A Short Guide To Buying Your Retirement Home

Written by Posted On Thursday, 15 October 2015 14:44

If your kids have left for college or gotten married recently, you’re left with an empty nest with extra space that might start to seem superfluous or even unmanageable. Most retirees aren’t looking for an investment property or a fixer-upper. Instead, they often end up downsizing or joining a retirement community when they settle on their next home.  As you revisit the real estate market, here are some important things to consider when buying your retirement home:


As we age, it can become increasingly difficult to get to the places we need to visit, whether it’s a trip to the bank, the grocery store or the doctor. Before you settle on a retirement home, consider this: Is it close to the places you’ll need to reach on a weekly or even daily basis? If you don’t live in a retirement community that has specific amenities, here are some facilities that should be within easy driving distance of your new abode:  


  • Grocery stores
  •  Hospitals
  •  Doctors
  •  Veterinarians


This takes care of the things you need, but what about the things you love? If you’re an avid golfer, for instance, you’ll probably want to be close to a golf course or driving range. Fishing holes and public parks are also useful to have close to home, so you can rejuvenate with an outdoor stroll or a bike ride in the evenings. A couple other determining factors include how far the home is from your family, and what the noise level is.



The majority of retirees in the United States have chosen to hang their hats in California, Florida and Arizona — all famous for their sunny, temperate climates. Warm weather has a ton of health benefits, not to mention you’re less at risk to slip and fall due to icy weather. It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid extreme temperatures either way, whether it’s a deep freeze or stifling humidity. Recent studies have revealed that slightly elevated temperatures increase life expectancy.


Unless they’ve got a decent chunk of change saved up or investments stockpiled, retirees are often working within a fixed monthly income. When considering a retirement home, one of the most important questions to ask is whether it fits comfortably into your budget. Also, consider the upkeep of the property. As you advance in age, will you face limitations with landscaping and other maintenance responsibilities? If so, you might have to hire someone to help with that, which could factor into your property’s affordability.


The smaller the better isn’t always the case, especially if you’ve got a ton of grandkids who will need plenty of space to run around and play with the toys, bicycles and Power Wheels you’ll shower upon them. Find a place that’s small enough to feel like home, but big enough to accommodate visitors if you plan on having guests from out of town. If you’re relocating to a retirement village, ask to learn about their visitor policy. 


You might be in great physical shape now, but over time, it may become increasingly difficult — and dangerous — to climb stairs to get to your bedroom, or to lug groceries up a steep front stoop. 

Check every entrance and exit for slight steps, up or down, and make sure storage spaces are easy to access. Try to avoid closets that may require you to use a stepladder to access belongings that are stacked too high, for instance. The same goes for cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen areas. 

It might have been a while since you purchased your last home. Perhaps the kids were just born or were still in school. If you’re a little rusty when shopping for a place, consult with a real estate agent you can trust. He/she will offer friendly suggestions and help you avoid unnecessary fees so you can kick your feet up and enjoy your newfound free time.

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Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson is founder of the Tim Anderson Real Estate Group at BloomTree Realty, in Prescott, Arizona. Tim has over 4 decades of experience in the real estate industry. His knowledge enables him to help his clients navigate the Arizona real estate markets with ease. The  Anderson Real Estate Group specializes in retirement and luxury homes.


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