Retirement: What to Know Before You Move
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Guest post by Tina Martin
Are you looking for a beautiful place to retire with mild weather, excellent outdoor recreation, and a relaxed pace of life? Are you looking for a bustling metropolis? Or slower pace in a rural area? There are many steps and considerations to planning where to live during retirement. If you’re planning to move to a new home and area for retirement, use this guide from Coach Win Retirement to help you on your journey.
Choosing where to live in retirement
The first step to planning your retirement living situation is to choose where you want to retire. Where you live can have a pronounced effect on your cost of living, so carefully evaluate how much it will cost to live in a new area before moving. You may find that it is best for you financially to continue to live in your current area. If you are interested in moving somewhere new, take a trip to the area and meet with potential realtors to get an idea of the local real estate market.
How to buy a home
To compete in a competitive housing market, homebuyers need to have financing in order before making an offer. Conventional loans are most competitive among financed purchase offers due to fewer regulations and shorter time to close. Conventional mortgages also have more competitive rates than FHA loans with no mandatory mortgage insurance with 20% equity.
You’ll also need a local real estate agent that knows the area inside and out. Choosing a real estate agent is very important, and the overwhelming majority of homebuyers use an agent. When beginning your search for an agent, it’s a good idea to know what specifics you’re looking for in your retirement home. This can help you narrow down a prospective candidate field.
What to prioritize when buying a home in retirement
After securing financing and hiring your real estate agent, you’re ready to start shopping for your next home. Other than a great location, what should retirees look for when buying a home?
Safety, walkability, and convenience are top priorities for older buyers. Active retirees should look for neighborhoods with parks, shopping, dining, and other social opportunities nearby.
If you plan on living in your home long-term, there may come a day you no longer drive. While not everyone wants to live in a tight-knit neighborhood, it’s important to consider your new home’s proximity to shopping and other amenities. If your next home doesn’t have access to public transportation, are you close enough to make taxis and ride-sharing services affordable?
Older buyers should choose a home that will allow for ease of access as they age. Look for a house with a level driveway, no steps at the main entrance, a first-floor bedroom and bathroom, and a flexible layout for future renovations. While you might not need these features today, you’ll appreciate an accessible home if you experience mobility changes later in life.
You should also consider a home warranty. This will cover all of your home’s most important features, making it a simple process to have repairs or replacements when you have a plumbing, appliance, or HVAC issue. Retirement should be as stress free as possible.
Additional nice-to-have amenities for older homebuyers include extra-wide doorways and hallways, spacious bathrooms with roll-in access, and accessible kitchens. While single-story homes are ideal, it’s possible to retrofit multi-story homes with stairlifts and elevators. Factor renovations into your home-buying budget to avoid sticker shock. Full kitchen remodels can cost upwards of $50,000 and $20,000 for full bathroom remodels isn’t uncommon.
Searching for a place and home for retirement can be a daunting prospect. You’ll likely have many options available to you, but, with the help of this guide, you can refine your search until you find the perfect home to enjoy in retirement.