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’s the solution for this?
Typically, retirees will decide to downsize and put their current homes for sale. Where should your downsizing apply though? Is buying another house or renting one a sensible decision? Would you be comfortable living in an apartment instead? These are important questions to ask to yourself if you are looking to retire peacefully and happily.
There are some factors to consider when downsizing. Have you already decided where to live next? Are you planning to live there for good or temporarily? Are you planning to move from one place to another? Do you uphold importance of social interaction. What will be perfect for your budget? With these questions, you will be able to make a sound decision for your current situation.
Renting Vs. Owning
Your choice may be based on how much you’ll spend. Do you prefer renting or owning? You will be choosing between a house, townhome, or condominium if you prefer owning. However, owning in retirement has a different meaning than before.
There are several responsibilities and expenses involved in property ownership. All bills are paid on your dime. If your home gets damaged, then you should get it repaired. If an appliance needs replacing then that’s on you as well. Annual maintenance is also coming out of your pocket. 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 maintain your yard too, or hire someone to maintain it on a regular basis. 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. Some retirement communities usually have this service. Owning might the best choice for you if you feel reluctant about the costs and effort it needs.
These costs are acceptable for some. Of course, if you are a homeowner, you already know what to expect. Some just want to see their lawn or garden look beautiful always through their efforts. Perhaps, you are a handyman who happens to enjoy maintaining your home. It would be best to own a home if that fits your character. However, you should not only consider that.
It is impractical to buy a house if you will only reside in it for a couple of years. Buying a home and investing maintenance costs and sell it years later will very likely equate to a loss of funds. The projected equity of your home would be much less than the fees and costs involved in buying and selling. With that in mind, it’s suggested to rent to reside in a property temporarily. In this option, you won’t have to worry about changing location immediately and you can even negotiate the times and terms. Even if leaving soon is not your plan, you can be forced out earlier than expected. 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 is far less costly, which means you will still have a large amount of money on hand. You can invest such money into other things that are lucrative. When you retire your income drops significantly, so having those means of financial gain is important to your comfort of living.
There is another thing to consider for those who prefer renting. 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. Long term ownership will result in a high enough equity that renting will begin to fall behind. Of course, the extra burdens that come with ownership should still be considered. There are more privileges that come with owning a home, especially if it’s purchased through a small mortgage. Renters are very restricted in what they can and can’t do to a property. These things don’t exist when you are the owner of the property.
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Ability to Socialize
It is also important to consider the level of social interaction you can achieve in your next residence.
If you are looking to have good social interaction, go for rental apartments, or duplex for sale. They’ll want to be in a tighter knit community of like minded, and similarly abled folks.
There’s no need to fret about apartments too. You can by a home in numerous retirement community that promotes social interaction.
If you are already set on a certain location, make sure you visit it and know the activities you can participate there. Some retirement communities will offer special events, regular get togethers, or even daily meals. In these areas, you can still have a solitary and peaceful home life while still having the opportunity to meet other individuals.
Those who don’t feel the desire to be around people on a regular basis may find themselves leaning more towards the small cottage on a hill style home. Even if your next home doesn’t have any neighboring house, make sure that it still has access to services and establishments that provide your daily necessities. You can still meet others but you must visit downtown to engage in get-togethers.
Having a Pet With You
If you are planning to bring pets with you, then your choice between a house and an apartment may vary. Owning or renting a house gives you the freedom of having pets, but many apartments don’t.
Especially when reaching an older age, people can become attached to their pets, and even need them in their life. 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. Doing some research would be very important if you will be bringing a furry friend with you.
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. As well, there may be limits on the numbers of pets you can own. Put these factors into consideration before deciding.
If all your pets are allowed, then you have to know what the relevant fees are. Most apartments or rental houses charge a pet deposit fee. The fee will cover damages that will be caused by pets. Obviously, such fee will be included in your expenses.
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. Living on a higher floor is impractical if you will be living with pets. It is preferable if your property have a balcony or a private back yard. Typically, it is difficult to find the latter choice. However, if you have a balcony then setting out a litterbox, fake grass, puppy pads, or other similar products can make up for some of your critters regular outdoor needs.
Some visitors only come for a few hours, but some like to stay for a few days, even a few weeks. Some rental apartments or retirement communities have rules and regulations relating to visitors. Some communities aren’t too concerned about visitors staying, especially if they’re of a certain age. However, other communities only set a limited time for guests to visit. The same goes for an apartment. These places either aid or singlehandedly pay for certain activities, utilities, and living essentials. Some places won’t be very happy having to accommodate extra people aside from the residents.
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. Others only accept those who are listed, or near retirement age. In apartments, those who wish to stay over a month will be added the lease.
While some places are designate to provide home care or help, several apartments and retirement communities do not. Your next home should be able to provide this service, especially if you need help today or in the future.
Some places may offer limited in-home care and help. This includes food serves or basic cleaning to name a few. In case you have your own men to do in-home care, let the property managers be aware about it. In some places however, such in-home care translates to having unlisted guests that would probably stay for long, thus it won’t be allowed.
If you need care or may need it, you should consider moving to an area that offers services. In case you prefer someone you know instead of someone else to take care of your needs, it is better if your next place can be visited easily and often. Prioritize your health and safety always in coming up with these decisions.
As well, if you know you can’t physically get up and down the stairs of an apartment safely then it may be better to consider a single story house. 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.
Coming up with a Decision
By now; you have already listed down what you need and have, and even your needs in the future. Retiring means you have to make a sound decision in moving to the ideal place.
You may find it hard to live in a small apartment instead of your own home, but think of the costs and labor you won’t have to deal through such option. If you aim for social interaction, then that choice is for you.
You’ll need the space for them.
Moving in to a new residence is not something to rush about. If you’re retired then you have plenty of time to find the right place and make a decision. If you’re moving to a completely new area, perhaps to be closer to someone or something, then you may find you don’t care for it. Have a plan in case things go a little wrong. Your retirement is meant to be enjoyable, so you must take time in moving, take it slow, and don’t stress about it.