Buying a home at age 55 or later isn’t the same as buying a home as a first-time or newer investor. For one thing, your financials might be different—you likely have more savings or larger assets and investments, possibly even a home you’re looking to downsize. And hopefully you have a solid and detailed investment and retirement plan in place, as well as a good idea of where you’ll be, physically and financially, for the next 10 to 15 years. If you’re considering buying a home or downsizing, there are a few important factors to consider.
1. Do You Already Own a Home?
If you’re looking to downsize, this could be great news! Any gains from your likely more-expensive home could be used to pay for a smaller and more affordable home.
2. What Do Your Financials Look Like?
Unless you have the savings to pay for a home outright, it’s important to realize that you will have to undergo the same mortgage qualifications as anyone who applies. This means providing proof of income and information on assets and debts, and you will need to have an excellent credit score.
3. When Do You Want to Have Your Mortgage Paid Off?
If you’re 55 or older, a 30-year mortgage might not be ideal. If you want to be mortgage-free by 70, consider a 15-year loan. This will also yield lower interest rates and save you money in the long run.
4. What Does Your Retirement Plan Look Like?
Are you planning to relocate or will you remain in the same area after retirement? If you plan to remain in a certain area—whether you’re relocating or staying put—for 10 to 15 years, it typically makes more sense to buy. It’s also important to determine if your retirement income will cover both your housing costs and other living or medical expenses.
5. Are You Considering a Retirement or Active Adult Community?
There are many benefits to living in a 55+ community. For one, you’ll be surrounded by people at the same stage of life—retired or nearing retirement. And for another, many of these retirement or “active adult” communities provide a wealth of amenities and activities, such as fitness classes, outdoor recreational activities, social clubs and events, and even educational programs.
Making the Move After 55
Are you ready to make the move to a smaller home or perhaps an active adult community in the Triad area of North Carolina? This might be your first time considering a real estate transaction in many years—which is why it’s vitally important to work with a Realtor who not only knows the local real estate market inside and out, but who also understands the crucial differences between first-time investments and home buying after 55. So if you’re thinking of downsizing, take some time to explore the areas we serve, learn more about us and the services we offer to both our buyers and our sellers, then contact Realty55 to get started!