Senior homeowners may be frustrated along with other homeowners at the lack of appreciation and possibly even some depreciation of their home value in recent years. Find out your real estate options for retirement.
Should I stay or should I go? How to decide where to retire
Even with the slowdown in the housing market, if you have owned your home for many years, you may have significant equity in your property. The more equity available, the greater the range of options for your retirement years.
A recent article on Forbes.com discussed several possible choices seniors can consider regarding their existing homes. Before making a choice, you should take the time to identify your goals for retirement, including whether you want to work part time, live close to friends and family or try a new lifestyle. In addition, you will need to be aware of your future potential need for access to services if someday you stop driving.
Real estate options for retirees:
1. Reverse mortgage. If you are a senior who wants to keep your home, a reverse mortgage can allow access to the home equity in the form of a lump sum, monthly income or a line of credit to meet future needs. Reverse mortgage lenders also offer the option of selling your home and taking on a reverse mortgage when you purchase a new home. Reverse mortgage qualifications are based on the age of the homeowner (62 and older) and the amount of equity in the home.
2. Move to another state. Some seniors opt to move to a state with lower taxes, lower cost of living, or family or friends nearby for support.
3. Move within your community. Seniors who are tired of the burden of home maintenance or a too-expensive home may choose to downsize within their same town.
4. Move overseas. Seniors with a sense of adventure sometimes opt to live abroad, but this requires careful planning for insurance, taxes and residency requirements.
5. Rent for the short term if you want to try out a new location but are not certain this will be your permanent home, or choose to rent for the long-term to live off the proceeds of your home sale.
6. Become part of the trend of multi-generational living by moving in with your kids or having them move in with you.
7. Move into an active adult or continuing care retirement community.
No matter what you choose, make sure you do plenty of research and consider all your options before making a decision.
Michele Lerner, author of “HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time”, has been writing about personal finance and real estate for more than two decades for a variety of publications and websites including The Washington Post, The Motley Fool, Investopedia, Insurance.com, HSH.com, SavingsAccount.com, National Real Estate Investor magazine, The Washington Times, Urban Land magazine, NAREIT’s REIT magazine and numerous Realtor associations.