Buying a home for the first time is not just for young professionals or newlyweds. Too often, people mistakenly assume that buying a home in their retirement years is not possible. In fact, it is possible and can be a great choice for many people.
The process of buying a home later in life includes unique considerations. Here are some tips to help you buy your first home while you are enjoying retirement.
For many people, retirement can be an excellent time to jump into the local housing market. The best way to determine your housing budget is to work with a certified financial planner and a reputable mortgage broker. Things you will need to take into consideration include:
- How a down payment will affect your overall retirement savings,
- What you can afford for a monthly mortgage payment,
- Estimated costs for insurance, property taxes, community fees, and utilities,
- Annual maintenance costs, and
- Renovation or home improvement costs.
In addition to planning for the purchase, you should also spend some time budgeting for future expenses to determine how much home you can comfortably afford factoring in inflation, projected retirement income, and your preferred retirement lifestyle.
Mature Buyers do not need to restrict their search to homes in a good school district or near a specific workplace. When considering where to buy, look at things like proximity to services, stores, and entertainment. Many retirees prefer homes in neighbourhoods with good walkability that makes it easy for them to walk to do their errands, eat out, or participate in favourite activities. For some Buyers, being close to other family members and their social group is also a consideration.
When choosing your ideal location, ask your Realtor if the area is expected to undergo any major upgrades, infrastructure improvements, or re-gentrification. Substantial improvements can increase property values which can result in a significant increase in property taxes.
Aging in place
Aging in place is the capability to continue to live independently in your own home as you age and mature Buyers should ensure their home is a good fit for them today and into the future. When purchasing with the intention of aging in place, consider how the home can be modified to support independence as you age. Also, review the maintenance requirements of the home to determine if you can adequately attend to interior and exterior maintenance on your own or if you should budget for hired help.
It is helpful to think about the best floor plan for your current and future needs. A multi-story home with several flights of stairs might be a great option today but could become burdensome in the future. Allow for the possibility that in 5 or 10 years, you will appreciate a space that is easy to live in and presents few barriers to activities of daily living should there be a change in your health.
Buying your first home after retirement takes some careful consideration but it can also be fun and exciting! When you are ready to buy, look for a Realtor that has skills and experience specific to your situation. As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, I am expertly and thoroughly qualified to help. Contact me so we can talk more about making your dream of homeownership come true!