Tips for Buying Your Retirement Home

There are many reasons to choose a purchase a home to retire to, but moving can be tricky and it can be difficult to feel like you’ve made the “right” decision when it comes to a retirement home. Here are some tips that might help make the decision easier.

Retirement often means moving.  After retiring, many people wish to move to a smaller home or a home that requires less maintenance.  Others finally have an excuse to move to their dream location after years of being stuck in a certain area because of their job.  Still others choose to make a vacation home their full-time residence.  There are many reasons to choose a purchase a home to retire to, but moving can be tricky and it can be difficult to feel like you’ve made the “right” decision when it comes to a retirement home.  Here are some tips that might help make the decision easier.

“Active Adult Community” vs. Traditional Community
 They can be called active adult communities, 55+ communities, or a myriad of other things, but the truth is that these types of communities can be a great option.  If you are interested in having a lot of recreational and social activities to choose from then an active adult community might be for you.  These communities usually offer golf, tennis, swimming, and/or other recreational activities for a monthly fee.  This fee is usually a fraction of what it would cost you to pay for all of the individual amenities yourself.  When you are trying to decide whether or not to look at 55+ communities or purchase a home in a more traditional community seriously consider how often you think you will use amenities such as tennis courts, a swimming pool, or a clubhouse.  If the answer is “not often” then it might be worth it for you to live in a more traditional community and pay a-la-carte for the things you desire, such as someone to mow the lawn or take care of snow removal.

Make a list of all the things that are most important then look for a home that is located near all of the amenities.  This list might include the beach, quality healthcare, shopping, golf, restaurants, and much more… whatever is on your list, do your best to find a home that is in the vicinity of your top choices.

If you choose an active adult community the amenities should be part of your consideration, but don’t forget to consider amenities if you choose a more traditional path as well.  Is it important for you to have a garden?  Do you dream of sitting on a porch in the evenings?  Do you plan to host large family dinners? Consider what is most important to you and look for a home with these amenities or the ability to add these amenities easily and within your budget. 

Monthly Upkeep
When you are determining where to buy a home be sure to factor in the “hidden” costs of ownership.  For example, how much will it cost you monthly to have someone mow your lawn and keep up with the yard maintenance when the time comes that you no longer want to do it yourself?  If you choose an active adult community, be sure you know what the monthly fees are, what they cover, and when they were last raised and by how much.

Safety and Layout
Not only do you want a house in a safe and secure neighborhood, but you also want to consider the future.  If there comes a time in the very far future when you need a wheelchair or other medical equipment, will the home you choose be able to accommodate you.  These are things that nobody wants to think of when they retire and have plenty of life left in them, but the time to plan for these things is before they happen to you.

Everyone’s goal should be to retire debt-free, so the overall cost of your home is, of course, something to keep in mind.  Be sure you can afford your home.  Just think of the freedom you will have in retirement if you are living mortgage-free!

Above all, when considering where you will live after retiring, be sure to evaluate and consider both your current desires as well as your long-term needs.  And, of course, hire a real estate agent to help you through the process!  Recently, Delaware Today published an article about why Sussex Counties is such a great place to retire.  If you are thinking of retiring to Sussex County give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!