When you are a senior, life becomes amazing. You can now live where and how you want it. There are no work-related constraints, your young ones are now independent, and you now have all the freedom you want. Buying a new home is a great idea – you can now pick a place you've always wanted to live in and lead a lifestyle you couldn't have while working. However, buying a house as a senior involves certain factors you need to consider to ensure the property you choose is a safe and fitting choice. In this guide, you will find out more about what to expect when purchasing a home at an older age and the best methods to stay safe.
Start with the right mindset
Buying a home that is aging-friendly is quite different from when you were younger. And that’s the attitude you should take with you when going house-hunting. Owning a house is a great responsibility, so it's crucial to pick a home that will be easier to maintain. And here are the best ways to do it.
Consider your budget first
Before looking at homes, it is necessary to sort out your financing methods and the overall budget. Qualifying for a mortgage may be more challenging now that you’re a senior. However, if you have a great credit score, getting a loan shouldn't be a problem. Remember that it’s illegal to discriminate against someone according to their age, so don’t let financial institutions tell you differently. You can choose a 15-year or 30-year mortgage plan, depending on your preference and the amount of money you need for other daily expenses. If you’re still unsure about this, seek a financial advisor to help you decide if this is an investment you can take.
Type of home that works best for you
There are several types of homes you can choose from – condominiums, townhouses, single-family homes, etc. However, seniors find it better to purchase a property with fewer maintenance responsibilities. This means that it would be best to buy a home that belongs to a homeowner's association. They will take care of most of the maintenance tasks. But, this comes with a higher price. Make sure you count this into your monthly budget and see if you can afford this type of homeownership.
Features of a senior-friendly home
As we have mentioned, buying a house as a senior means you should go for a property that’s more aging-friendly. This usually involves several different features that make it easy for people with some health issues to own a house.
Little or no stairs
Seniors find it easier and safer to live in a one-level home. However, that’s not always easy to find. So, if you happen to pick a house that includes stairs, make sure these are safe. It means they should have strong handrails on both sides, appropriate lighting, and clearly defined steps made of non-slippery materials.
Natural light is what we want from a house at any age. However, the place must be well-lit when it gets darker, especially in critical areas like hallways and entryways. Invest in good lighting and make your home a beautiful and safe place.
Safety in the bathroom should be a priority of senior-friendly homes. If you’re renovating the bathroom, add non-slippery tiles. There are some additional ways to make this a safe space. A step-in shower with some grab bars is one of them. Bathtubs are a great thing to relax in, but they are extremely risky for people at an older age. Showers that have one small step to go over make a much better solution.
Floors in rooms other than the bathroom shouldn't be slippery either. There are numerous solutions here, fit for every budget. Carpeting, non-slip mats, and other types of floor covers are much better to make your floors safe. Not only will seniors be secure from tripping, but the place will be much safer when grandchildren come to visit, too!
Moving in after buying a house as a senior
Buying a house is a huge step – congrats! However, it’s not the last step before you call that house a home. There’s a moving process to go through, which can be challenging for some seniors. These tips will help you move easily.
One of the best pieces of advice you can get is to move fewer items to your new home. Declutter your home and throw away items you don’t need anymore. This will ensure you have only the pieces you truly need and use, making your relocation more straightforward and more affordable. Even though it can be hard to give up memories, try making a difference between those items and pieces that take up the space.
Trust a skilled pro
There are moving companies that specialize in moving senior families. Seek one of those, focusing on picking a team that’s professional and reliable. Double-check the company you hire, and ensure you’ve got experienced pros who can help you with the move.
Prepare for the big day
Moving day is overwhelming for everyone, so it’s okay to feel a little emotional and nervous. However, if you prepare well for it, it will be smooth and easy. Make sure everything is packed and labeled, prepare enough cash to tip the movers, and if you have pets – find someone to take care of them while the boxes are being carried. Finally, packing the first-night bag of essentials can be very helpful. You’ll have everything you need for the first night in the new house without having to unpack multiple boxes right away.
Buying a house as a senior doesn’t differ much from purchasing a home at any other age. The only significant difference are the features you should look for and the needs you must consider.