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Buying a Home in Retirement

happy couple pointing toward their new home

It’s a personal choice as to whether or not we stay in our homes when retirement comes, or move somewhere else specifically to enjoy these years.

Some people dream of moving abroad, others like to begin afresh in a new location. But whatever we choose to do the same considerations come into play as buying any other property at any time.

Let us guide you and give you some great advice on the topic. But first you need to ask yourself a few questions?

What will you plan on doing in retirement?

  • By this we mean will grandchildren come to visit?
  • Will you be taking up a specific hobby or occupation?
  • Do you have adequate healthcare nearby?

You really must take all of these things into consideration before making a decision.

So what do we have available?

showing a house in the palm

Well let’s begin with what we call vacation homes as these can be altered slightly to become the primary home of the retiree. Quite a lot of people will have a vacation home and wish they could live there all the time! Well of course this is very possible in retirement for sure!

No-one can predict what will happen in the future so we can’t be certain of values in this area. Some Americans will be lucky enough to purchase both a retirement property and a vacation home!

And there’s the good old condominium!

These are extremely popular with retirees and of course they are great for downsizing. Those able to live in a condominium community will find a range of facilities and a wonderful opportunity to add to their social lives. Perhaps the greatest attraction here is the fact maintenance costs are suddenly reduced. This can have a big effect on your cash flow!

The downside is it can be a bit more difficult finding a condominium, but the process is very similar. You need to qualify for a loan and your credit history must be good – and of course you still need a regular income. Some lenders may even require you to make a 25 per cent down payment, so be aware of this! The crux seems to be that unlike mortgages the condo association has to qualify in order for the mortgage to be rubber stamped!

In truth the borrower doesn’t have much control over this area of the process. These lenders are following new guidelines from the Federal Housing Association or FHA. According to Fannie Mae – these requirements must be met:

  • No single investor can own more than 10 per cent of the units.
  • More than 50 per cent of the units must be owner-occupied
  • All planned amenities must be completed if the development is more than a year old.
  • No more than 15 per cent of owners can be classed as delinquent on monthly fees.
  • Those borrowers who make a downpayment of less than 25 per cent will pay either an extra 0.75 per cent of the loan at closing, or a rate of interest 0.25 per cent higher!

Check this out:

So what about retiring overseas?

matured retired couple standing in front of their home

For many this is the dream situation – living in a paradise or gorgeous place – retiring and simply enjoying life. And it can be done big time! Low living costs and small property taxes make this sound very appealing. You can find some of the best housing markets in the world close to the United States, if not in it! There are a number of destinations overseas attracting complete communities of expatriates!

The benefits can be fantastic but you need to do your research and plan well. Some nations will have their own rules and regulations regarding how the property can be used so you must take good advice on this. Talk with a real estate professional who is experienced in the field to determine whether such a move would be practical for you in the long run.

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