Buying a Home in Retirement? You May Want to Look for This Type

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  • Some people buy a new forever home once they retire.
  • There's one specific kind of home that may work better for an aging homeowner.
  • Consider purchasing a one-story home for your retirement.

It's an important decision to make.

Some people buy homes in their 30s or 40s and aim to have their mortgages paid off by retirement, at which point they stay in those homes during their senior years. But you may be in a different position.

Maybe you spent many years renting because you wanted the flexibility to take a job anywhere while you were still working. And so now that you're retired and aren't working, you want a place to call your own.

Or, maybe you've made the decision to relocate to a different part of the country as a retiree. Perhaps you're looking for warmer weather, or for a city that has a lower cost of living than the one you raised a family in.

No matter your reasons for buying a home in retirement, it's important to crunch the numbers to make sure you're not going overboard. You don't want to take on too much house, financially speaking, at a time when you've moved over to a fixed income. At the same time, there's a certain type of home you may want to favor as a retiree -- one that could make life easier as you age.

When you're buying your new forever home

Moving can be a hassle at any stage of life, but during retirement, it can be even tougher. And so if you're buying a home as a retiree, that's a process you may only want to do once.

That's why it's important to consider your new forever home carefully. And if you're retired, you may want to specifically seek out a one-story home for your senior years.

It's not so easy to wrap your head around the idea of getting older and losing some mobility. But unfortunately, that's what happens to a lot of people as they age. And one-story living is often easier on seniors once they have trouble walking, bending, and getting around.

Not only does buying a one-story home mean not having to deal with stairs to climb, but it could mean less maintenance, depending on layout. Plus, it's often easier and less costly to heat and cool a one-story home than a two-story home. And at a time in life when money could be tight, lower utility bills are a good thing.

Options for one-story living

There are different types of homes you can look at if you want to limit yourself to a single story. If you want a standalone home without its own outdoor space, look at purchasing a ranch-style home. That might give you not just a backyard, but also, extra storage space in the form of a garage.

If you're less concerned about storage and outdoor space, you can consider buying a condo. Doing so means sharing walls with other people, so there's that downside. But as long as your building has an elevator, you can avoid the issue of having to climb stairs later in life.

Plus, when you buy a condo, you generally pay a monthly HOA fee that covers common area maintenance, leaving you to only have to deal with maintaining your interior. Seeing as how you might struggle with home maintenance as you age, that's a nice perk. And of course if you're concerned about costly utility bills, chances are, you'll spend less in that regard with a condo, since condos tend to be smaller.

The decision to buy a home in retirement is a big one. Think about the benefits of one-story living if you're buying a place where you want to settle down for the long haul.

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