As a senior, you may be thinking about your options regarding affordable housing and aging in community. More than ever, there are new and innovative choices offering both independent living and supportive environments for older adults. Here are some ideas to get you started on your journey to finding your forever home.
Look at the Market
Before you start your search, it makes sense to research the housing market in your preferred area. This way, you can judge whether you want to risk selling now, or if it would be better to wait a year or two to see what happens. If you want to move to a place where the average home price is lower, then you might need to reconsider your plans. After all, incurring further debt to get a new home could end up stretching your budget further than you expect.
One option you have is to downsize your home. Not only will a smaller house use less energy to heat in winter and cool in summer, but it could also be less intensive to maintain and be more accessible. Furthermore, if you budget well by knowing how much you’ll get from a sale, you may be able to increase your nest egg. So, when downsizing, start by lightening your load and decreasing your possessions. (Keep in mind that if you hire a company to help you downsize, you could spend around $800 for the service.) More important, perhaps, is measuring your furniture and appliances to ensure they will fit in your new space. By doing so, there may be less hassle later on, and you can also avoid making unsuitable purchases.
Age in Place
Sometimes, the best path to take is to age in place in the homes we love. Whether it’s to be close to family or to wait for the market to improve, you’ll likely want your house to be accessible. Yet, don’t think that you can wait things out until you absolutely need certain adaptations as it’s better to make changes before they are necessary. As a start, research how much it would cost to widen doorways, put grab bars and risers into bathrooms, or add safe flooring to prevent falls. The more you do now, the easier it will be when you really need them.
Another aid to assist with aging in place is to look for a roommate. Yes, it might be surprising, but this is growing in popularity with people of all ages. In fact, you could talk to a friend about moving in or connect with a student or someone from your senior center. Of course, you’ll want to ensure whoever you choose will be comfortable with your lifestyle and agree with any house rules you set. Given how important that is, you’ll need to express your particular needs through either a conversation or an advertisement. To guide you through this process, do a little reading on how others have handled talking to a potential roommate about rules or pet peeves. By doing so, you can be confident that your roommate will fit seamlessly into your life.
Finally, if you want to have an active community with amenities you don’t have to look after, then a senior community may be best. Fortunately, there are many choices, from care facilities offering extra medical attention to village-to-village models providing private homes with shared communal spaces. Moreover, there are options for all income levels — even luxury versions that handle basics like transportation and yard work, but also offer spas, pools, and hot tubs. These communities keep you involved socially and provide for you in ways you may need.
From getting a roommate to communal living to simple downsizing, there is something out there for you. Look at each option, know your local housing market, and make an informed decision. After all, these should be the best and most fulfilling years of your life.
Image courtesy of Pexels