As a senior, making the decision to purchase a home can be a frightening thing. Your family may believe taking out a mortgage at such a late stage in life is too risky. If you have a history of renting, you may be torn about being tied down to a mortgage as opposed to moving freely. However, something about owning your own home is appealing, and there are plenty of options to assist you in making this transition. Here are a few tips to consider when looking to purchase a new home.
Know Your Options
According to the National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report young baby boomers age 52 to 61 made up 16 percent of home purchases in 2016. Older boomers age 62-70 consisted of 14 percent of recent buyers. As you can see, purchasing a home at this phase in life is completely doable, and there are plenty of options available for you. The ideal way to purchase a new home is to sell your previous place of residence, and use the cash to buy a new house. If you do not own your current residence, then you will have to examine your financing options. A common misconception is that lenders do not loan money to seniors because of the risk factors associated with their age. In 2016, 68 percent of young baby boomers financed their home and 58 percent of older boomers did the same so do not be discouraged. When applying for a mortgage loan, lenders look at the last two years of your credit history and your projected income for the next three years. Consult with a trusted advisor to determine what type of mortgage will work best for you.
Unfortunately in today’s fast-paced society, there are many real estate predators looking to take advantage of seniors. To avoid being caught in their traps, make sure your knowledge of the market is up to par. Hire a trusted attorney or financial advisor and always consult with them before making any decisions. Also make sure you acknowledge and properly understand any fine print. Be leery of real estate agents who try to rush you into making decisions and signing documents because they may be trying pull a fast one. If you feel like you are being told something that is too good to be true, you are probably right. Just to be sure, get a second opinion. To familiarize yourself with the value of the home you are looking to purchase or sell, get a market analysis. You may also find it beneficial to ask neighbors about the houses that have sold in the area.
Moving into a home is a stressful and physically taxing chore. As a senior you may find that you don’t have the energy to pack up your entire living quarters, relocate, and unpack. Fortunately there are several moving services that specialize in helping seniors pack up their belongings and move safely and efficiently into their new home. Even a housekeeper can potentially help with the sorting and packing. After sorting and organizing your items, your home will be move-in ready, hassle-free! A quick online search will point you in the direction of which moving services are available in your area.
Some people assume that with age, comes the desire to simplify. While there are seniors who are comfortable with living in assisted living facilities, there are others who are not. Fortunately in these times, people are leading healthier lifestyles and are living longer. Investing in a home provides a great financial asset and can be very empowering for you. The quest to homeownership can be overwhelming, but try to enjoy the process as you find the home that is right for you!
Guest blogger submission courtesy of Jim Vogel of ElderAction.org