Buying On A Budget: How Seniors Can Find The Right Home For Their Needs

Buying On A Budget: How Seniors Can Find The Right Home For Their Needs

By Jim Vogel, Elder Action

  Seniors Pic

Photo via Pixabay by KAWILSON

Looking for a new home can be a daunting task; there are so many things to consider, including budget, financing, neighborhood, proximity, and how the new home can meet your needs. As a senior who is buying a new house, you may especially be worried about finding something that fits your budget and will allow you to enjoy your retirement years rather than living with anxiety over whether you can afford to stay there. Fortunately, there are many ways you can ensure that your new home is the exact fit for your needs; it just takes some preparation and a bit of planning. Start by doing some research on desirable neighborhoods in your area and look online to find out what the average list price is for homes there. Keep in mind that newer neighborhoods might have something you like–don’t discount them just because they’re new. Here are some of the best tips on how to find the home of your dreams…on a budget.   Do your research Sit down and think about what is most important to you in a home. Location is usually a factor, as you may want it to be near a grocery store or doctor’s office. You might prefer to be closer to family, or to a particular area of town. Check out home listings in the newspaper and online and make some trips around town to look at open houses. When you do find a home you like, make sure you hire an inspector to thoroughly look over the home before you make any decisions. A lot of heartache — and money — can be saved with an inspection, which generally costs around $200.   Work out your budget Write down your monthly expenses and take any savings into account; how much can you afford to spend each month? If you already own a home, is the mortgage payment more than you really want? These are important factors to discuss with your spouse or partner, and you may want to speak with a loan officer to find out what your options are. Generally, you want to keep your mortgage, property taxes, and insurance to no more than 25% of your monthly income. If you already own a home, you will probably be able to use some of the money from the sale as a down payment on a new home; however, the timing has to be just right. Work closely with your realtor to ensure everything goes smoothly with the sale. It’s also a good idea to check on the financing programs available to seniors in your state, as you may qualify for assistance.   Think about downsizing Many seniors find it helpful to downsize once they reach retirement age, and this could be a good option for your family as well, especially if you are concerned about any health issues. Moving into a smaller home means less to clean, no stairs to climb, and a smaller lawn to take care of. It takes a bit of planning–you’ll need to go through each room of your home and take a look at all your belongings in order to find things you can donate, sell, or trash so you don’t have to pack them for the move–but it will be well worth your time when you’re able to save money and make things easier in your daily life at the same time. For more information on downsizing, read on here. Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process, so take it slowly and don’t let the real estate agent–or anyone else–pressure you into making a decision before you’re ready. Make sure you are familiar with the property laws in your state, as well as your rights as a homebuyer, to avoid being taken advantage of.   For more information please contact Jim Vogel:  [email protected] |

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