Guest Writer: Sally Norton
When people think of first-time homebuyers, they usually picture those in their 20s or 30s. However, when it comes to buying a home, there is no age limit. If you are sure that buying your first home in your 50s is the right choice for you, then go for it. However, if you don't know what signs to look for to be sure you're making the right decision, continue reading. We've prepared tips and advice that will hopefully steer your decision in the right direction.
When you're looking to buy a home in your 50s, you need to be sure you're making the right decision. Therefore, there are certain things to consider:
● Your financial situation and knowing if your house is worth the mortgage
● Your expectations when it comes to the property you're looking to purchase
● What type of property should you look for, will it be suitable for your needs, and does it fit into your lifestyle?
Further in this article, we'll explain each of these concerns in detail.
Can your budget handle the costs? Before you decide to take this huge step, make sure to analyze your finances and see if your budget can handle it. Although you are not exempt from getting a mortgage due to your age, you still need to be sure you'll be able to pay it when your income drops after you retire.
Before you decide to buy a home, make sure that your budget can handle it.
Even though mortgage costs will remain the same, you still need to pay for maintenance, utilities, taxes, insurance, and similar if you take out a conventional loan. Therefore, make sure to take these costs into consideration, too, as they have a tendency to climb, and you need to be sure you can afford them before deciding to buy a home.
Also, you need to think about your upcoming relocation costs and budget accordingly. Don't rush into making a decision but do your research in order to find a low-budget solution. Nowadays, there are plenty of reliable moving companies that will safely relocate your belongings without you having to spend too much.
What type of home should you look for? When you're in your 50s, your kids are most likely independent and potentially have their own families. Therefore, even if you are used to renting a single-family home when it comes to buying, you need to thoroughly think and decide whether you should go for a house or a condo.
Your choice of home will depend on your needs and preferences.
For example, a lot of people over 50 decide to downsize.
Many people decide to downsize after reaching a certain age. That makes a lot of sense as you probably don't need as much space as you did before. Also, with smaller places come fewer responsibilities and costs of maintenance and upkeep.
Another thing you should do is research the market and housing forecasts as that will also help you make your decision. By having information about market movements and the current situation with real estate, you can decide what type of property you can afford that, at the same time, suits your needs best.
Will this type of home be suitable for you once your health declines? One of the most important things you should have in mind when choosing your future home is the fact that you're getting older and your health might decline. Hopefully, you'll be able to stay fit and mobile, but there is no harm in taking preventive measures. Therefore, choose a home design and location suitable for your age.
For example, even though you might not have issues with climbing the stairs now, it could become a problem sometimes in the future for either you or your partner. Therefore, the best option is to choose a single-story house. If you decide to purchase a condo, make sure that the building has an elevator.
Also, at some point, you might not be able to drive. Therefore, the location of your home is a crucial factor to consider. Look into finding a place near public transportation and near shops and other amenities you'll frequently need.
Will your new home fit into your lifestyle? When choosing a home where you plan on spending the rest of your life, you need to consider what type of activities you want to enjoy and what kind of lifestyle you want to have. It's essential to think about the time after you retire as you don't want to be stuck in a place that doesn't fulfill your needs.
In order to make the right choice, you need to think about what you want from your new home
and how it fits into your lifestyle now and after your retirement.
Also, make sure to discuss this with your partner, as you might have completely different expectations regarding how you want to spend your retirement. For example, you might want to travel around the world while your partner wants to stay put and be close to your grandkids. These things can massively influence your decision when buying a home in your 50s.
How long do you plan on living there? Another thing to consider is the time you want to spend in your new home. Perhaps you don't want to live there for the rest of your life but make it a temporary solution before retirement.
If that is the case, our advice is not to buy a property if you don't plan on living there for at least 5 years. Why? Because home appreciation could be wiped by the transaction costs. In that case, you'd be left without the benefits of having invested in a property.
We hope that we were able to convince you that buying your first home in your 50s can be a good choice, depending on your needs and preferences. Of course, the final decision is on you, and we wish you the best of luck with it.
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.