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Before you retired, you might’ve had a busy lifestyle. Now that you’re on your way to retirement – if you haven’t retired already – you may find yourself with a lot more time on your hands than before. Retirement is a big step. What do you intend on doing with your time? Do you have travel plans? You can enjoy your life without forcing costly endeavors upon yourself – as enjoyable as they may appear to be.
Here are 12 essential rules to follow before you purchase your next retirement home.
The weather may be very different from what you may expect. It needs to be taken into consideration. Even if you took a weeklong vacation to scope out the area, you might be in for a surprise if you’re not prepared for hot summers or cold winters.
Your new neighbors are going to be your new friends or your new enemies – take your pick. It takes a friend to have a friend, so make sure you be proactive in making friends with your neighbors. Chances are you’ll be surrounded by them on a weekly basis at a minimum.
When you seek to be active that activity comes with the realization that medical attention must be close by. If you’re planning on living in a planned community, do they offer medical care? If not, how far away must you travel for proper medical care?
Some states, such as Florida or taxes are more tax friendly toward retirees than their northern neighbors. However, it may come with a price he may not expect. Texas and Florida are often prime choices for retirees, but property taxes are higher in both states than elsewhere.
When you find a property or home that you like, take your time when buying it. Don’t rush it. You may find that by waiting just a little bit, the price for your house or property will be more ideal. In southern states, for example, the best time to buy is when the local high season is ending in May and June.
When looking at your retirement communities, always a study and scrutinize the financial records of the homeowners association for the property where you plan on living. Many retirement communities were hit hard by the recession and are still recovering. Search the records in the County Clerk’s office for foreclosures and liens within the community you’re researching.
Ask people who live there what it takes to be approved. Some approval processes are very strict and you may be opening yourself up to securitization that you’re not comfortable with. Some upscale communities may offer several nice amenities, but how comfortable are you with having your neighbors go over your financials with a fine tooth comb?
Find out what local memberships may offer. As stated earlier, you’ll find yourself with a lot more time than you had when you were working or raising children. Find out what the particular club membership structures are as you may be required to buy into it.
Look around for a planned activity calendar. With all the extra time you have on your hands, look for things that you may be interested such as golf, tennis or even swimming. You may be open to newer sports that are wildly popular in the senior communities such as Pickleball or Bocce.
If you don’t familiarize yourself with the rules, you may be in for a rude awakening when you find out which you can’t do. Every homeowners association and retirement community have a set of rules that may oversee your day-to-day activities. Research the restrictions to see if you can have a workshop in your garage, to see if you can wash your car in your driveway or other restrictions that the homeowners association may place on you.
Look around to see if there are caretakers for the community. Many active retirement communities offer caretaking for senior citizens who are out of town or are ill. There may be days where you don’t feel like taking care of your home. Some communities offer more maintenance than others. This is why condominiums are often a prime choice as a retirement home.
Many retirees choose to live in the big cities such as New York, San Francisco or even Boston. They may be expensive, but they have several advantages that you won’t find anywhere else. These benefits include health care services that are closer, mass transit systems and lots of social activities within walking distance. If a planned retirement community isn’t for you, consider the big city.
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