There are various reasons seniors may want to buy a new home, from downsizing to escaping cold winters once and for all. Though many seniors desire a move to the warmer climates of Florida, others choose to stay close to friends and family. Although keen on moving, seniors are often wary of the obstacles and challenges involved in home buying. Here's how to find the perfect house for your needs and make the home-buying experience as simple as possible.
1. Conduct Thorough Research to Find the Right Home
To find your dream home for your golden years, you'll need to consider which amenities are vital to your comfort. Do you plan on living in this home for as long as possible? If so, you'll want to make sure any two-story homes have a bedroom and full bathroom on the ground floor so you can avoid problems with stairs as you age. You may want to look for wide, level sidewalks outside the home and no-step entryways so you can avoid the risk of falls. Also, lots of lighting in the home is key for aging eyes.
Seek out houses close to public transportation in case there comes a time when you or your partner can no longer drive. Be careful to avoid settling in an area with a high crime rate.
If you’re trying to downsize, make sure your smaller house still has all of the amenities and space you need to keep it accessible. Many seniors prefer one-level, semi-detached condos or patio homes because these cut out the necessity of yard maintenance without confining them to apartment living.
2. Understand All of Your Financial Options
Before you jump into a purchase, do your research and make a note of the average listing price of homes in your desired area. This will tell you if the location you want is realistic for your financial situation. Of course, this may be perfectly within your budget. However, if you need something at a lower price, consider alternate neighborhoods.
As a homebuyer, you need to understand all of your different options for financing your big purchase. A lot of people make mistakes when it comes to picking the right type of mortgage loan for their new home. Seniors can benefit from talking to financial planners who will help them make the best financial decisions about their home. These professionals can even help you spot scams and make sure you’re getting the best possible interest rate on your mortgage.
3. Prepare to Ask for Professional Help
Professionals are available to help you through every step of the home-buying process. Seniors can look for a real estate agent who specializes in working with older clientele. These agents understand how the needs of seniors differ from the general public. While you’re looking for a real estate agent, spend some time getting to know them and be sure to ask for references from their previous clients.
You'll likely want to hire professionals to help you with the moving process as well. Movers will help ensure the safety and protection of your belongings and your own health. According to The Spruce, you should research the history of multiple moving companies and understand how much work you will be required to do yourself. Ask about their estimates and other moving fees so you aren't slapped by unexpected charges later on. Avoid hiring unlicensed, rogue movers by knowing how to spot them.
Home buying and moving as a senior can sound like an overwhelming task. By doing your research, understanding all of your options and enlisting the help of qualified professionals, relocating can be much easier than you’re anticipating. Before you know it, you'll be settled into your perfect home and inviting your new neighbors over for coffee.
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