Purchasing a home can throw curve balls your way at any age, but the potential pitfalls can be magnified when the one doing the purchasing is a senior. Plenty of seniors, however, are able to finance a new home, move, and live comfortably in their new setting. Here are some of the things you must know before diving in headfirst.
Financing may prove challenging
If you’re a young, working person with good credit, getting a traditional mortgage isn’t a sure thing - but it’s certainly a probability. As we age, we retire and lose steady streams of income. Sometimes what we earn in a month from social security, retirement plans, and even investments isn’t enough to satisfy a lender. That means a senior may have a hard time securing a traditional mortgage.
Of course, if you are able to sell your current home for a good price and don’t have a huge mortgage balance left on it, there’s a decent chance that you will be able to use the proceeds of that sale to finance your new home (whether outright or as a large down payment). You may also choose to keep the home and rent it out for steady income, or you may want to leave it to a child or family member through something like a quitclaim deed or some other form of property transfer.
If you find yourself unable to finance your new home with your savings or home sale proceeds and cannot seem to secure a new traditional mortgage, you may feel like you’re out of options. There is an opportunity to purchase a new home using a reverse mortgage, but you will need a fairly substantial down payment to do so. Check here for more information on that.
You’re likely going to have to make some tough decisions regarding your possessions
As a senior, there are plenty of benefits to downsizing. Over one’s life we accumulate a lot of stuff - not all of it particularly useful. Combine that with mobility issues that plague many seniors and make it harder to get around a large property, and you begin to understand why so many seniors who choose to age in place opt to downsize to a smaller home.
But you can’t downsize without getting rid of some stuff. Whether you sell, throw it away, or donate, it’s hard to get rid of your long-held belongings so be sure to give yourself plenty of time for this process.
You’re going to need help
Even if you are fit, healthy, strong, and determined, it is nearly impossible to execute an entire move - from start to finish - by yourself. It’s suggested that you do most of your own packing, and that you start early. But when it comes to the actual move, there’s a near certain chance that you will want to hire professional movers. It’s vital that you do a lot of research and avoid scams, as seniors are more vulnerable to them. For more on avoiding scams, read this.
Buying a new home can have its ups and downs, but if you do your research on what you can afford, thin out your belongings and find help with your move, it can be a rewarding change.
A change that will allow you to enjoy your Golden Years with peace of mind.
By: Jim Vogel
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com