Many people seriously consider changing homes upon retirement. Reasons for this include having an empty nest once children have grown up and moved out; wishing to spend time in that location you could only dream about as you punched the nine to five clock; or just simply feeling the need for a new and different home more suited to spending your retirement years.
Many of us are so accustomed to owning a home that the idea of paying rent either might not occur to us at all or if it did might seem outlandish. Nevertheless, it is worth going through all the pros and cons of owning versus renting if you are considering a change of address once retired.
What Can I Afford?
Honestly assess your financial situation, remembering to take into account your total savings, how much money you would get from selling your current home and the costs of renting as opposed to buying in the location where you hope to retire. Research the trends in house sales in both your area and the one you hope to retire in, as well as mortgage rates you may be faced with if you decide to go the route of taking out a home loan.
Get A Feel For The Place
One approach to consider is renting in the new area before you commit to buying. This may prove wise if you have any doubts about the length of time you will remain in the area. After all, as a retiree, you are not tied down by a job and may wish to relocate to be closer to (or further from) family, or just simply to be in another location you had always wanted to experience. Your retirement could last for quite a number of years and you may get the urge to relocate again. So ask yourself how long you would stay if you bought a home and if all the costs of doing so would be worth it in the long run.
Long Term Planning
As you weigh the options, carefully consider that as a homeowner the responsibility of home maintenance falls to you, whereas if you rent, you could leave this possible headache to someone else. You are also saved from the stress of worrying about selling another home if you decide to move. On the other hand, some of us prefer to know that we are not restricted in any way in terms of how we may choose to redecorate, or make major changes to the place we live in. You may have been looking forward to retirement as the chance to spend quality time creating your dream home, which may require knocking down a wall or two and installing a waterslide in the dining room. You can’t do that in a rental!
Whatever your final decision, rent or buy, you are more likely to be satisfied with it in the long run if you invest the time now to look at all the factors discussed above, do a little market research and give yourself a sense of control over the process.