Buying a Retirement Home? 9 Important Things to Consider

Buying a Retirement Home? 9 Important Things to Consider

We all need different things from our homes at different stages of our lives. When you are approaching retirement, you will be looking for different things in a home than you were when you were younger.

Buying a Retirement Home? 9 Important Things to Consider

You might want to downsize or move to a different area, but whatever your exact requirements, there are a lot of things to consider. This is likely to be a big change in your life, and you want to make sure you choose well.

9 Considerations when Buying a Retirement Home

Let’s review the things you should consider and what to look for when buying a retirement home.

1. Choosing the Right Location
As you get older, driving may become less easy, so looking for somewhere closer to the amenities you’ll need could be vital. Perhaps you would like to move closer to your family as well or have better access to hobbies you enjoy.

You need to think about and list your must-haves for where you want to live. Once you know these, it will be easier to find the right neighborhood to search for a retirement home. However, it can take several months or even years to determine where you want to go. Thankfully, so much information can be obtained online to help you figure it all out.

Retirement Community Pros and Cons2. Consider a Retirement Community
Choosing to live in a retirement community does offer some advantages, but there can be negatives too. While a retirement community will offer activities in the company of people your own age, they can sometimes have strict rules and high maintenance fees.

If you have been living in your own property where you can do whatever you want to the home, the rules of this type of community can seem very restrictive. Living under new rules can take some getting used to, but you might find the benefits are worth it.

3. Avoid Homes with Staircases
Even if you currently don’t have any issues going up and down the stairs, it could become a problem later on. To avoid these issues, a single-story home makes for a much better choice for your retirement. Now, would a two-story home with the master bedroom on the ground floor be an option? Oftentimes yes, it ultimately depends on what’s on the second floor and how often you need to access it, if at all.

4. Improved Access
If your retirement plan includes building a new home, you can make things easier by having larger doorways, hallways, and bathrooms. This will make it easier to move around the home should you need to use a wheelchair or walker later on.

Even if you aren’t considering new construction, many current property styles provide spacious accommodation already and should be something to look at when touring homes for sale.

If you plan on buying a retirement home now or in the near future there are many things to consider and here are the top 9. #realestate #homebuying #retirement Click to Tweet

5. Walk-in Showers
With age, it can become more difficult to use a bathtub. Walk-in showers remove the need to step up into a shower or sit down in a bathtub. Showers that don’t have any steps also make it easy for wheelchair users. However, if you found a home you absolutely love that doesn’t have a walk-in shower it’s something you can add. However, not everyone wants to take on a project like this.

Planning for the Future | Retirement and Real Estate6. Planning for the Future
While you might have a firm idea of your retirement home, if you have a partner are they on the same page? If you haven’t fully discussed your options, they could have very different expectations.

It could take a few conversations before both you and your significant other are happy with the retirement home plans. Perhaps, your retirement will involve buying a retirement home early, maybe in a warm climate, and using it as a vacation property. Being able to live in a vacation spot in the colder winter months, will certainly make your retirement more pleasant.

However, others plan on buying a home after retirement when they have more time on their hands, which could make the entire process less stressful, especially for those who plan on buying a retirement home in another state.

7. Check Your Finances
To make sure you have a comfortable retirement, you need to make sure you have enough money. Once you’ve given up working, you won’t have the same income you once did. Can you afford to buy the home you want, as well as pay the bills and have money left over to enjoy your retirement?

You will still need to pay taxes and cover the costs of renovations and repairs to your new home. To make sure you have a less stressful retirement, you will need a realistic financial plan.

If you are unsure of whether you will have enough money for your retirement, you can speak with a financial advisor to help with your planning. If you haven’t already retired, it might be a difficult adjustment to live on a reduced income.

You also need a financial plan that takes into account the possibility of you or your partner dying. Though this isn’t a nice thing to consider, planning for these eventualities will help prevent financial disaster should this happen.

8. Home Loans
If you need a mortgage when buying a home for retirement, it can be tempting to choose a large down payment if you have the money. However, this may not be the best option if it doesn’t leave you with much money left over.

If you use most of your available money to pay a down payment, it might make it difficult to enjoy your retirement. Though it should allow you to pay off the loan faster, it could lead to more stress.

If you don’t need to get a mortgage to purchase a retirement property, there is always the option of a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage allows you to unlock the equity you have in your home so that you can enjoy your retirement or deal with any unexpected expenses.

You can also use this type of mortgage as a form of income or pay off debts. The lender will pay you money instead of the other way around, but it will mean they will take ownership of your home when you no longer live there. There are other downsides to this type of financial product, so you need to seek independent financial advice so that you know the risks.

Retirement Communities | Do they Allow Pets?9. Do You Have Pets?
Pet ownership can sometimes be restricted in retirement communities. So if you have a pet, you will need to be sure that community rules allow you to keep them.

Some communities won’t allow pets of certain types or restrict the number or size, while others might not have any rules.

Even if you are allowed to keep a pet, will the type of property be suitable for your animal? If you are thinking of buying a condo, will you have to take the elevator repeatedly to exercise your dog? You’ll definitely want to keep your furry family members in mind when looking to buy a retirement home.

Final Thoughts

Finding your ideal retirement home isn’t a small step and is something you need to think about carefully. You shouldn’t rush into your choice of retirement property to avoid making a decision you later come to regret. Following these tips should help you enjoy your retirement years in a home that best suits your situation. They should also help you determine if buying a retirement home before you retire is the right move or if you should wait.

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If you plan on buying a retirement home now or in the near future there are many things to consider and here are the top 9. #realestate #homebuying #retirement Click to Tweet

About the Author

Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “Buying a Retirement Home? 9 Important Things to Consider”

Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.

Areas of service include WellingtonLake WorthRoyal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres, and more.

Buying a Retirement Home? 9 Important Things to Consider


Michelle Gibson Wellington Florida REALTORMichelle Gibson of the Hansen Real Estate Group Inc is a full-time REALTOR who has been specializing in Wellington Florida real estate since 2001. This veteran of the real estate industry has expertise in technology, marketing, and social media.


Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. is a full-service real estate brokerage specializing in residential real estate. As a customer-focused, quality organization, we achieve success one client at a time. Call 561-333-0446 or e-mail me today at [email protected].

Michelle Gibson and Hansen Real Estate Group Inc fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Accessibility Statement


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