As you plan for retirement, you are probably thinking about moving or downsizing. Because you're no longer tied down by things like kids, schools, jobs, and other obligations, you have an unparalleled opportunity to start over in a new place with a new home to enjoy. But why wait until you actually retire? Is there a better way to make this transition?
There is. Finding your dream retirement home and getting it set up before you actually stop working can be a great way to get retirement off to a better start. Here are 4 reasons why.
Room to Customize. Depending on your budget and house choices, you may need time to make a new home into your dream house. Building a house from scratch may require even more time and planning, which you may not want to do while in the midst of a major life change like retiring. If you plan to live in the new home for a long time, you may want to customize it to include an accessible layout, spare rooms for company, upgraded kitchen or master suite, or a more enjoyable landscape design.
Test Drive the Move. If you're planning to move to a new area, you may want to check things out before fully committing to living there year-round. Buying a home before you need it and using it for vacations or short-term usage can be the perfect way to make sure you'll be happy living there. You can learn about things like local activities, weather, amenities, tourism cycles, access, and your neighbors.
Time the Market. The housing market fluctuates wildly at times, and you want to be able to take advantage of the right kind of market when you prepare to spend money. If your intended area experiences a reduction in housing prices or even a period of better availability, you may want to get in a position to buy when things align. Waiting until you feel you must move quickly can cost money and mean a less perfect choice. For the best sense of the market for buying or selling, work with an experienced local real estate company.
Add Income. Many near retirees could use an extra spurt of income as they approach the target date of retirement. Buying a home that you can rent out -- long-term or short-term -- is a relatively painless way to do just that. While the home shouldn't be used as an ATM, renting your future house can help cover things like taxes, a mortgage payment, upgrades, or your transitional costs.
Any one of these could be a good reason to consider buying your retirement house before you actually need it. Together, they may form a compelling argument to start meeting with a real estate broker today so that you can secure a good tomorrow.