Considerations For Buying a Retirement Property

boomers downsize real estate
Baby Boomers and Real Estate

Ready to sell and retire elsewhere?

A long, cold winter can leave people dreaming about retiring and moving someplace warm. But for many of us, that is just a dream.  For some lucky homeowners, however, it’s reality.  If you’re a Baby Boomer, here are some key considerations for buying a retirement property.

First, you need to determine if you can sell your current property at a price that makes sense.  Most boomers have owned their home for many years, and with the real estate market improving, it might be time, or close to a time when selling actually makes sense.   You certainly want to make a solid financial decision when deciding to sell your home to move to a retirement property.

Most boomers are looking for the following things in their retirement home:

  • Smaller home, more accessible
  • Locations near quality healthcare facilities
  • A warmer climate
  • More affordable, which usually means downsizing
  • Close to family

Other things to consider include location.  Are you moving to someplace warm?  Are you absolutely certain you know where you want to move to – or are you still a bit unsure?  If you are the tiniest bit unsure about the region, state, city or neighborhood, you may want to consider renting for a year before buying.

What about your lifestyle once you move? Do you want to be mobile? If so, consider downsizing considerably to maybe a condo, so you can be freed-up financially to be that jet-setter you’ve always wanted to be.

Many boomers are looking for a worry-free home, so retirement communities or homes/townhomes with an association are a popular option.  Thankfully, this doesn’t necessarily mean communities with curfews and limits on guests and grandkids, anymore.  There are many more communities out there with many options available for the young at heart!

Retirement communities are housing complexes designed for older adults who are generally able to care for themselves (not assisted living units).  The benefits of a retirement community are vast:

  • Ease of upkeep – no more lawn mowing or shoveling!
  • Worry-free living – no more fixing leaky faucets or roofs, and added security.
  • Built-in socialization – golf communities, card games, pools, parties and tennis.  There is something for just about everyone.

And yet, perhaps that’s not at all how you want to spend your retirement years.  Maybe you’re looking to retire in a small town away from the hustle and bustle of popular retirement areas, with lots of green space.  In that case, find that house that will become your new home – one where you can fiddle in your garden and tinker in the garage. One where you can create new memories with new neighbors, but still have plenty of room to have family and old friends come to visit.

Ultimately,  you want your retirement property to be a good investment and your final home.  So work with a qualified realtor and be patient when it comes to house hunting.  You may have to see a lot of different properties in different settings before you really know you’ve found the place of your dreams.

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.


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