Senior Specialist

 

Helpful Home-Buying Tips for Seniors

 

When you approach your senior years and retirement, you may look around and realize the home you raised your family in doesn’t meet your needs anymore. Many seniors decide to break away and find a new home to accommodate the retired life they always dreamed of.

However, it’s likely been years since you’ve entered the real estate market. Plus, there are resources available specifically for your age group. Read on to learn more.

 

Picking Perfect Professionals

 

A realtor is your guide through the maze that is the real estate market. A good realtor will save you time finding properties that are right for you while also acting as a buffer when it comes to dealing with homeowners and selling agents. When looking for a real estate professional, look for one whose niche is retired seniors.

These agents are aware of your different income considerations, special housing requirements, and your unique needs. To find the right realtor, look for ones that market their SRES Designation as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. 

 

Finding the Right Home

 

When looking at houses, it’s important to consider the location and amenities available. These two things have the biggest impact on your lifestyle. Plus, with all the free time you have in retirement, you can plan and execute renovations on a property that isn’t picture-perfect so you end up getting exactly what you want. Just be sure to save money in your fixed budget to pay for the renovations.

Remember to look into prices that are specific to your area, as things can change from town to town. For instance, in Castle Rock, Colorado the average price to remodel a bathroom is $6,000 to $10,000. You can also make big changes with more affordable projects like carpet cleaning or updating kitchen countertops. 

 

Navigating Financing Options

 

As a senior, you get discounts on a lot of things. However, a homeowner isn’t going to knock off 20 percent of their asking price just because you are over 60. Don’t fret — you can buy a new home even if your nest egg isn’t made of gold. 

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides government housing programs for seniors. Ask a housing counselor about HUD homeownership classes that teach seniors about programs like reverse mortgage as well as other money-saving ventures like making your home more energy efficient. HUD also helps senior adults buy foreclosed homes.

There are various mortgage types to consider. including your standard mortgage,  second mortgage, refinanced mortgage, reverse mortgage, a Home Equity Line of Credit (or HELOC), a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (or HECM), reverse annuity mortgage, and VA loans available to veterans of the armed forces and their spouse.

 

Is Buying a House Right for You?

 

Just because you own your home now doesn’t mean you have to own your next residence. Other housing options for seniors can help those with limited funds or chronic illnesses. Moving in with family members isn’t for everyone, but if your children have room for you, spending time with loved ones can prevent senior loneliness and the health problems it causes.

Another option is to move in with roommates your own age. This provides you with a modicum of independence while maintaining a social aspect within the home. Co-housing communities aren’t the most cost-effective option, but they provide seniors with a much-needed sense of camaraderie.  

If your current home isn’t right for this next stage of your life, it is the perfect time to move. Find an SRES-designated realtor who specializes in helping seniors find their perfect retirement home. When looking for a home, focus on location and amenities. You can make changes to the house with your free time. If you don’t qualify for HUD financing, there are various mortgages seniors can apply for. Finally, ask yourself if buying a house is right for you. Alternative living situations can be beneficial for those with limited funds, chronic illnesses, or those who simply don’t want to be lonely in their golden years.