With inventory tight, retirees and those who are nearing retirement are looking closely at their homes and wondering if it makes sense to move. Here are some questions to ask and things to consider before making a move.
Affordability—Even if your mortgage is paid off, you still have to pay for taxes, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, utilities, and maintenance. Would moving to a home with HOA fees be cheaper than hiring contractors to help maintain your current home? Would your taxes go down if you relocated?
Equity—Does the equity in your current home cover the cost of purchasing your next home? Equity is a safety net, providing a source of emergency funds. Homeowners in the U.S. gained, on average, over $16,300 in equity last year.
Maintenance—Do you see yourself cleaning gutters, raking leaves, and shoveling snow in retirement? A condo or townhome that requires minimal maintenance sometimes makes sense as health and physical abilities decline. Would an HOA fee provide peace of mind in knowing that you don’t have to do the work yourself?
Security—Seniors can be targets for break-ins, especially if they travel a lot. Would you find it comforting to live in a home with gated access, a security system, and extra sets of eyes?
Pets—Will a new home bring additional fees for your pets? Is there a fenced yard? How far is it from your favorite veterinarian?
Mobility—Is the layout of the home going to work as you get older? Will it accommodate handrails and other accessibility aids should they become necessary?
Convenience—Is the new home close to the things you like to do, such as golfing, shopping, and dining? Are amenities within easy walking distance? How close are your children and grandchildren? Would relocating make family visits easier or harder?
It’s a lot to consider, but it’s worth the effort. With the right retirement home, your golden years can be, well, golden.