Some people, who reach retirement age, can’t decide what to do with their homes. Often, with children gone and only themselves or their spouse in the house, retirees will find their old homes are too large, costly, and even far away from their daily needs. What do you do about this?
Well, many retirees will sell their current homes and downsize. What should you downsize to though? Should you rent or buy another house? Or would you bode well in an apartment? These questions can plague those who are looking to find some peace and relaxation after their lifetime of hard work.
When looking to downsize, you’ll need to consider quite a few factors. Have you already decided where to live next? Will you live there long term, or is there a chance you end up moving out soon after moving in? Are you planning to move from one place to another? What about your social interaction? Financially, what suits you better? With these questions, you will be able to make a sound decision for your current situation.
Renting Vs. Owning
One should consider the cost first. Do you want to rent, or do you want to own? If you want to own then your only choice would be a house, condominium, or townhome. However, owning in retirement today is so much different than in the past.
Ownership of a property comes with a lot of responsibilities and costs. You will be the one to pay the bills. If your home gets damaged, then you should get it repaired. If your appliance won’t work anymore, then replacing it is on you too. You will also need to maintain your house every year. There are a lot of things to take care of in your house, like when your lights have already burnt out and you need to replace it as well as when your plumbing system malfunctions due to a clogged drain and you need to call professional help. You will also need to keep your yard clean and organized or get the job done by someone else. Renting a home or apartment comes with the benefit of having someone else who’ll fix and maintain your home for you, short of coming in and cleaning it daily. This service is expected in some retirement communities. The costs and effort in owning simply may not be for you.
These costs are acceptable for some. After all, if you’ve been owning a home then it’s all something you’ve already been doing. Some just want to see their lawn or garden look beautiful always through their efforts. Perhaps you find happiness in maintaining your house by yourself. It would be best to own a home if that fits your character. However, that is just one of the many considerations.
If you will be only staying at a property for a few years, then buying a house is not a good option. Buying a home and investing maintenance costs and sell it years later will very likely equate to a loss of funds. The fees and costs that come with buying and selling often outweigh the equity your home may accrue. Knowing this, it’d be better to set up a temporary living situation by renting. This options offer flexibility in terms, times, and your ability to change location. You can choose to leave sooner if you want. If you choose to buy a home and will leave it three years after, the challenging parts would be moving in to another area and the selling process.
Furthermore, renting means that you won’t have to spend a large sum of your funds that you would have spent on buying a new home. You can put that money into other investments that are more likely to give you a decent return. This is a wise move to maintain your financial health and ensure your comfort of living during your retirement.
For those set on renting, there is something else to consider as well. If you’re certain that you will be living in this home longer term, around 10+ years, then buying may still be the better option. When it comes to equity, long term ownership has the edge over renting. Of course, the extra burdens that come with ownership should still be considered. However, owning a home, especially owning one that’s bought with a small mortgage, will allow for more freedoms. Renters are very restricted in what they can and can’t do to a property. Owning a property means you are free to do anything you want with it.
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When deciding where to live you should consider what level of social interaction you’re currently looking for, and what you may want in the future.
Those who want a lot of social interaction may find themselves leaning more towards renting an apartment, or buying half a duplex. Your neighbors are friendly and love to set activities in the community.
There’s no need to fret about apartments too. You can by a home in numerous retirement community that promotes social interaction.
If you have chosen a location, visit it and determine the socially-interactive activities you can engage in. In some retirement communities, you may engage in regular get-togethers, special events, or daily meals. These are all excellent opportunities to meet with others, while still maintaining a quiet and secluded home life.
If you find social interaction unnecessary, then small cottages or hill style homes are ideal options. Something small to suit your needs, away from people, but not so far that getting into town, or getting help when needed, is a huge chore. If this is your preference, but you’d still like to meet with others now and again, you may want to look into possible get togethers that are held in town.
If you are planning to bring pets with you, then your choice between a house and an apartment may vary. Most houses, rental or for sale, won’t have problem with pets, it’s the other way around in numerous apartments.
People who have reach their senior years love the company of pets, and even become good friends. Some people may have comfort animals, or support animals. These animals are often required to be accepted, but only if they’re official animals for such purposes. Research if your furry friend will be allowed in your next home.
Even if you find an apartment that allows for you to keep pets, you may find they have restrictions on the types and/or the sizes of them. Moreover, you may only have to bring with you a limited number of pets. Put these factors into consideration before deciding.
Expect to have fees when you bring your pets with you. You will need to pay a pet deposit fee in most apartments and some rental houses. This is to cover damages that pets are known to cause. You will need to bear in mind that this fee will be added in to your costs.
Look for an apartment that not only meet your needs and your pet’s needs but also available anytime if you wish to move in. Make sure that the place has a large garden or a backyard for your dog to walk around. Moreover, give your access some means to exit and access your apartment. If you have pets you may not be able to live on a higher floor. It is preferable if your property have a balcony or a private back yard. One can’t find the latter option easily. In case you have a balcony, you can still meet your pets’ regular outdoor needs by providing that area with a litterbox, puppy pads, fake grass, or other relevant items.
Some visitors only come for a few hours, but some like to stay for a few days, even a few weeks. When you retire, if you retire to an apartment or any retirement community, you may need to consider the rules and regulations regarding visitors. Certain communities allow visitors to stay without a lot of limitations. However, other communities only set a limited time for guests to visit. The same goes for an apartment. These places often provide aid, or even flat out pay for certain utilities, activities, and essentials of living. When extra people are present but are not accounted for, and thusly not paid for, some places aren’t too happy.
You should know the policy set by the property owner before anything else. When looking to buy you should always bear in mind whether or not you might expect long term guests. In some communities this may be fine if they’re of a certain age, as young as 18. In others they must be listed, or at least be near retirement themselves. In apartments they may want them added to the lease if they plan to stay more than a month.
Unless it is designated as a place that does so, many apartments and retirement communities do not offer in home help or care. Your next home should be able to provide this service, especially if you need help today or in the future.
There are places that only provide a couple of in-home care services. These are basic cleaning and food serves. If you are hiring a care service, just let the property managers know. However, that in-home care is prohibited in some places because it would lead to having extra guests that might stay for a longer period.
Your next home should be close to companies that offer care services. If you want someone you know to provide these services, choose a place that will be easily accessible for them. You should make these decisions based on your health and safety.
If it is already hard for you to use the stairs of an apartment, then your next home should only have single storey. Split homes with ground level homes are also preferable for those who want to have cozy and close apartment setting, but with a minimal number of individuals.
By now; you have already listed down what you need and have, and even your needs in the future. When you reach your retirement, it is best to think carefully when moving to a new place and if it is perfect for your needs.
It can be hard to go from living in a home you owned to a small apartment, but knowing the costs and labor it may be the better option. If you aim for social interaction, then that choice is for you.
In these times, your health is crucial, so it just makes sense to have someone to provide you in-home care. Consider if the person will live with you or visit you regularly. It is important to have the space for them.
Moving in to a new residence is not something to rush about. Take time to make a decision in searching the ideal place for you to retire. Perhaps, your reason to move is to be closer to something or someone, but later you’ll find that it doesn’t actually matter. Make sure that you have a solution when things go wrong. Your retirement should be fun, so take your time and don’t let moving become a major source of aggravation or pain.