Moving As A Senior: Aspects To Consider When Choosing A New Home

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February 1, 2018
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When an older loved one in your life is considering purchasing a new home, there are a lot of factors to consider. These types of changes are often quite difficult for seniors, and finding the right place to move into is critical. Many seniors focus on aging in place, living independently for as long as possible, and the right new home can make a big difference in being able to do this.

Aging in Place

According to the AARP, approximately 90 percent of older adults want the opportunity to stay in their own home into their later years rather than move into an assisted living facility or a nursing home. For many adults this is possible, but they need to have the right home to ensure that this concept of aging in place works well.

Some homes are built with seniors in mind, providing one-level living without stairs, non-slip flooring, bathroom designs to accommodate mobility issues, wide doorways, and lever door handles. Of course, not every home has these types of considerations incorporated, but some of these modifications are easy to add to an existing home. New Home Source points out that it is important to think ahead when it comes to a home’s features and seniors, as what they need today may be different from what they’ll need down the road.

Downsizing has its Benefits

Oftentimes when a senior is buying a new home, they end up downsizing to some degree. CNBC notes that for many seniors, downsizing provides the opportunity to move into a less expensive home, freeing up some money that will boost one's retirement income. Downsizing may mean that a senior is moving into a much smaller home than they are used to, but this can also be easier to manage as it may be more manageable to clean and maintain.

Location is important when choosing a new home for a senior

When a senior is choosing a new home to live in during their older years, location is important to consider as well. For example, many seniors will purchase a new home in their older years in order to live closer to grown children and their grandchildren. Others choose to relocate to an area that is their dream retirement local, a place where they can relax and enjoy warm weather or certain amenities during their later years.

Other seniors may choose a new home in their later years based on what is nearby. For some older adults, it may be a priority to be near medical facilities or in a home where they have easy access to help and services when needed. Others may want to be close to a senior center or community center that will keep them engaged in their favorite activities and hobbies. Some older adults simply want to live where certain retail shops and/or restaurants are located within walking distance.

Prioritize what is necessary before looking for a new home

Housing communities that are designed specifically for seniors have become quite popular, but it is important to thoroughly research their guidelines and restrictions before making a commitment. Some restrict pets, outdoor grilling, parking, or having children around, so seniors will want to make sure that the benefits of any particular senior community outweigh any restrictions.

The market for senior housing is hot in many areas, so it can be difficult to find the perfect place within a specified budget. It is wise for families to take some time at the beginning of the search to pin down the priorities regarding what a senior's new home should contain, whether that be a place that is near family, well-suited for a senior in terms of mobility issues, or near medical care, or something else.

Don't forget ancillary costs

When you’re considering what your budget is for a new home, start with a home cost calculator tool (there are many available online, like this one from Angie’s List). But don’t stop there. It’s important to also factor in all of the extra costs you’ll incur. For example, you’ll probably want to hire movers to ensure the process is as stress-free as possible. So, be sure to include the cost of movers in your budget.

Consider, too, legal fees and fees that will be paid to your realtor. Some neighborhoods also have monthly HOA fees,so it’s important to know what those costs cover so you can determine whether they’re worth the chunk of your monthly budget they’ll eat up. When you’re prepared for these extra costs, you can avoid surprises that may otherwise come up after you’re well into the process, when it can be difficult to reverse course.

Thinking Ahead

Moving as a senior requires thinking ahead. Because aging in place is important for many seniors in today's society, it is critical to choose a new home carefully to ensure that it is well-suited for both a senior's current and future needs. Leaving an old home may be difficult emotionally, but it can also be an exciting for seniors, as they move into a new home that is well-suited to their current lifestyle, while also providing the support they’ll need well into the future.
Are you considering moving or looking for a smaller home for a loved one? Get in touch with one of our buyer’s agents today!

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