By: Jim Vogel, elderaction.org
Now that retirement is here, you’re looking forward to exploring some hobbies, taking trips you always wanted, and more. After all, you’ve earned your retirement after so many years of hard work and productivity.
But instead of just resting, many seniors are now selling their old house and buying a new one. There are many advantages to this, which is why you need to seriously consider purchasing a new home.
Why Many Seniors Buy Someplace New
Home Advisor has a list of 10 reasons why so many seniors are buying a new home. Some of these include:
- Housing prices are rising again, making a home a good investment.
- You can deduct the interest you pay on a new mortgage from your taxes.
- Owning a new home brings stability and security.
- You can find a new community to explore. That can be very valuable if your current community changes too much over the years.
- Interest rates are still low.
If you’ve never owned a home before, now is the time. The AARP explains that seniors are living longer these years and need a place to call home. You are also putting money into the equity of your home instead of a landlord’s pocket. And if you already own a home, many seniors downsize to get a home that’s smaller, cheaper, and easier to maintain.
Finding The Right Home
Once you’ve settled on making the move, the next step is finding the right place. When you are a senior, you have more choices than ever for your new home. You can always buy a single-family home, but you should also look into other options such as condos, townhomes, and senior communities.
A Place For Mom has a page listing different senior living options for each state, most major cities, and even Canada. You can also search by type of residence depending on your needs.
But again, many seniors go with downsizing. Chances are, you don’t need that big house anymore. It’s annoying to maintain (all that mowing, shoveling, and cleaning), but you’re also paying for square footage you don’t use. Contact a real estate agent where you’d like to move and look at smaller homes to save money and hassle.
Finances & Mortgages
In fact, mortgageload.com explains that one of the biggest mistakes seniors make is staying in their old homes for too long. After all, your house is more than where you live; it’s the biggest financial investment you ever make. And now that you are retired, you have to play it smart with your money. That often means buying a house that’s cheaper and smaller.
If you currently own a home, you should look into reverse mortgages. Also called home equity conversion mortgages (HECM), these are where a bank pays you each month based on the equity you have in your current home. Some seniors have used reverse mortgages to keep their own home and buy a cheaper one closer to family or warm weather.
All mortgages require sufficient income before a bank is willing to loan the money, and that can be hard on a senior’s income. Reverse mortgages help with that, but you should also talk to your bank about any special mortgage problems for seniors.
Right Now Can Be A Great Time To Buy
In the end, you need to decide what’s best for you. That said, many seniors find the best thing is to buy a new home during retirement. Although finances can be a bit tricky, there are programs that can help whether you already own a home or would be a first-time homeowner. Retirement should be a time to relax, and it’s easier to do that when you own an affordable home.