Your wonderfully stubborn mother has agreed to move out of the childhood home, Now what?

A guide for what Seniors Should Consider When Buying a Home!

Author: Jim Vogel | 

Finally, retirement is here. After decades of hard work and being financially responsible, you are ready to enjoy your golden years following up on some hobbies, spending time with the grand kids, and taking that long-delayed vacation to a far-off locale.

Many seniors buy a new home at this stage in their life, but doing so successfully takes a bit of work. First, you need to figure out what kind of home would work best. That’s not just for right now, but as you get older and your health gets a bit worse. Then you need to see what modifications are necessary to make it a success.


It Often Comes Down To Money

You’ve decided. After looking around your home and talking to some friends and family, you decided it makes sense to buy a new home. Not so fast! There are some things you need to consider before you sign on the dotted line.

The biggest question is this: Should you rent or buy? For some seniors, renting is a more affordable option. But for many, buying is the right option. If you’re downsizing (selling your big home to move into a smaller one), you should have enough equity to make buying work. Plus, you can modify your new home as you see fit when you own it outright.

Run a budget with your retirement income. See how much you could afford each month in mortgage. That cost will vary a lot depending on how much you can put down, so determine your current home’s estimated market price as well. Just be careful about taking out home loans, as many banks will look to your income (which will be lower due to retirement) to decide your interest rates and loan amounts.

Making Your New Home Senior-Friendly

You did it. You have a new home, and you’re all set to move in. Before you call the moving company, and probably before you even pay for it, you need to think about modifying the new home for your needs.

As you get older, you could be facing several problems. Mobility is a big one. Is your new home going to be safe for walking around, getting in and out of bathtubs, and without lots of stairs? Even if you’re very mobile now, that can change in the future. And the whole point of this is to find a home that you can stay in for a long time.

Here are some specific changes you should plan to make, but you might be able to find homes with some of these already in place:

  • A walk-in shower or bathtub with a grab bar
  • Ramps to the doors, both inside and outside
  • Rails along steps or stairs
  • Carpeting that’s firmly and evenly held down
  • Good lighting and easy-to-read appliance settings.

Adding senior-friendly modifications can get costly, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. If you’re able to find a home that already has even some of these accommodations, you could save yourself a lot of money (not to mention hassle).

Don’t Start Without Plans

Getting and modifying your new home might not sound tough, but as with so many things in life, you can get in trouble if you don’t have clear plans in place.

Before buying a new home, ask yourself where you want to live in five years. What about 10 or 15 years? How will you see your kids, grandkids, and old friends? What will happen if you cannot drive anywhere?

The more you plan for such things today, the better your home-buying decision will be. You probably won’t be able to find one home that makes all these plans easy, but at least you’ll avoid buying a home and then belatedly discovering it has big problems.

Your New Home Is Within Reach

Once any necessary modifications have been made, you’ll be ready to move in. Use this handy checklist to lead you through that process so that you can keep it as stress-free as possible.

Yes, buying a new home as a senior requires a lot of work. But it’s well worth it. Besides, hasn’t hard work gotten you here in the first place?

After a lot of consideration, my wonderfully stubborn mother agreed to move out of my childhood home. Over the past couple of years, it has become more difficult for her to navigate and for me to maintain. And so the search for a new home for her began.

We finally found a place but along the way I learned so much about what to consider when buying a home for an elderly person. For example, my mom wanted her new home to be close to the rec center where she plays bingo twice a week. And I wanted it to be a newer structure so that home repairs could be kept to a minimum.  

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