Buying a new home is an exciting change in life, whether you’re buying for the first time or you’re trading in your family home for a relaxing retirement abode. Taking this step is full of opportunity, but it can be overwhelming too, even for experienced buyers. There are a whole host of questions to think about, like where you want to spend your golden years, how long you’ll stay in this home, and how the expense will impact your retirement savings.
What do you want in a home?
The first big question is what you want in a home at this point in life, as well as where you want to be.
Location, Location, Location!
Location is the name of the game in real estate – and for a good reason! Besides being a factor that impacts home values, the location you choose sets the stage for your overall happiness and way of life. Rockwell Custom serves clients from all over, but some of their new communities are perfect for seniors who want a peaceful and convenient location for their retirement home.
For example, Ventry at Edgmont Preserve features carriage style homes and community amenities, including a fitness center and outdoor pool. Or if you crave waterfront living, the Canal District at Fort DuPont in Delaware City is the perfect place to buy either a carriage style townhome or single family home in a centrally located planned community.
Home Features and Your Future
Once you land on the right location, make sure you think carefully about the features that matter most. Do you need space to accommodate children or grandchildren who visit? Do you want an open concept floor plan that’s perfect for entertaining? Do you prefer a townhome over a single family property to avoid maintenance and other headaches?
Along with these lifestyle questions, it’s just as important to think about whether you plan on staying in this home as you age. If so, look for features that make it easier and safer to age in place, such as a single level or first floor master suite, in addition to design elements like accessible door handles.
How much home can you afford?
This next question is equally important, if not more so, because you’ll want to ensure you’re making a good investment. Plus, as Nolo explains, you’ll also want to be sure your housing costs don’t put a strain on your retirement budget. The best approach is to explore your financing options, especially if you plan on getting a home loan.
Most buyers go with a conventional mortgage because these loans give you the most flexibility when it comes to how much you pay down. Conventional loans also let you choose between a fixed rate or adjustable rate as long as you have a 20% down payment. As an added benefit, you can also avoid having to pay for mortgage insurance with most conventional loans.
Another issue to consider is the real estate market and the economic climate in general. Some people shy away from making big purchases during a recession. However, Fobes explains that you could come away with a good deal, but you’ll need to be prepared and ready to act fast because you’ll likely encounter competition.
Who can help?
Most importantly, you don’t have to go through this process alone (in fact, you shouldn’t even try!). One of the first things you should do is find a trusted real estate agent. And if you’re considering building a home, you’ll want to connect with a builder like Rockwell Custom. Once you’ve gotten further into the home buying process, you’ll be working with a lender, appraiser, home inspector, and an attorney for closing.
No matter what stage of the process you’re in, or the stage of life you’re in, buying a home isn’t something you can rush. You don’t want to make a wrong move, but of course, your home buying “team” can help along the way. Trust us – your retirement dream home is out there. You just have to take the first step.
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