Buying or Selling a Home/buying in retirement
I will be retiring in about 2 years. We do not own a house now but want to buy one in retirement. We can afford about $150,000 and can afford to pay most of that money down. But I heard that it is better to have a big mortgage for tax purposes, etc. Can you provide any advice?
Also I would like to buy a house in the country with acreage but my wife says as we get older it will be too much to keep up with grass, etc. Can you give any help in what kind of a house we should be looking for?
Also are there any areas of the country that are more retiree friendly than others? Our children are in Phil. and Wash, DC but we are unsure how long they will be there as they move around.
There are several things to consider when retiring. Depending upon your long-term plans, your health, your interests; there are choices that will be personal choices for you. I work with quite a few people who come to me with the same questions.
As for the down payment; there are certain tax advantages with a higher mortgage. You should check with your accountant of course. Many who retire do not want a big mortgage and choose to put a higher amount down but with interest rates at an all-time low, if you can calculate your monthly payment to be easily affordable you may choose the tax advantage.
You asked about where to consider retiring: My area is in The Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina which is considered by many publications to be the number one area in the United Sates to retire. There are many choices in this area both rural and metro. I find that people want to be close to hospitals, medical offices and other facilities. They like to have options for theater, restaurants, activities, cultural events, etc. Having so many colleges and universities in this area provides lots of options and interest. I could go on and on about this area. It is a four season climate but far more mild than most areas. There are many lakes, parks, golf courses, shopping centers, fantastic restaurants, great live theater, interest groups, cultural events, festivals, health awareness, and lots of wide open spaces along with heavily wooded areas. It is incredibly green and our woods host a variety of flowering trees and natural vegetation.
Consider that you will probably want less responsibility and maintenance costs in a home. Buying a home in a low maintenance design and community is probably more advantageous. I am seeing more neighborhoods that are being built all-green with low maintenance exteriors and lots. These are planned communities with pools, clubhouses, sidewalks, hiking, biking, shopping. They are easy living lifestyles with myriad activities. I have a few neighborhoods in mind that are close to public transportation and to the airport as well which gets you to your children. (There are also retirement communities designed for over 55 residents but many people prefer to live among an assortment of ages.)
Regardless of where you decide to move; you really should think twice about being too far away from amenities and public transportation as well as medical facilities. Again consider maintenance as well and look for something where you won't have to keep up the gardening and exterior if you want to take it easy or suffer from health issues sometime down the road. Also; I find that retirees enjoy travel options which means that they don't want to worry about a big piece of property that needs constant attention.
I hope that this answer helps you with your decision.
Please feel free to contact me again if you want further details of this area.