Houses vs. 55+ Apartments: Which one is Better for Retirement?

1.jpgSome people, who reach retirement age, can’t decide what to do with their homes. Usually, when retirees are left alone or with their spouse in the house as their children set their own families, they will find their existing homes costly to maintain, too big for them, and very far from their daily necessities. What’s the solution for this?

Well, many retirees will sell their current homes and downsize. What will you downsize though? Should you rent or buy another house? Would you be comfortable living in an apartment instead? These are same questions you should ask to yourself if you happen to look for some relaxation and serenity during your retirement.

Downsizing will require you to consider certain factors. Do you know where you want to live? Will you live there long term, or is there a chance you end up moving out soon after moving in? Do you plan to move frequently? Do you uphold importance of social interaction. Which option will be best for your finances? With these questions, you will be able to make a sound decision for your current situation.

Renting Vs. Owning

The first considering is a cost based one. Do you prefer renting or owning? If you want to own then your only choice would be a house, condominium, or townhome. However, owning in retirement has a different meaning than before.

Ownership of a property comes with a lot of responsibilities and costs. You will be the one to pay the bills. If there is damage to your home, then you must pay for the repairs. You will also have to pay for the replacement of your faulty home appliance. Annual maintenance is also coming out of your pocket. There are a lot of things to take care of in your house, like when your lights have already burnt out and you need to replace it as well as when your plumbing system malfunctions due to a clogged drain and you need to call professional help. As well, your yard is solely under your care, unless you want to pay someone else to regularly come and maintain it. Renting a home or apartment will give you the perks of housekeeping services, which will clean and maintain your home on a daily basis. Even then, certain retirement communities may offer this service. Considering how much effort and costs you need in owning a home, it might not be ideal for you.

Some people simply find these costs tolerable. This is certainly expected, especially if you are actually a homeowner. Some just want to see their lawn or garden look beautiful always through their efforts. Perhaps, you are a handyman who happens to enjoy maintaining your home. It would be best to own a home if that fits your character. However, you should not only consider that.

If you will be only staying at a property for a few years, then buying a house is not a good option. You are in fact wasting money if you buy a home and just sell it in the near future. This is because buying and selling homes also involves and fees and costs that will exceed the expected equity of your home. With that in mind, it’s suggested to rent to reside in a property temporarily. In this option, you won’t have to worry about changing location immediately and you can even negotiate the times and terms. Even if leaving soon is not your plan, you can be forced out earlier than expected. If you buy a home, but three years later find yourself in need of extra care that requires moving to a special location, then you’ll struggle through the selling and the moving process.

Furthermore, renting is far less costly, which means you will still have a large amount of money on hand. You can choose to use that money to build a business or invest on something that will give you a bigger profit. When you retire your income drops significantly, so having those means of financial gain is important to your comfort of living.

If you fancy renting, then you’ll need to consider something else. Buying a home is very advantageous if you are planning to live in it for at least 10 years. Long term ownership will result in a high enough equity that renting will begin to fall behind. However, your responsibility as a homeowner is still in the picture. However, owning a home is even more beneficial if it’s bought through a small mortgage. Renters face several restrictions when living in a rental property. However, when you own a place you can do whatever you’d like with it, for the most part.

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Ability to Socialize

Another essential consideration is the level of social interaction that exist at your next community.

If you are looking to have good social interaction, go for rental apartments, or duplex for sale. They’ll want to be in a tighter knit community of like minded, and similarly abled folks.

There’s no need to fret about apartments too. You can by a home in numerous retirement community that promotes social interaction.

If you are already set on a certain location, make sure you visit it and know the activities you can participate there. There are retirement communities that hold regular get-togethers, big events, or daily meals. In these areas, you can still have a solitary and peaceful home life while still having the opportunity to meet other individuals.

If you want to be more isolated from other people, you can choose a hill style home or a small cottage. Choose a small abode that is away from people but not from the services you need and the sources of your everyday necessities. You can still meet others but you must visit downtown to engage in get-togethers.

Pet Owning

A big breaking point in deciding on a house or an apartment is whether or not you plan to have pets. While most houses, whether you rent or own, will allow for pets, many apartments are a different story.

People who have an older could build rapport with their pets easily, and they find them valuable in their life. Some people may have comfort animals, or support animals. These animals are often required to be accepted, but only if they’re official animals for such purposes. Doing some research would be very important if you will be bringing a furry friend with you.

Even if you find an apartment that allows for you to keep pets, you may find they have restrictions on the types and/or the sizes of them. Moreover, you may only have to bring with you a limited number of pets. Put these factors into consideration before deciding.

If all your pets are allowed, then you have to know what the relevant fees are. Most apartments, or often even houses that are rented out, will have a pet deposit fee. The fee will cover damages that will be caused by pets. You will need to bear in mind that this fee will be added in to your costs.

In short, your next apartment should be able to meet you and your pet’s needs as well as available for moving in. Dogs, for example, will need to go outside regularly, be it for walks or simply to run around in a backyard or large garden. Meanwhile, your cat may like to be inside and outside your apartment, so make sure it will be accessible. If you have pets you may not be able to live on a higher floor. Depending on the type of pet, you may need a property with a balcony or some type of private back yard. One can’t find the latter option easily. However, your balcony would be ideal for your pet if it has a litterbox, puppy pads, or fake grass, which can suffice the regular outdoor needs of your pets.

Welcoming Visitors

Some people may visit for a few hours, days, or even weeks. When you retire, if you retire to an apartment or any retirement community, you may need to consider the rules and regulations regarding visitors. Some communities aren’t too concerned about visitors staying, especially if they’re of a certain age. However, some don’t want your house guest to stay for so long. The same goes for an apartment. These places either aid or singlehandedly pay for certain activities, utilities, and living essentials. When extra people are present but are not accounted for, and thusly not paid for, some places aren’t too happy.

The best thing to do is know the policy well ahead of time. If you will be buying a house, having long term guests or not is a prime consideration. Visitors must be 18 years old or above to enter some communities. Others only accept those who are listed, or near retirement age. Apartments will require a visitor to be added to the lease should he or she stay at least a month.

In-Home Care

Unless it is designated as a place that does so, many apartments and retirement communities do not offer in home help or care. If you need help, or think you may need help in the future, you’ll want to look at what your potential place of living says about it.

In-home help and care of some places are restricted. These are basic cleaning and food serves. Often, if you have your own care ready to go, then you may simply need to notify the property managers. However, some places don’t allow in-home care like that, as it may fall too closely under the broad umbrella of having unlisted, long term guests.

If you need care or may need it, you should consider moving to an area that offers services. If you don’t want the services that someone else may provide, but have your own available, then you’ll simply need to find a place that allows for them to visit as often as you need. You should make these decisions based on your health and safety.

A single storey home is recommended to those who find it hard getting up and down the stairs. Split homes with ground level homes are also preferable for those who want to have cozy and close apartment setting, but with a minimal number of individuals.

Decision Making

By now; you have already listed down what you need and have, and even your needs in the future. When you’re retired you should take the time and care to ensure your move is to the right place.

You may find it hard to live in a small apartment instead of your own home, but think of the costs and labor you won’t have to deal through such option. Moreover, your new home will give you an opportunity to socially interact with others.

The space will be important for them.

Moving in to a new residence is not something to rush about. There is plenty of time for you to make a decision and look for the best place to retire. If you’re moving to a completely new area, perhaps to be closer to someone or something, then you may find you don’t care for it. Make sure that you have a solution when things go wrong. You deserve your retirement, so take your time and make moving a fun-filled endeavor.