3 Tips for Seniors That Will Make You Have a More Enjoyable Home-Buying Experience
From downsizing to moving closer to children and grandchildren, seniors have several reasons for wanting to purchase a home. Yet, the hassles that typically accompany the home-buying experience make many seniors hesitate even to consider looking at the local real estate ads. The good news is, there are a few things seniors can do to make the home-buying experience a breeze.
- 1- Anticipate the Financial Benefits of Downsizing
Seniors often find themselves in one of two positions when they begin looking for a new home: they hate the thought of taking on a new mortgage later in life because their current home is paid off, or they still have a mortgage payment and are afraid they won’t qualify for a home loan due to debt. But, leaving a home that is too large for you and downsizing has several benefits.
For seniors whose current homes are paid off, it is easier to downsize. These seniors often choose to do so because they can pay cash for their new, smaller home and use the remaining money from the sale to make improvements to the home, increase their investments, or make home modifications to allow them to age in place. Keep in mind that making a home more accessible and safer with non-slip floors, walk-in showers, and lower cabinets helps seniors remain in the comfort of their homes and avoid paying excessive assisted living facility costs later in life.
But, it’s not impossible for seniors who have mortgage payments on their existing house to purchase a new one. In fact, even though more seniors today have mortgage payments than in years past, downsizing helps them obtain a newer, more manageable house with a smaller monthly mortgage payment.
For seniors concerned about rising healthcare costs and living on a fixed income, it often makes more financial sense for them to sell their existing, larger home and downsize for a more affordable mortgage payment. Downsizing also helps seniors save money on energy bills and maintenance costs.
- 2- Rely on Experts throughout the Selling and Buying Process
Even if you’ve been through the home-buying process before, it’s a good idea to rely on experts for help. Real estate agents and financial planners are two types of experts you should call on when you decide to sell your home and purchase a new one.
First, real estate agents can help you prepare to sell your home. They know tricks of the trade to improve your curb appeal, price your home appropriately, and negotiate when buyers make offers. And, a real estate agent can help you purchase a home in a safe neighborhood, recommend a home inspector for your new property, and handle the closing on both homes to save you time.
Next, financial planners can help you find the best financing options for your new home should you need to apply for a mortgage. They also can help you spot scams and ensure that you are getting the best interest rate and best home for your money. Financial planners will explain how selling your home and purchasing a new one will impact your Medicare or Medicaid, social security, and IRA accounts.
- 3. Hire Professional Movers to Do the Heavy Lifting
Finally, professional movers will give you the moving help you need to ensure the safety of your possessions and your health and well-being. For some older adults, carrying heavy boxes or loading large appliances like refrigerators may lead to injury, so you should leave those jobs to the moving companies that have the proper experience and equipment.
Moving companies know how to wrap and pack your items to protect them, whether you are moving across town or across the country. They also can handle driving large moving trucks and unloading your belongings at your new home, so all you have to worry about is how you want to arrange your furniture and paint your walls to make it feel like home.
Seniors can have a more enjoyable home-buying experience if they explore the benefits of downsizing, rely on experts for help, and hire professional movers to do the heavy lifting.
For more information and resources on elderly care, please visit elderaction.org.
Image via Pixabay by tkoch
Author: Jim Vogel (ElderAction.org)