When the children fly the coop and leave parents as empty-nesters, retirees often become snowbirds, buying a second home somewhere warm to spend the winter. Or, they simply pull up stakes and relocate altogether. If you are an older adult and are thinking about buying a new home, here are two important factors to consider.
Think Seriously About Location
Sunny Florida or Arizona may sound like a great place to be, but if you are accustomed to four distinct seasons, nonstop sunshine and the same weather day after day may not be for you. Additionally, many people have an increasingly difficult time dealing with extreme heat as they grow older. Dreams of spending your days on the golf course or fishing could turn into sitting home looking out the window. You probably don't want to spend your retirement years indoors protected by air conditioning.
If you are thinking about relocating to an area that has considerably different weather from where you currently live, talk with a real estate agent about long-term rentals. This will allow you to get a feel for an area as well as its weather. If after spending a month or two there you still feel the location is right for you, then you can start looking at homes for sale. You'll also need to consider other factors, such as proximity to family, transportation, and medical facilities.
Find A Home That Will Work Long-Term
Buying and selling a home can be stressful. When most seniors make the decision to downsize from the family home, they want it to be their last stop. Therefore, you should choose a home that will meet your needs as you age. Many people prefer to age in place, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level."
For most people, a suitable home to grow old in will entail only one level with wide hallways. A townhouse in a high rise is a great option as there usually aren't entry stairs to worry about and the complex will have elevators to easily move between floors. Stairs become difficult and potentially dangerous to maneuver as one ages, and wide hallways in a townhouse will accommodate walking aids and wheelchairs or electric scooters.
You'll also want to consider upkeep and maintenance. While the idea of a big backyard may appeal to you now, the reality of caring for it may cause regret in the future. Buying a luxury townhome in a retirement community that employs groundskeepers or trades in a yard for other indoor amenities, such as a pool, may be a more suitable solution.
If this interests you, start looking at luxury townhouses for sale today.