Does a North Idaho ranch style home interest you?
Purchasing a home with no stairs may be a wise thing to consider if remaining in your own home and living independently is your choice for the next chapter of your life.
If you are near or at retirement age, taking action sooner rather than later will give you more options and more time to enjoy a new home. Call it an adventure instead of a task. Procrastination could put you into a situation where an unfortunate event might force you into an untimely move.
There are many obvious benefits that come with one-level living -- and while you are at it, how about a home that is closer to church, family and shopping? How does an accessible bedroom or laundry room sound?
If you have moved infrequently in your life, you may not know where to start. Here are my suggestions:
1. Get pre-qualified by a lender. Many of life’s decisions are impacted by money and smart financing is the key to making it all happen. Real estate agents will require pre-qualification.
2. Meet with a real estate agent to discuss homes that meet your criteria such as location, size and price. A professional can narrow your search and show you homes which meet your exact criteria. This means you don’t have to traipse all over town and your agent can answer your questions about the market. When a few homes look interesting to you, then you can suggest taking a drive to look at them with your agent to guide you.
Establishing a price point slightly above your budgeted amount gives you some leeway since home prices are frequently negotiable.
At the same time, it is important to know the value of your current home and what you could expect to sell it for. A licensed, experienced and professional realtor can provide you with a market analysis on the expected value of your home. Keep in mind that a real estate agent is NOT an appraiser. Only a licensed appraiser can provide an accurate value of your home. Your current home’s value will be based on many variables including size, condition and comparable sales in your neighborhood.
Don’t sign anything until you are absolutely informed about all aspects of any transaction and you are ready to make a move.
3. Another choice is the internet. You don’t have to be tech savvy and more prospective home buyers are using computers to find their next home. Simply google “homes for sale in _____” and click! Lots of choices will appear. Two popular web sites are Zillow.com and Homes.com. They are simple to find and easy to use.
While two-story homes and tri-levels are very popular (and there are lots of them for sale), stairs are inherently dangerous. Living in a home with stairs becomes second nature over time. A basement and the accompanying extra storage is a wonderful feature until the stairs become difficult to navigate. Falling or evacuation in the event of fire are hazards we don’t spend much time thinking about. Safety is important wherever you live and aging in place brings its own challenges. Is a one-story home sounding more appealing?
If your current home is not right for your retirement years (for any reason….location, size, or upkeep) and you are 62 or older now is a good time to take a good hard look at a Reverse Mortgage. Cash is king.
A reverse mortgage purchase can be a very wise financial strategy. You don’t have to sink all your money from the sale of your current home into buying your next home. Talk to a reverse mortgage specialist to learn the details. If someone says "Don't get a reverse mortgage" be sure to ask them why. You might be surprised by their answer. It may be something like this, "I don't know, I've just heard....." Always get your information from a professional.
Don’t start this chapter of your life with a conventional loan and monthly mortgage payments, especially when there is another possible path. The positive cash flow you will experience from not having house payments can make a real difference in your life. Of course you are still required to maintain the home and pay taxes and insurance just like you would with a conventional loan. The national reverse mortgage home value limit is $625,500. Does a North Idaho ranch style home interest you? Find out if a reverse mortgage could benefit you too.