Finding Home: A House-Hunting Guide for Seniors

    Photo via Pixabay by Brenkee

    When it comes to finding a new home, many seniors find themselves feeling overwhelmed due to the sheer number of choices they face. There are so many decisions to make and things to consider — including your current and future health and safety needs — that finding the right home will take quite a bit of time and effort.

    It will be extremely helpful if you start by getting organized. Having a good plan will ensure that you know where to look, what to look for, and how to get help when you need it. Think about your current needs and look into the future a bit to see where you’ll be in five or ten years. What will your needs be then? What will your budget be like? Thinking about these things now will help you avoid nasty surprises and provide you with an opportunity to create the best plan. It will also help to talk to your family members for support during what can be a chaotic time.

    Keep reading for some great tips on how to find the right home for you.

    Start with Location

    For most seniors, location is extremely important when it comes to house-hunting. Finding something in your price range that is close to family members, your doctor, or the places you visit most (such as the grocery store or pharmacy) will help you stay social and get what you need quickly. Do some research online to find out what the median prices of the homes are in the most desirable areas; keep in mind that the average price of homes in Allen, Texas, is $473,000.

    Sort Out a Budget

    Figuring out a budget is one of the first things you’ll need to do, so sit down with your spouse or partner and go over your income and expenses. It’s also a good idea to have your current home appraised so you’ll know how much you can expect to put it on the market for. Depending on your income level and the city you live in, you may be eligible for state or federal funding to help pay for the cost of a new home, especially if you have a disability.

    Think About Your Needs

    Your home should meet all your needs and make you feel safe and comfortable. Many seniors find that downsizing is the best option after retirement because it allows them to consider their health needs and save money at the same time. Consider looking for a house that is all one level, doesn’t have a large yard to take care of, and already has modification upgrades, such as a grab bar in the shower or wheelchair-accessible countertops. Some homes even have walk-in showers, easy-to-maneuver handles instead of doorknobs, and custom lighting for those who are visually impaired.

    Look for Safety Features

    Certain safety features are sometimes found in newer homes, and these can save you both time and the expense of having to add them yourself. Things such as a security alarm, carbon monoxide detector, and smart appliances can go a long way toward helping you stay safe and add to the value of the home, meaning you’ll get the most money possible from a future sale.

    Written by Hazel Bridges

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