By Jim Vogel, ElderAction.org
Purchasing a home as a senior can be a complicated and challenging process, as the decisions that need to be made can be quite different in comparison to someone younger. There can be financial challenges associated with making a change such as this and many people are anxious to find resources for assistance to make things progress more smoothly.
Reasons for deciding to buy a home as a senior vary
There are a variety of reasons that a senior would have for buying a home in their later years, whether it is to downsize from a larger house, transition into a place that is easier to take care of, relocate to be closer to family, or for financial reasons. Making a decision to purchase a new home and sell an old one can be complicated and emotional, and unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see seniors taken advantage of throughout the home-buying process.
As a report from the AARP details, there are options available for older adults who are looking to purchase a home in their later years, and the process can go smoothly with the help of some planning, resources, and education. Some people have family members who can help them to navigate this process, but there is help available for those who face this on their own.
Find a REALTOR®
The first course of action once the decision is made to move from one house to another, is to find a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® is the best resource someone can have when they are planning to relocate. REALTORS® work as advocates and guide you through the entire process, from listing the current home to helping determine the best option on the next home. Not to mention that they are trained to have the right tools at their disposal to properly market and quickly sell a property.
If Necessary, Research Senior Housing Programs
There are some programs designed specifically to help seniors find affordable housing. As the Senior Living site notes, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development does provide several programs that can be useful, as they’ve paved the way for nearly 1 million older adults to acquire affordable housing.
It is important to note, however, that the waiting lists to utilize some of these programs can be several years long. The HUD options are not designed to help everybody, but the public housing, multifamily subsidized housing, and housing voucher options are certainly worth checking into when working through this process.
Finding the right fit can be challenging
There are numerous financial challenge to consider when a senior is looking to buy a new home. The real estate market is hot in many communities, which means that things move quickly and multiple bids are not uncommon. As Seniorific details, this can make it difficult to find properties that are a good fit for aging adults. Again, using a realtor is a great option when navigating this process.
Seniors may need to consider buying a new home first and then selling an old one, which can be an unsettling financial commitment. Others may decide they should sell a current home first and then buy a new place, which can mean having to find a temporary home for a short while.
Non-traditional financing options are a fit for some seniors
When it comes to financing, some older adults look to reverse mortgages when buying a new home, and these can work well for some in this situation. In the case of a reverse mortgage, purchasers pay insurance and property taxes, and ensure that the home is adequately maintained, but the structure of the mortgage means that the owner is receiving payments based on the equity in the home rather than making payments on the loan. The balance of the loan is then repaid after the homeowner moves out or passes away.
Purchasing a home as a senior can be a challenge in many ways and older adults need to be cautious when making a move such as this. It is a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor, carefully consider the type of home to purchase and how much to spend, and proceed slowly while keeping an eye out for scammers who often prey on older home buyers. The financing aspect of buying a home as a senior can be daunting, but there are numerous resources available that can provide assistance.
[Image by sylviebliss/Picabay]