With ample free time suddenly on your hands, and your children having long flown the nest, retirement is an exciting time of significant change. As your needs and priorities shift over time, you many want to buy a home specifically for retirement.
However, in order to secure the house of your dreams, it’s important to pay attention during the house hunting process. With the help of a real estate agent, and a little homework, you can move forward with confidence, and make a sensible decision that will suit all your current and future needs. Here’s what we recommend you consider when searching for the perfect retirement property.
Think about your priorities
With more time to enjoy doing what you love, now’s the ideal time to re-evaluate your priorities, and decide how you want to spend your retirement. Whether you enjoy skiing, golfing, vacationing, or all of the above, find a property that will allow you to keep busy, and easily continue these hobbies.
It’s all about finding a practical balance: If you’re an avid hiker, a remote mountain lodge may sound dreamy, but you’ll soon tire of the forty-minute commute to the nearest shop. What’s great about Whistler is that we’ve managed to effortlessly blend nature with necessities: Many properties offer the option of being right next to the forest edge, but are still only a quick walk away from the centre of the Village, and the mountain lifts.
Consider the type of home you’re looking for
While downsizing is a popular option for many of our retired clients, you may still need extra space for when children and grandchildren visit, as well as functional rooms for ski gear and storage.
No matter how health conscious you are, there will come a time when the staircase becomes an everyday feat, so don’t be opposed to a single-story home, and look out for features like large entryways and halls, and step-in showers.
Research the community
If you’ve been living somewhere for a while, leaving your strong network of friends and family can be tough. But with social media connecting all of us all the time, it doesn’t have to mean goodbye.
When searching for a new home, consider what kind of role you would like to have within the community, and what you hope the community could do for you.
Whistler has an amazing close-knit, supportive community, with families who settled here in 1966, when the ski resort opened. However, it’s also an incredibly vibrant and bustling place, as we welcome an average of 2.1 million visitors each year. In the midst of your property search, it’s important to consider the type of lifestyle you want to lead, and how the local community, and local amenities, can help you achieve this.
Make a financial plan
This may seem obvious, but to ensure you’ll have enough money to live the life you want, we advise making a realistic financial plan before you buy. While putting a big down payment on your retirement home can seem great, with a sudden income limitation this may not be the smartest plan.
One thing to consider is a reverse mortgage. The FHA has recently revamped rules for reverse mortgages, and you can now use the equity in your home as an income stream. However there are pros and cons to this method, and everyone’s financial situation is different, so seek financial advice specific to your circumstance.
Do a trial run
If you’ve never visited Whistler before, it’s always a good idea to spend some time familiarising yourself with the area and what it’s like to actually live here. Whistler is a fantastic place to retire to, but before rushing in take your time with due diligence.
Just like with any property search, finding the right realtor is critical, and the relationship you have with them can make a huge difference. Real Estate professional Lance Lundy goes beyond understanding your most basic requirements, and works hard to get to know clients. To arrange a consultation or get advice, please contact us here.