According to the AARP, an estimated 90 percent of seniors wish to age in place. That is, they want to spend the rest of their days living in their own home rather than in an assisted living facility. However, the homes Americans raise their families in aren’t necessarily the best options for aging in place. Multi-story homes with large floor plans become difficult to navigate as a senior’s cognitive-motor skills deteriorate. This puts a lot of older people in a situation they haven’t been in for years: buying a new home.
Seniors looking for a new home may have some catching up to do when it comes to the latest innovations in the real estate market, but in the end it is nothing they can’t handle. If you or someone you know is a senior looking to purchase a new home, take the following advice into account to ensure you find the best place to fit your needs.
Finding the Right Home
Back in the day, looking for a new home meant scouring over grainy curb photos in the newspaper and real estate bulletins then spending your weekend pounding the pavement to check out the interiors. Today, seniors can cut down on the amount of legwork and browse houses on the market from the comfort of their current homes. Online real estate listings provide a comprehensive description of a property along with interior photos and videos that create a virtual tour. From an online portal, interested parties can easily schedule a walk through if they like what they see in the profile.
When looking for a home to spend their Golden Years in, seniors should seek certain features:
● One-story, flat floor plan
● Less square footage (for less overall upkeep)
● Neighborhoods with HOA services such as lawn care
● Location near hospitals and other health care services
● Showers and slip-resistant bathroom flooring
● Large windows and plentiful light
● Wide doors and hallways
● Retirement-friendly tax zoning
Finding a Real Estate Agent
While seniors can easily browse homes through online marketplaces, all homebuyers can benefit from the professional services of a real estate agent. When it comes to finding a place with all the necessary accessibility features, a real estate agent can zero in on the best options and get the inside scoop on properties that haven’t hit the market yet. When looking for a real estate agent, ask around for one that has experience working with seniors to find their perfect home for aging-in-place. The best real estate agents work within a niche market and know how to appeal to their demographics’ wants and needs. Call the Jones Team at RE/MAX Corridor (210) 414-8439.
Financial Options for Senior Real Estate Buyers
While selling their current home can help finance the purchase of a new property, some seniors may need additional financing to fund things such as accessibility modifications and smart home features. Most homeowners spend between $1,604 and $14,168 nationally for accessibility modifications. Since most seniors live on a fixed income, it’s important to find funding sources that have reasonable interest rates. Even better, applying for government grants can pay for renovations and those who receive them don’t have to pay anyone back at all. Medicare, Medicaid and veterans programs offer funding for those who qualify, as well.
While most seniors want to age in place, most homes are not optimal when it comes to accessibility and safety. When searching for a new home, seniors should look for flat floor plans and a good location. A real estate agent that works in the retirement niche can help find the perfect house. While selling a current place can help fund the purchase of a new home, additional funds may be necessary for safety renovations. Loans, grants, and Medicare funding are all available for seniors who need it.