The AARP membership letter arrived in the mail, you receive numerous invitations to “Plan Your Retirement Seminars”, and Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans haunt you. But you don’t feel that old until you look in the mirror or try to run up the stairs multiple times to retrieve forgotten items. Now is the time to plan for your future living options before it is too late.
You might physically be able to take care of the yard today but what is going to happen in the future? Several concerns need to be addressed when deciding on living options as you age. Physical safety and financial security top the list. Also take into consideration the proximity of family, doctors, and friends. We all want to stay as independent as possible so we need to consider the following:
- Is it feasible to remain in your current home? Is your home all on one level with easy access? Or are extensive renovations such as front entry ramps, bath bars, wider halls and doorways, zero entry showers or sit- in tubs required? Renovations can be quite expensive as well as messy and frustrating to live through. Making renovations still doesn’t answer the question of who continues to maintain the house and yard. You must also consider whether asking family or hiring help will become both financially and emotionally overwhelming for all involved.
2. Consider purchasing or renting a barrier- free home. If your home requires extensive costly renovations maybe it is time to make a move. Purchasing or renting a barrier-free home or apartment may allow for aging in place more independently. Choosing a location near family and friends or in a senior living community can help to alleviate loneliness, isolation, and depression.
3. Buy or build a granny pod or a multi generational home with family. Home plans are available with separate wings for privacy. Another option if there is enough space is to build a granny pod in the backyard that allows for easy access. Some families buy duplexes/ side by side homes so they can continue to care for each other. These types of living situations can benefit both the older generation and the younger ones; especially those with younger grandchildren.
The decision to age independently in place requires planning. Be sure to involve a trusted financial adviser as well as your family when planning for your future.
If you are interested in learning about your home’s value, the selling process, and/or finding a new property, please reach out to me.
More and more millennials and the up and coming Gen Z’s dream of home ownership. Unfortunately, many of the young people today carry large student debt. Home ownership is achievable by following these three simple steps.
- Learn to live on a budget. Know exactly where and how you are spending your money. It is so easy to budget with all of the free apps available today. Prioritize your spending, downsize what isn’t necessary, and know what sacrifices, such as stopping at the coffee shop and going out to eat, you are willing to make in order to pay off your debts and save money.
- Build your credit history. Stay on top of your student loan, car loan, and credit cards. Make sure to pay them off each month on time. If you don’t have any loans or a credit history, open a credit card, use it, and pay it off each month.
- Automate a down payment savings. Have a designated amount of money automatically deducted from your paycheck each month and deposited into a house fund account. Keep the account separate and don’t touch it until you are ready to purchase a home.
Although, there are loans available for no money down, it will be necessary to have available funds for closing costs and miscellaneous expenses such as inspections. A sizable down payment with a good credit score can reduce the interest rate on the loan for your home purchase.
All good things in life, require a few sacrifices and work. Home ownership is achievable, you just need to take the proper steps to get there.
Many Sellers fear the home inspection once they accept an Offer to Purchase and wait with baited breath for the report. There are several steps Sellers can take to reduce their stress.
1. Disclose , disclose, disclose. Anything that gets disclosed on the Real Estate Condition Report won’t be held against the Seller because the Buyer is made aware of the possible defect or issue.
2. Practice home maintenance. Don’t put off repairs for a later date. Replace light bulbs, check all outlets to make sure they are in good working order and grounded, unclog drains, fix leaky faucets, and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check electrical boxes and wiring for mice damage.
3. Check all windows. Make sure they all open and stay open. Repair any cracked panes or sashes.
4. Although an inspector isn’t there to check on your cleaning skills, a nice clean house shows it is well cared for and not subject to neglect.
5. Have your own pre-inspection. While most Buyers should order and pay for there own inspection, a pre- inspection allows Sellers to fix any issues that may affect the sale or to disclose them in the Real Estate Condition Report. A pre-inspection by the Sellers is especially beneficial in a Buyers market when the inventory exceeds the number of Buyers.
Although a well maintained home doesn’t guarantee any surprises during the home inspection, it can eliminate larger problems and reduce Seller stress. During the down market, I always had my Sellers order a pre- inspection. As a Seller, I followed my own advice and discovered that our chimney needed to be repaired by a professional. The pre- inspection actually eliminated the Buyers inspector from finding any defects.