When it comes time to retire, many retirees want to give up the hassle and stress of maintaining a big home for the low maintenance of a condo. In fact, many retirees can actually afford to own and maintain two condos for less than the price of a single home. This gives them the option of living in a warmer climate in the winter and a cooler climate in the summer. Regardless of where you choose to live or how many condos you choose to own, here are 5 pointers to choosing a choice condo.
Do your homework
An OA holds significantly more sway in a condo community than in a subdivision. Make sure you factor HOA dues into your monthly expenses as well as checking to see who owns – and who is responsible for – what. Some Associations actually own porches, decks, storage spaces and parking spaces and you just have use rights. Also read the rules and bylaws carefully to be sure you can live with them.
Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a retirement community
Sometimes, living among others your own age can be advantageous, but it can also be more trouble than its worth. Many retirement communities can have rules and bylaws that are far more strict than even the strictest HOA’s or Co-ops, and they can also be harder to get into. Some communities also require membership dues that are significantly higher than HOA fees, with little to no promise of an ROI.
Know the best time to buy
The best time to buy property in any area is in the “off season.” In the south, this is generally late spring when temperatures start to climb and in the north, it’s late fall before temps start to plummet. Buying at the right time can save you a bundle.
Consider the climate
If you don’t want to live in more than one place, you’ll want to choose a place with a climate you can live with year-round. One way to make sure you can really do this is to rent first for 6 months in the off-season before buying. It’s tempting to move to a hotter climate where there is no cold winters. However, chances are you’ll have extremely hot summers. If you are going to live there year round you should adapt your condo with luxaflex awnings. This way you can still enjoy your home and the climate without worrying about dehydration and old age.
Generally speaking, retirees tend to travel more than most and generally for a longer time. One thing to consider is who is going to care for your property while you travel? One advantage to retirement communities is they often provide care-taking services. On the other hand, the more services they provide, the higher the cost and the greater the restrictions can be as well. As in all of life, you have to balance freedom with cost and amenities.
Buying a condo for retirement is slightly different than buying a condo at any other time of life, since both your lifestyle and needs will be different. Since your needs will be different, this also means you need to consider different things. One of the best things you can do before purchasing a condo is to live in the area for a bit and get the lay of the land before plunking down a down payment.