Buying a home for your retirement years opens up great possibilities. You can choose a location that offers amenities for you to make the most of retirement, which is an extremely liberating reality after a life of hard work. If you’re looking for a slightly smaller metropolitan area that still boasts all of the desirable aspects of city life, then Charlotte, North Carolina might be a great fit for you.
Charlotte is among the top 35 best places in the US to retire, according to rankings from U.S. News, much of this has to do with the abundance of senior-friendly activities the city has to offer. Charlotte has several museums and galleries in the downtown area, and residents have easy access to live theater. Seniors who love the great outdoors can enjoy the area’s many parks, trails and hiking opportunities.
Beyond entertainment and enjoyment, you’ll want to make sure you choose a house that is relatively close to healthcare facilities you may need. In this category, Charlotte remains a great choice. There are 238 physicians per 100,000 population in Charlotte, which exceeds the US average of 210 per 100,000 people. Additionally, in Charlotte, there are several local hospitals that are under magnet status, which is the highest credential for nursing practices across the world.
If you’re ready to start searching for potential homes in Charlotte, here are a few tips you should keep in mind:
Carefully Budget for Retirement
Charlotte residents love that the city is a very affordable place to live. According to real-estate website Zillow, the median home value in Charlotte is $224,200. This is slightly below the national median price of $229,800.
While real estate is definitely cost-effective in Charlotte, you'll need to keep in mind that affording a house is more than just the down payment and mortgage - you need to make sure you are financially prepared to shoulder any financial burdens that may come with owning a home in the long haul.
Taxes are an important consideration when developing a retirement budget. Having a grip on how much you’ll need to pay in taxes will give you a clearer picture of what exactly you’ll have in your pocket each month. The tax environment in North Carolina is favorable for retirees. According to consumer finance company SmartAsset, Charlotte is considered to be tax-friendly for retirees. The state of North Carolina exempts all Social Security retirement benefits from income taxes, while other forms of retirement income are taxed at the state’s flat income tax rate of 5.499%. The state’s property and sales taxes are both moderate, and seniors may be eligible for a property tax break under homestead exclusion. Your real estate agent can help you determine your eligibility.
Find Amenities to Help You “Age in Place"
In the ideal scenario, seniors can buy a home for their retirement that they can plan to stay in for the long haul. Your REALTOR® can help you target homes that can age with you - even through health issues or mobility limitations. There are certain design elements that can help ensure your new home will always be appropriate for you, including a one-story layout, no-step entryways, wide hallways and shower grab bars.
Consider Other Senior Living Options in Charlotte
Buying a home isn’t the only option you have when it comes to relocating for retirement. If you don’t want to manage the chores that come with owning a home, but would still like to live independently, you should consider moving into a retirement community. These communities, also called “55-plus communities,” provide a safe environment that frees you from some home maintenance responsibilities you may need assistance with, allowing you to focus on those activities that bring you the most joy. Retirement communities often offer different amenities for you to maximize your retirement - including pools, fitness centers, arranged transportation and senior happy hours.
If you think you will need help with activities of daily living, including medication management, bathing or dressing, then an assisted living facility could be the best living option for you. There are many top-rated communities in the Charlotte area and more that are located in surrounding areas. Your REALTOR® can help you narrow down the best communities that will suit your preferences and budget.
Connect With a Reliable REALTOR®
Having a reliable REALTOR® by your side is an extremely crucial part of the house hunting process. You should take the time to think about and discuss with your REALTOR® both big-picture issues like location, as well as small details like your daily lifestyle preferences. Ask prospective REALTORS® if they’ve been trained in helping senior homebuyers in the 50-plus age range, and have transparent conversations about what you’re looking for in a new home, including budget and timeline.
Whether you are a Charlotte native or a retiree relocating to Charlotte from elsewhere, I can help you find the perfect home and make your move as stress-free as possible. If you are thinking of selling, buying or renting a home and would like more information on my services, please feel comfortable reaching to me at 704-488-3109 or email Nancy@ShowcaseRealty.net. There is never any pressure placed on you and I am happy to help! If you don’t love your home in 12 months, I will sell it for free. Learn more about our services, visit ShowcaseRealty.net today. Contact me, Nancy Braun, to get started.