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Norma Kania's Blog

By Norma Kania | Agent in Clinton, NJ

Senior Citizen Decision - Buy or Rent a Home?


To answer this, you have to examine your lifestyle, age and financial situation.

Near the Top, But Not Over the Hill

Consider your age and health before moving forward. These days there are many seniors who run, ride a bike and follow a daily exercise regimen and experience few health problems; age doesn't determine whether you should buy or rent, but your health should be considered.

When you rent a home or apartment, your landlord normally takes care of routine maintenance and larger problems.  In apartments and particularly condominiums, the yard care is usually included in the rent, and sometimes you may still be allowed to have a small plant, shrub or vegetable garden. Renting reduces stress for a senior who is in poorer health and there is often a feeling of security living in a more communal setting.

Of course, if you choose to buy a home after retirement, you'll build equity and you may be in a position to hire people to take care of maintenance and repairs. It depends on your financial status and your ability to meet financial obligations.

Life on a Fixed Income

Most senior citizens are living on a fixed income from social security, 401(k)s and other retirement benefits. When you have a fixed income, budgeting money can become difficult, and a mortgage might be out of the question. When you rent, you can move to compensate for added expenses and to lower your monthly payments. A mortgage binds you to a specific amount each month unless you intend to sell.

Of course, some senior citizens have sufficient financial resources to purchase a home outright, which eliminates the need to budget monthly mortgage payments entirely. It also provides a source of additional income should the need arise in the future. There is the possibility to refinance the homes to free up available cash.

As far as finances are concerned, seniors may be better off renting rather than buying a home, but this is something you'll need to think through. Sudden medical expenses can destroy a fixed-income budget, leaving you without many options.

This is the Time to Enjoy Life

Lifestyle is a big factor to consider.  You’re not tied to the 9 to 5 grind.  You might want to travel after retirement, seeing the world on your retirement funds, and a mortgage would only serve to strap you to a particular place. You don't want to spend your summer at a beach resort and still have to pay a mortgage and, more than that, worry about the ongoing maintenance and upkeep.

Remember that senior citizens can easily experience health problems. You might have a beautiful two-story home, and then experience health problems that make stair climbing impossible. Then you're stuck in a home with a mortgage and the inability to use the second floor.

Putting it All Together

In the end, whether you choose to rent your home or buy one, stability and security are the most important things. You've worked hard to build a nest egg for yourself, and you deserve the ability to relax and enjoy yourself.
When you're ready to make a change, or even thinking about it, give me a call! You can reach me through my website WWW.NormaSellsNJHomes.com Being a "Boomer"myself, I understand what you're going through!

 

 
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