More seniors than ever are looking for the perfect retirement home where they can live out their golden years. If you find yourself in this position, take some steps to find just the right new home where you can age in place with grace. Here are some things to consider as you do your planning:
Determine What You Need Now, but also Consider the Future
Your first step in finding your perfect retirement home is determining what you need. Make a list of features that will make your life easier. These might include a single-story floor plan, wide hallways, a convenient kitchen, few steps, and bathrooms with safety features. You could also add home security, easy upkeep, and manageable outdoor space. You should also consider what type of community you would like to live in. 55+, condo, high rise, etc., as well as where you would like to be. Maybe you have always wanted a home by the water or in the mountains. How about a college town for continual education and college sports? You should also consider proximity to medical facilities since they become more important as you age. While most homes won’t tick off every item on your list, you can still use these features to guide your search and rule out homes and areas that definitely don’t work for you.
Set Your Budget
You must also set your budget. Take a look at your income and expenses, your assets and debts, and how much you can expect to get for your current home. This gives you a sense of the most reasonable price range for your next home. Research the housing markets as well so that you know what to expect when selling and buying. For example, as of June 2022, the average cost for a home in Sarasota is around $515,000, for instance, while the median list price is $595,000.
House-hunting can be rather tricky at times, so you may want to hire a real estate agent to guide your search. An agent can guide you toward the best neighborhoods, alert you to possible issues with houses, and comment on pricing. Do an online search for homes in your target areas, then pick out several you want to see in person. Make an effort to notice the details about these houses. Look for necessary repairs, and match the home’s features to those on your list.
Smooth the Purchase Process
Ideally, your agent can smooth out the purchase process when you find the right home. When you make your first offer, stay within a reasonable range of the asking price. Don’t lowball and insult the seller. Negotiate if you can, but set a limit according to your budget. You may have to walk away if the price isn’t within your range or if a bidding war drives it up. Your agent can advise you.
Decide on a Home Warranty
If all goes well, you’ll be closing on your new home soon; then, you’ll have to decide whether to purchase a home warranty. Are home warranties worth the cost? Know that this covers home systems and appliances in case of breakdowns, so it could be beneficial. Check the home inspection report created during the purchase process, and look for red flags. Also, see if any existing warranties are in effect, and make note of what they cover.
Enjoy Your Retirement
When you’ve determined what you need, set your budget, done your house-hunting, purchased the right house, and decided on a home warranty, you can sit back and enjoy your retirement. So, get started on finding the right house home that lets you age in place with grace. You have done well in your life and now it’s time to savor the past and look forward to the future with excitement and, most of all, love. Congratulations.
Visit the Designed Retirements website for more ideas on retirement planning.
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