General Real Estate

How to Buy the Perfect Home for Retirement

When many retire, one of the things they look forward to is moving into their dream home. What is a dream home, exactly? It’s got everything they always wanted in a house, it’s in a great community, and they’ve been able to move there because they no longer have to worry about their commute or kids.

As you start your search for the perfect home for retirement, evaluate your options with these questions.

Where Should You Move?

Where do you want to spend your retirement? For homebuyers looking to get out of the Greater Toronto Area, Niagara is quickly becoming a magnet. Niagara Region has the quiet countryside, quaint towns like Niagara on the Lake, thriving small cities like Ridgeway-Crystal Beach, great arts and culture, and a dining scene that would make some bigger destinations jealous. Plus, there’s room in the countryside to build a new home in Niagara Region nestled in the heart of vineyards and natural beauty.

Wherever you are, looking just outside major metropolitan areas is a good idea. You can stretch your budget further and use the differential between the home you’re selling and the home you’re buying to help fund your retirement. You can save money and enjoy a more peaceful, relaxed lifestyle outside of big cities, without being too far away from friends and family.

When Should You Buy?

In real estate, timing is everything. You don’t have to wait until you retire to buy your retirement home, especially if you’re staying within commuting distance of your job – although with work-from-home becoming permanent at many companies, even that is less of a concern now. If it’s feasible for you, there are smart financial reasons to buy your home pre-retirement:

  • Qualifying for a mortgage is easier when you’re working and earning an income;
  • You have more money at your disposal to deal with unexpected expenses;
  • You can get a feel for your household and lifestyle expenses like utilities, transportation, etc. before you stop working.

You don’t have to wait until you’re retired. Active adult communities in Niagara are increasingly popular with empty-nesters looking for a quieter place to live even in their 40s and 50s.

As working from home becomes increasingly common, homes in smaller centres are becoming much more popular with people who have newfound flexibility at the office. Now is a great time to take advantage of that trend.

Will You Still Be Able to Live There as You Age?

Once you start looking at homes, accessibility is one of the most important factors to consider. As people age, their mobility changes. It’s one of the reasons single-storey bungalows are so popular as a retirement option. Limiting the number of stairs that you will have to deal with is a smart buying decision. Remember, you’re going to want to stay in this house for the long-term, but as you age, your wants and needs are going to shift. Don’t neglect accessibility.

The home you retire in should be a place you love, feel comfortable, and a place you can confidently live in for decades. But it should also be a solid financial investment, not only a place you can afford, but that maintains its value.

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