Buying or Selling a Home/house buying
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.
Thank you for your question. And, congratulations for thinking ahead AND being this close to retiring - YAY! Unfortunately, most of your questions will be personal choices based on factors I do not know -and- I'm not the one 'having' to live there. I'm sure you understand...However, I will provide some things to consider. Hopefully, this will be helpful:
* As a woman pushing 60 myself, I can certainly empathize with your wife's concern about taking care of land, possibly animals, etc. It can take a lot of energy that neither of you may have, or the funds to pay others to do for you, when you get older. On the other hand, it is not unusual for many of us to feel like we have 'arrived' by having some land we can call our own. My suggestion would be to ask yourself this question; why? If your reasoning will hold up in say 25 years, then you have a good 'argument' for having it. Try to be honest with yourself. If it's to impress someone else, at any level, this may not be your best motivation.
* Owning a home for the tax relief one may get from the mortgage is strictly a financial question to be answered by you and someone who knows how much can afford to pay monthly, how much of the funds you need to keep on hand to supplement your monthly expenses - don't forget to factor in medical care, and how much tax relief you will actually get from being able to claim the property taxes and mortgage interest on the loan. Please keep in mind that 'Washington' has been throwing around the idea for some time about eliminating these deductions. I -seriously- doubt that will ever happen. But, one never knows...
* As for the best place to live; I cannot answer this for you as my priorities may differ a great deal for you. However, you have mentioned one of the most important factors retiring couples mention - their kids/grandchildren's location. The other most common factors are price versus value and weather. When considering moving out of your current area I would suggest the following websites: Realtor.com; a national data base where you can search for homes, get advice and research Realtors. And crimemapping.com; afterall, when prices are exceptionally this may be an indication of the home being in a less than safe neighborhood.
* 'Retirement friendly' can mean anything like warm weather re: arthritis, no state taxes, accessible buildings for the physically challenged, walking distance to stores, medical care, physically active lifestyle activities for the retired, etc. All of these items are personal choices or needs. Try the this link to start your consideration thought process juiced up: http://www.ehow.com/about_4600157_best-retirement-locations.html#page=1
Above all else, stay on the track you're on! Research is a wonderful thing. A financial planner would be your best bet regarding how much you can afford, save, invest, etc. They can be a one-stop place for invaluable, long term advice! You may even be able to find a local service that will provide some time for you at no charge.
'Sincerely hope you have found this helpful, Don. Best wishes to you and your wife!