Home Buying Tips For Seniors

Posted on: 30 September 2016

Shopping for a home after the kids move out and in anticipation of your retirement requires a bit of planning. Chances are you will want to downsize into a smaller home that is easier to take care of. It's also important to consider how the house can continue to serve you as you continue to age and become less mobile. The following tips can help you pick the perfect home for this stage of life.

Tip #1: Consider neighborhood accessibility

An accessible neighborhood will have wide, even sidewalks along with ramps at the corner so there are no curbs to step down on. This is especially important if you ever need a power chair, wheel chair or walker, but it can also be a relief if you want to continue walking in the neighborhood but develop any of the common knee issues that accompany aging.

Tip #2: Look for a walk-in home

Split-level and multi-level homes aren't very conducive to aging gracefully. A standard one-story ranch or bungalow is a much better option. Make sure at least one entrance doesn't require any steps or could easily have a ramp installed in the future, just in case an accessible entrance is ever needed.

Tip #3: Consider local services

Everyone ages differently, so it's a good idea to make sure the services that you need and desire are close by in case it ever becomes difficult to travel far. Things like shopping, libraries, parks, or entertainment venues within walking distance can be a major benefit as you age in place.

Tip #4: Choose an open layout

An open layout is easier to work with than a home filled with lots of corners, small rooms, and narrow hallways. You may need more space to maneuver as you get older, especially if you end up in a wheelchair or using a walker. This is especially true in the kitchen and bathroom, where you want to make sure the rooms are large enough to turn around easily and to easily cook or clean up in the space.

Tip #5: Opt for easy landscaping

Gardening can be a wonderful pastime, but caring for the gardens and lawns can become more effort than it is worth as you get older. Opt for simple landscaping that you can either maintain yourself or hire out inexpensively. Keep the gardens small and contained. This way you can have a manageable plot for the time being, which can later be turned over to low maintenance shrubs if you are ever unable to continue the gardening.

For more help finding the perfect home, contact a real estate agent or a company like OmniNuvo Realty.