in the Mature Neighborhoods, with Trees, people their own age, close to shopping, Doctors … they are often disappointed in how much Updating is necessary, and what it might cost. Here is an Example of how to Update A Ranch Style Home via Wendy Weir with tips and ideas to save Tens of Thousands of Dollars !!!

Depending on how much money you want to spend renovating your present home, or a new home, there are special FHA 203K Loans via Tony Mariotti,  where you can tackle big projects – such as adding a 1st floor master bedroom, bathroom renovations …

Thank you for taking the time to read my article and please share with friends or on Social Media if you found it of interest.

Wendy Weir Relocation – Real Estate Agent, Relocation Specialist, Birmingham, MI

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