Top Considerations When Building Your 55+ Retirement Home

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As more retirees are choosing to build new homes in 55+ communities popular with active adults, it’s important to get it right. Especially if your new home is intended to be your forever home. Review these top considerations when building your retirement home to get a head start on planning your retirement dream home.

Advantages of Building a New Home

There are advantages to building a home that can fit your changing needs over time. It allows you to build in the features you’ve always wanted and at the same time avoid costly remodeling to an existing home or buying another home that will never quite be what you want. Most homes are not built with Aging in Place or the changing needs of retirees in mind. Features that are easy to build into a new home can be costly to add to an existing home. Single-level homes with wide doorways and hallways, minimal or no steps between inside and outside spaces and a walk-in shower in the owner’s suite bath can make all the difference in maintaining independent living for retirees.

Determine Your Budget

Talk with your financial advisor so you know in advance what financial resources will be available to you when building your new home. They may be able to present options you hadn’t considered to help finance that perfect new home you’ve been dreaming about. If you will be selling your current home to help finance your new home, work with a real estate agent to help determine the best time to sell. In a seller’s market, you can likely sell your current home whenever you need to. If it’s a buyer’s market, you may consider renting your current house once you move into your new home until the market improves. That option may mean using other financial resources to finance your new home, at least until you sell your old home.

Build For Your Lifestyle

Choose the Right Size Home

Some people think you must downsize when you retire, get rid of a lot of personal belongings, and live in a smaller, cramped house. What’s most important is to right-size your home to fit your lifestyle needs without having to give up comfort and space. Take the time to interview builders to make sure you find one that you like who will keep you updated during the build process and support your 55+ retirement home journey. Review builder floorplans and walk some of their finished homes before deciding on a final floorplan to make sure you will have everything you want without extras you don’t need.

Deciding on a Floorplan

One of the top considerations when building your retirement home is choosing the right floorplan. When choosing a floorplan, make a list of your must-haves and think about the most important aspects of your lifestyle to make sure your new home is aligned with them as well as what you think you will need in the future. Keep in mind that you may not be able to handle stairs to second-floor bedrooms in later years, so find a single-level floorplan, or at least make sure the owner’s suite is on the first floor of your new home. If you love to entertain, choose a floorplan that features a chef’s kitchen with a central island and seating, plenty of storage and easy traffic flow. You’ll also likely want an outdoor living area with easy access from the kitchen and living area. Outdoor living areas are also great if you love to garden or have other outdoor hobbies. Review structural options for your favorite floorplans so you can personalize your home for your lifestyle. Consider adding a guest or bonus suite option if you think you will have house guests or family members staying with you for a while or need extra space for interests or hobbies. Having a dedicated space for a home office, movie or music room, hobby studio or workout and meditation room will make your home more versatile. This is important as your needs change over time. Other structural options such as an owner’s suite sitting room, sunroom, or covered screened porch add private spaces where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and read, or whatever helps you live your best life!

What to Look for in a 55+ Active Adult Community

Another of the top considerations when building your 55+ retirement home is choosing where to build and being close to what’s most important in your life. For most retirees, that means living close to family and friends. Even though you may have dreamed of retiring to a beach somewhere or a private cabin in the country, those choices may not be practical as you get older. Instead, you’ll probably want to be close to the people you love as well as shopping, medical facilities and area amenities that interest you. Building a home in a 55+ active adult community with amenities such as a clubhouse with pool, exercise room and walking trails is a major benefit for most retirees. Many 55+ communities have tennis, pickleball or bocce ball courts as well as planned activities that encourage a sense of community, all within walking distance from most homes. HOA fees may be higher in a master-planned community, but the benefits and convenience of the resort-style amenities and social gatherings close to home can make it well worth it.

Buying a 55+ Retirement Home Before You Retire

It’s not necessary to wait until you retire to build your 55+ retirement dream home. In fact, it may be easier to do while you’re still working. If you buy a home before you retire, it will be easier for your lender to verify your income and your retirement accounts can be counted as assets. Another advantage of buying before you retire is you’ll have access to greater financial resources to handle any unplanned expenses. Buying your 55+ retirement home while you’re still working will give you better budget calculations for when you retire as you’ll already know the hard costs for all your expenses including your mortgage payment. You’ll also already have your mortgage interest rate locked in before you retire, so if the rate goes up, you won’t be negatively affected by having to pay a higher monthly mortgage payment.

Epcon Communities

Epcon Communities builds in locations around the country and our low-maintenance lifestyle frees up time for you to enjoy the activities and people that make your life more complete. Our luxury single-family homes offer floorplans from 1,300 to over 3,000 square feet with 2-4 bedrooms and most of our communities include resort-style amenities, so you’re sure to find the perfect fit. Contact us to schedule an appointment with an on-site sales consultant who will be available to walk you through your favorite floorplans, answer all your questions, and give you friendly advice to make sure you are choosing the best new home floorplan for your lifestyle!

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