Guest Writer: Sally Norton
It's never too late to buy your dream home! Don't let your age discourage you if you're thinking of buying a home. Just because moving is often associated with younger folks doesn't mean you shouldn't follow your dreams and become a homeowner in your golden years. However, you should keep in mind that purchasing a home at 65 is not the same as buying at 30. To help you through this process, we compiled a list of tips for buying a home in your senior years.
#1 Find the Right Neighborhood
When you're buying a home in your senior years, one of the most important things to consider is the location. Do your research and find the right neighborhood that fulfills all your wants and needs. For example, if you have health-related issues, choosing a place near a medical institution or a hospital might be wise. This way, you'd be close enough in case of an emergency, and you won't have to get someone from your family to drive you to every doctor's appointment.
Furthermore, if you want to live in your own apartment but need daily support or medical care, spending time in an assisted living facility or community is a good idea. Activities, trips, and meals provided in dining facilities are standard in assisted living complexes.
#2 Think About Downsizing
It's easy to get caught up looking at those beautiful two-story, three-story homes. However, you probably don't need anything that extravagant when you're buying a home in your senior years. This is especially true if you're living alone or with your spouse; you won't need all those extra bedrooms and bathrooms. Moreover, more rooms mean more cleaning and maintenance. By choosing a smaller house, you can save yourself a lot of money and use your free time to focus on your hobbies and interests.
#3 Consider Your Mortgage Options
Usually, most seniors would rather buy a house with cash than take out a loan. That way, they don't have to worry about paying off their mortgage, and there's a 0% chance of their heirs having to help out or inheriting a loan. However, not all seniors have the means to pay for a home entirely in cash. And the process of getting approved for a mortgage can get even more complicated if you're a senior. But all of that shouldn't make you give up. Instead, you should find a financial consultant and see what your options are and if they'll affect your pension.
Hire a real estate agent to help you find the best house for you.
#4 Hire a Real Estate Agent
House hunting can get tricky. If you're not a real estate expert, you may not know when you're overpaying for a home or making a bad deal. That's why you should enlist the help of an actual real estate agent. They'll help you find your dream home, negotiate a good deal and assist you with the paperwork. Moreover, if you have any special requirements for the home you're looking for, they'll always come up with the best option. For example, if you're buying a house and you have pets, your real estate agent could focus on only the listings with a big enough backyard for your pets to run around but not so big that the maintenance is a hassle in your senior years.
#5 Be Cautious
Unfortunately, many real estate predators are out there attempting to take advantage of the elderly. To prevent falling into their traps, ensure your market knowledge is up to date. Do all your own googling to inquire about the average home prices. Moreover, as we already mentioned, don't underestimate the importance of hiring a financial counselor and a real estate agent. Also, if you get any paperwork, be sure you've read and comprehended any tiny print. Real estate brokers that try to hurry you into making decisions and signing agreements may be trying to take advantage of you. Trust your instincts. You're probably right if you believe you are being told something that's too good to be true. Get a second opinion to be sure.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when buying a home in your senior years, whether
it entails hiring a professional or asking somebody from your family.
#6 Don't Stress
Buying a house and moving is widely believed to be one of the most significant stressors in a person's life. For many people, changes like these take a toll on their mental health. However, a part of that is up to you and how you handle the stress. If it's taking too long to find the right home for you, understand that some things are just out of your control. You can't change the market; you can be patient and wait it out.
Something will come up eventually. And when it does, you'll have to get ready for the process of relocation that's ahead. It's always a good idea to hire specialists and enlist their help, as it significantly helps with overcoming moving anxiety. In the meantime, try to keep calm and focus on what you can control. Enjoy your free time and hobbies and leave the work to the professionals whose job is to deal with things like that.
#7 Hire Moving Assistance
Moving into a new house is a difficult and physically demanding task. You might not have the energy as a senior to pack up your complete living quarters, let alone relocate and then unpack. Fortunately, various moving companies specialize in assisting seniors in packing their possessions and moving into their new homes securely and effectively.
However, if you can't afford additional help, you can ask your friends and family to help you. Invite your kids and grandkids over, give them assignments and have them do most of the heavy lifting while you coordinate the move. It will be a fun family bonding time and a nice reason to see everyone get together.
Since you can’t lift it all by yourself, hire movers to take your belongings into your new home.
Buying a home is always a long and challenging process. And buying a home in your senior years is not any less complicated. However, that alone shouldn't stop you from doing what you want! There are plenty of excellent benefits to being a homeowner you shouldn't miss out on. So, if you don't think you can do it all by yourself, don't be ashamed to hire some help.
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Jason Gelios is a Husband and Father. After that, a Top Producing REALTOR®, Author of the books 'Think like a REALTOR®' and 'Beating The Force Of Average', Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show and Expert Media Contributor to media outlets across the country.