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Will Your Current House Fit Your Needs in Retirement?

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.1

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to afford your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”

Would moving to a complex with homeowner association (HOA) fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

2. Equity

“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”

The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $16,300 in equity last year.

3. Maintenance

“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind in knowing that you do not have to do the maintenance work yourself?

4. Security

“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”

As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets

“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or moving in to a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

6. Mobility

“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Having to install handrails and make sure that your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience

“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Bottom Line

When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

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Thinking of Selling? Now is the Perfect Time

It is common knowledge that a great number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their homes on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed the months in which most people listed their homes for sale in 2017. Here is a graphic showing the results:

Thinking of Selling? Now is the Perfect Time | MyKCM

The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,680,000.

That number spiked to 1,970,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring; they are out looking for homes right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition amongst buyers.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today.

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5 Common Home Buying Mistakes

When making the leap into what is the typically the biggest financial decision people ever make, buying a home is exciting, and also distressing.    There is a lot of room for error, so play it smart rather than making mistakes that could cost thousands of dollars.

  1. Shopping for a home without an experienced agent

Everyone looks at homes for sale online, out of curiosity as well as to gather a sense of what is available and at price look like. But if you’re serious about buying a home, you need an experienced advocate looking out for your best interests. Your agent will expertly navigate every step of the home-buying process beside you, including finding the best property, writing a winning offer, negotiating inspection repairs and cruising through to closing.

  1. Evaluate mortgage options

It’s necessary to get pre-approved for a home loan before you begin earnestly searching for a house You can’t know that you are getting the best deal unless you can compare offers. However, applying with too many lenders can lower your credit score and can generate unwanted calls and solicitations. Contact two or three lenders and compare rates and closing cost to determine the best one for you

  1. Don’t hold out for your “dream home”

Frankly, the perfect home, (perfect location, size, condition, features and price), may not exist. Create a list of “musts” and “wants” to identify criteria for your Realtor, but don’t insist on checking everything on the list. Limited inventory means some compromises might be necessary in order for buyers to find their home.

  1. Don’t make lowball offers

Of course, you want the best deal, but don’t miss out on the right home with a foolishly low offer. A survey from Inman found that 15 percent of real estate agents say the third-largest mistake people make when buying a home is offering too little for a property (behind not talking to a lender first and taking too long to make an offer). If your offer offends the seller, they may not even consider making a counteroffer.

  1. Don’t make any big purchases before you close

You found a great house, the seller accepted your offer, but until the loan is closed it still must go through underwriting. Underwriters will look at your credit to make certain nothing has changed since the pre-approval. If you’ve established any new debt since then, such as a new car or you’ve maxed out your credit cards, your credit score will be impacted which could raise your interest rate or, possibly result in a rejection of your mortgage application.

Your best bet is to trust your Realtor to help you make informed and accurate decisions throughout the home buying process. The Platinum Group Realtors have the experience, knowledge, and resources to help ensure your experience is as stress-free and relaxing as possible. Need a complimentary Platinum opinion about your home? Call today: 719-955-8578.