There are numerous considerations to work through when a senior adult is looking to buy a new home. There are a variety of reasons why older adults look to make a significant purchase like this in their later years and, at times, there can be some difficult decisions to make throughout the process. What are some of the issues that often arise and what kind of help is available to those who need some support?

Estate planning and medical care can impact a senior’s house buying decision

As the Seniors Real Estate Specialist section of the National Association of Realtors site details, there are quite a few considerations to factor into the equation when a senior is considering buying a home, and that goes well beyond just the moving itself. Reaching out to an attorney who works with senior issues may be quite helpful, and working with real estate agents, tax advisors, and financial consultants familiar with the ins and outs of the process can be invaluable.

Buying a home as an older adult can impact a senior's financial situation in numerous ways, from money invested, to estate and trust planning, to Medicaid or Medicare considerations. Some seniors have assets available to use as a down payment while others will be looking for assistance in qualifying and purchasing a place with low or no regular income.

Senior-friendly homes can be a hot commodity in many communities

The housing market for seniors can be a challenging one to navigate, as homes that are in retirement communities or that are designed for ease of living in the older years can be snatched up quickly. Forbes notes that there is an increasing demand for these types of homes, especially in areas that are popular with retirees. In many communities, it is a seller's market for this type of housing, but there have been indications that inventory is increasing slightly.

Those seniors who have the assets available to purchase the home of their choice may not struggle to find the right fit, but others may need some help in working through the options available. This is where an experienced tax advisor or financial consultant can be invaluable, especially those with a great deal of experience in working with seniors. Older adults should not hesitate to consult with multiple professionals as needed and look for real estate agents and mortgage lenders who understand the senior market and can offer detailed assistance in working through the process.

Looking to creative solutions and support can make the process easier

What are some of the things that seniors need to consider when they are looking to buy a home in their later years? As the Housing Options for Older Adults booklet from the Elder Care site details, cost is just one factor that needs to be weighed during the process. Location can be critical, as some seniors need to be by medical services that are central to their care while others consider it a high priority to be near their extended families. There are some subsidized and publicly-funded housing options available, although not everybody will meet the eligibility requirements. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development does have some options available that are worth checking into during the decision-making process.

As the AARP details, there can be some creative solutions available to seniors who are looking to buy a home or change their living situation in their later years. Some opportunities for co-housing and house sharing are popping up in various communities and options like housing cooperatives and communities designed specifically for seniors are becoming more readily available as well. Not every community has developed these types of options, and they may not be financially accessible to everybody, but they certainly will appeal to a number of older adults looking into options.

Buying a home in one's later years can be an overwhelming endeavor, as there are many factors to consider and seniors can be targeted by predatory lenders and agents. However, it certainly is possible to navigate the process, even when challenges arise. Numerous programs exist that can provide assistance and consulting with experienced professionals can be the key to a successful outcome when seniors are looking to purchase a new home.


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Author: Jim Vogel