Is Your Home Fit For Retirement

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It’s silly to think about, but isn’t it funny how we go through life ready to hit certain ages because exciting milestones come with that age? We can’t wait to be 16 and driving, or 18 and get to vote. At 21 we can legally have a glass of wine with dinner, and at 25 we’re suddenly responsible enough to rent a car.

Then there are other milestones that we anxiously wait for in life that don’t necessarily come with a certain age – our first ‘adult’ job, marriage, kids, grandkids, owning a home, retirement...

Some of you I’m sure are nowhere near retirement agent, but others it may be approaching rather soon. As you get closer to retirement age, you may begin to question whether or not you should sell your home.

When it comes to making that decision, there are seven factors you should consider according to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA).

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to afford your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”

Would moving to a complex with homeowner association (HOA) fees be cheaper than having to hire your own people to fix up the yard or make small repairs. You should also consider if your taxes could go down if you relocated? The major factor here is what your fixed income will be upon retiring.  

2. Equity

“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan.”

The equity you have in your current home may be enough to allow you to purchase a new home with little to no mortgage. On average last year, homeowners in the US gained $16,300 in equity.

3. Maintenance

“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

As you get older, it may be more difficult to keep up with the maintenance that goes into owning a home. A condo or adult community may give you a better peace of mind knowing that there will be someone available to help.

4. Security

“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.” 

As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets

“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

If you make the decision to sell your home, make sure to evaluate all of your options before making the decision to rent.

6. Mobility

“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

75 is the new 55, right? While we don’t want to picture ourselves needing help to get around, with so many people living longer, it’s something you’ll want to consider. If the home you’re currently in, or getting ready to purchase doesn’t have a layout that would accommodate handrails or wheelchairs, you may want to reconsider.

7. Convenience

“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

You’ll want to make sure your home is close to those who can help you out when you need it. Are you close to your family? How far is your primary doctor? Having a local grocery store and restaurant near by aren’t the only factors to think about.

Remember, it’s always important to buy for tomorrow, not today. If you’re approaching retirement age, then maybe it’s time to start evaluating what your current home can do for you in the future. If you’re curious about options that are available, let’s see what’s on the market!