Three Home-Buying Tips for Seniors by Jim Vogel, ElderAction.org
Senior citizens are entering the home-buying market for several reasons today, including to downsize, to move closer to family, or to suit their health and mobility needs. While many know which home features they are looking for, they have not been in the market for a new home for quite some time. Our three home-buying tips for seniors will help seniors keep in mind the considerations they should make before investing in a new home.
- Consider Your Needs First
It’s common for seniors to feel guilt or pressure during the home-buying process. Some feel as though they need to consider their family first; if they spend money on a new home, they won’t be able to leave as large an inheritance to their loved ones. Other seniors feel pressured to move close to family members who want them to do so rather than move where they want to live.
The truth is, the decision and the money are yours, and you will be happier if you put your needs ahead of everyone else’s. Your family will realize that your happiness is most important, and they will support your decision. Many seniors who take the home-buying plunge find that they feel more secure and relaxed when they consider their needs first.
- Consider a Home That Will Accommodate You for Years to Come
When purchasing a house, seniors should consider their current health status and future health challenges. If you are having mobility issues or dread the thought of carrying laundry or a vacuum up and down stairs, you should look for a single-story home. One-level houses are much easier to clean and allow for greater mobility. In later years, you will not have to install a stairlift should mobility become a challenge. And, should you choose to age in place, single-story homes are much more accommodating for wheelchairs and walkers.
Single-story homes also are easier to heat and cool, so they save owners money on their energy bills. If your HVAC system would need to be replaced, it is less expensive to do so for a single-story home. In most cases, single-story homes themselves are more affordable than multiple-story homes. Seniors who worry about living on a budget will have fewer financial concerns if they opt for a single-story home.
- Don’t Allow Small Kitchens to Deter You from Buying a Home You Love
Many seniors look for homes with open floor plans and large kitchens because they want to move about their living space easily and have plenty of room to welcome and entertain friends and family members. If you find a home that suits your needs and seems like an ideal choice for you, but you hesitate to purchase because it has a small kitchen, contact a contractor to look at the space and determine whether it can be remodeled to suit your needs.
Many seniors have their new homes remodeled before they move in so they can avoid the mess of a remodeling project while living in the home. Work with a reputable, local contractor to remodel the kitchen in your new home so you have the counter space, accessible storage areas, and seating areas that you envision. Many seniors also opt to put large drawers for heavy pots and pans in base cabinets so they do not have to climb a ladder or hold heavy cooking tools above their heads. If you would rather spend time cooking and eating and less time cleaning your kitchen, ask a contractor about installing counter surfaces and flooring that is durable and easy to clean for your newly remodeled kitchen.
You can have a home that suits your needs well into your golden years if you are honest about your preferences, consider a single-story home, and have an open mind about remodeling spaces to suit you prior to moving.
Image via Pixabay by MarvinRoaw