It's never too late to buy a home, and it's actually more of an opportune time to buy when one is older. Indeed, Baby Boomers accounted for almost a quarter of recent homebuyers, a significant increase from just 16% in 2009.
Advantages of Senior Homebuying
There are various advantages to purchasing a home later in life. For instance, home buyers can use the sale of their previous home to finance the new one. And due to the state of the housing market, Baby Boomers have been able to sell their homes for thousands of dollars above the asking price. Older buyers also benefit from having more cash set aside, which can be utilized for an all-cash offer, boosting the chances of getting a competitive property.
Beyond these purchasing advantages, there are benefits to senior homebuying, like downsizing. Not all, but many baby boomers buying a new home do so because they want to downsize. In these cases, they will typically reduce their mortgage payment and utility bills while eliminating the effort required to maintain the yard and other landscaping features.
Articulating Wants/Needs to an Agent
Once making the decision, buyers need to find an agent that understands their needs during the home selling and buying journey. Perhaps the most challenging part of getting a new home later in life is that the buyers will move away from where they could have raised their children, creating a significant lifestyle and emotional shift. Ensure that the agent is sensitive to this change and understands the sentimental value of the home and its actual selling cost.
Another consideration for senior homebuyers to articulate to their agent is if they are searching for a new property. Many Baby Boomers prefer newly built homes to avoid the work of renovations and allow for customization options. Of course, the most important factor of all is the location – buyers will need to determine if they want to live nearby friends/family, a city center or health facilities.
Buying with Retirement Planning in Mind
When looking for a new home in your 60s or later, it's necessary to consider making a long-term investment, as research shows that Baby Boomers purchasing a new property will stay there for 20 years. Effectively, these houses are retirement homes, so it's encouraged to look for a spot with an eye for the future.
Likewise, it's essential to contemplate the neighborhood of the home, if the house will need stairs and if it will have extra bedrooms for grandchildren or children for weekend stays. Buyers should also remember that if they have retired, they won't need to worry about commuting to work but might want to live next to other amenities like golf courses or pools. However, for those who have not yet retired but will soon after moving, it's helpful to talk with a financial advisor to determine a reliable income for the future.
Looking to Downsize?
For those older home buyers searching for a smaller, low-maintenance home, check out NMC's blog on downsizing for further tips on the process.