You are never too old to purchase your dream home. However, buying a house at age 60 or above differs slightly from buying a house young. There are a variety of things you must consider before actually going through with the purchase. Otherwise, you risk getting yourself into an absolute financial nightmare – one you can’t as easily escape. Mistakes do occur, and they occur more often than you might think. The goal is to minimize their occurrence by getting informed of what you must keep in mind before officially closing the deal.
The Most Important Things to Consider While Buying a House at Age 60 or Above
The percentage of baby boomers acquiring homes for the first time and for the second time has been on the rise for several years in a row. The figures show that seniors aren’t afraid of buying housing after retiring, despite the challenges associated with the process. If you happen to be one of them, though, it’s essential not to be hasty. Take your time and pick, but most importantly, ask yourself the following questions to determine if purchasing a piece of property at your age would, indeed, be a smart move.
Is Becoming a Homeowner Something You Truly Desire?
Has somebody planted you the idea of becoming a homeowner, or is this something you’ve decided to become on your own? In both cases, you’ll have to figure out the intention behind your wanting to do so. Perhaps, it’s just the change of scenery you are looking for. Nevertheless, switching locations can be done without you necessarily having to make a purchase. There is always the option of renting, which could prove an easier and less expensive option.
Then again, maybe you wish to buy a house because you’d like to leave a piece of property to the next generation. Or, perhaps, you are looking to make passive income in retirement – which you can certainly do by renting out the place, in case you end up buying it.
Can You Afford to Own a House?
Are you sure that you can afford to own a house? If the plan is to finance the purchase with a mortgage, analyze your financial situation to make sure you can keep up with the payments. Bear in mind that it’s not only the house loan you’ll be in charge of covering. You’ll also be responsible for paying insurance, property taxes, and a variety of other fees.
The goal should never be to be ”house poor,” or rather be someone who owns a house but ends up having no money for anything else. Ideally, the costs associated with homeownership shouldn’t exceed more than a third of your monthly income. If you live with your spouse, getting life insurance is also considered a safety measure to take, should you wish to proceed with the purchase.
What Type of House Makes the Most Sense to Buy?
As was already said, buying a house at age 60 and above is not the same as buying one earlier in life. At this time, our needs are different. Previously, you may have considered a two-story multiple bedrooms home your ideal one. Nowadays, that isn’t necessarily true. The older you are, the less space you need. Plus, unfortunately, with age often come mobility issues. Preventing injuries caused by stairs is of utmost importance. That essentially means that finding yourself a single-story home might be your best option.
Of course, it’s not only stairs that could cause more harm than good. The moving process itself – the one you’ll eventually have to go through if you buy a house – could also lead to injuries. That’s why it’s critical to be careful during your relocation. If possible, recruit moving help. While friends and family certainly could lend you a hand, a better alternative would be to hire professionals for the job. That way, you eliminate the risks of cutting yourself or breaking your bones, for example.
Where to Buy a Home?
It’s not just the type of home that matters, but also the location it is in. You being a senior, it’s probably a bit of peace and quiet you are looking for. If this is true, the hustle and bustle of some of the big city neighborhoods might not cut it for you. Instead, it would be best to search for housing in somewhat quieter parts of the city.
Don’t mind the noise but find money a deciding factor? Then you house hunt in areas with a lower price-point! You’d be surprised by the extent to which property prices can vary going from one part of the city to the other. Naturally, if you have set your mind on making a purchase, it’s best to consult a real estate agent. They should be able to tell you where exactly you could get the most for your money.
Can You Keep Up With the Maintenance?
Being an owner of a home is not an easy task – neither in your 20s nor in your 60s! Houses are a lot of work, and they require regular maintenance to stay in the best possible condition. That includes cleaning around the place, keeping the yard tidy, checking for malfunctions, and keeping up with repairs. You must understand that, sooner or later, there will come a time when you won’t be able to tackle these on your own and will need help with the house upkeep. If you can’t rely on your family to provide it, you’ll need professional assistance. The latter does come at a cost, so unless you are absolutely sure you can afford it, you might want to refrain from buying a house at age 60 or above.