Owning a home is seen as one of the financial milestones you’ve made it in life. However, not every path in life leads to homeownership, especially as we get older. Senior living, and the accommodations these communities offer, are an alternative if owning a home becomes too much for any of us.
If you’re on the fence about owning a home or considering senior living as you look towards your future, New Era Homes wants to compare some of the pros and cons of both so you can make an informed decision on where life takes you next.
Owning a Home vs. Senior Living: Our Take
What to Know About Owning a Home
Typically in life, you buy a home or build a semi-custom home to live somewhere you’ve always wanted to live. There are many reasons why you choose a place to live, and creating a home for yourself and your family is more than just the walls around you. It’s a huge financial decision that impacts every aspect of your life. Some key things to know about owning a home are:
- You’re investing in your future and your family’s future. Instead of paying someone else’s rent or mortgage, you own your home outright. This means you have equity in your home, and it’s truly yours to do with as you please.
- Building a semi-custom home gives you options. As you look towards the future, building a home or semi-custom home with retirement in mind gives you the ability to customize and potentially add to it in the future. If you need handicap accommodations, need to expand a living area, or have other home renovation needs, often, you can do what you need to make your home more comfortable. You usually can’t do that when you rent from someone else.
- You pay for upkeep, maintenance, and emergencies. Homeowner’s insurance may only cover so much, which means you may need to pay out of pocket if something goes wrong. Need a new roof? HVAC system fail? While these costs should always be factored into your emergency savings, they can be costly, and as you age, you may not always have the same income flowing in that you did in your younger years.
- Dwindling income in the golden years may make it harder. Coupled with emergencies that might come your home’s way, as income slows down as your retire, your costs won’t go down month-to-month unless you’ve paid your mortgage off entirely.
Things to Consider with Senior Living
Senior living isn’t for everyone. It encompasses more options than we can discuss in a single article. Senior living allows those getting older to have a place to call home with amenities that help them as they age. This can include transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, cleaning services, laundry pick up and delivery, on-site nurses to help with medical care, and much more. Like all living arrangements, there are some things to consider about investing in senior living:
- You get the help you need no matter your mobility level. Depending on how old age treats you, senior living can tend to all your needs, from driving you around town to delivering groceries to your refrigerator and even organizing social activities to take part in. Every senior living option offers perks for residents, which makes choosing one even harder based on what you want out of life.
- Everything you need to take care of with a home is taken care of by your property. One of the big pluses of renting or signing a contract with a senior living residence is they take care of emergencies, maintenance, and other things that come up. Some even have handymen on site that can build furniture or tackle small home improvement projects for you. This isn’t at an additional cost.
- You’re going to have to follow the rules. Just like renting an apartment in your youth, your senior living community will have rules and regulations you have to abide by. These could be as simple as quiet hours to abide by to something more restrictive like how many overnight guests you can have.
- You can’t always get what you want. Senior living, especially luxury communities, often have a waitlist or hefty deposits to secure a residence. It’s much more competitive than hunting for an apartment or buying a home in some areas of the country. If you need to find a place on a shorter timeline, you may have to settle for what’s available and not what’s best for you.
How Owning a Semi-custom Home Makes Retirement Easier
As more people buy homes later in life, thinking about the future and what retirement planning looks like is on people’s minds much sooner than it used to be. Unfortunately, most don’t think about what the actual house will need or look like when they retire or if illness suddenly falls upon them or someone in the family. Even when old age rears its ugly head, you never know what accommodations you might need to make life easier around your house until you need them.
Owning a semi-custom home allows you to add some custom touches to a home that you’ll enjoy living in well into the future. Most homes can have renovations and projects done later in life to install accessibility features, including ramps to avoid steps or different lighting to help see more clearly. So while you may not necessarily be thinking about that now, you’ll see how customizing certain areas of the home work during the initial build process will give you ideas in the future when you need to tackle a home improvement project.
Investing in a semi-custom home gives you control over key aspects of the layout, the look and feel, and more. Taking the time to understand how the home building process works gives you the knowledge and forethought to start thinking about changes needed in the future.
When it’s time to invest in a project to future-proof your home for the golden years, what you learned from your semi-custom home will carry over into whatever comes next in your home’s life. If it’s time for senior living, you’ll tackle that, knowing you’ve made the right decision for yourself and your loved ones. You’ll be ready for all the possibilities life holds when it comes to owning a home or moving into senior living.