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Homebuying as a Senior: Knowing Your Options

Posted by South Dakota Housing Authority on May 31, 2018 11:28:57 AM

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If you're elderly and have lived in your home for a while or rented for many years, you might be in the market for a change of scenery. Senior homebuyers have some factors to consider when thinking about downsizing or moving out of an apartment.

Consider the following if you're searching for a new home as a senior homebuyer.

Accessibility

As a senior homebuyer, consider the concept of aging in place—living in the home as long as possible. Look for signs of accessibility throughout the space, such as main-level laundry, quality lighting, spacious doorways, etc. Depending on how long the home has been on the market, the seller may even be willing to negotiate adding some of these accessible features as part of the home sale.

Manageability

Look for features that you especially prize, such as quiet neighborhoods or outdoor spaces, but also look for support for maintaining and managing your space. If you opt for a house with a sizable driveway or large yard, for example, make sure that your budget (and your surrounding community) will be able to provide any necessary support for lawn upkeep or snow removal. If managing responsibilities such as that sound like deal-breakers, consider opting for a smaller, more manageable lot.

Financing

When a borrower considers his or her mortgage options, income sources typically include full- or part-time jobs or personal business revenues. Seniors who are in the retirement stage of their lives, though, will have other income sources to consider, such as IRAs, savings or other retirement funds. Many mortgagors will allow you to factor these balances into your preapproval process and to use them in favor of or against your official "income." Talk to your lender of choice about accounting for these sources of funds in your life.

Selling

If you're repeat homebuying, you'll also want to talk to your financial advisor or retirement plan provider about the impact selling your home may have on distributions from these accounts. Talk about the timing of your home sale (and subsequent home purchase) and determine what steps should be taken to maintain your normal flow of income from your retirement portfolio.

Homebuying Assistance

If you're a senior buyer in South Dakota, you have several assistance options available to you. If you're moving into an owned home for the first time, you can engage with the First-Time Homebuyer Loan program if you meet certain income standards. The same can be said for those moving from one home to another—if you're not a first-time buyer, you may also qualify for the Repeat Homebuyer Loan program. Check the criteria, and locate a lender in your area to see if this is an option that will work for your needs.

Access Free First-Time Homebuyer Interactive Infographic

Topics: Homeownership

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