Central Bank of St. Louis

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  • 6 tips for buying a home as an empty nester

    With retirement on the horizon and the kids out of the house, it’s time to rethink a few things, one of the biggest being your house. Since you don’t have the same needs as you did before, now might be your chance to find the house that you see yourself retiring in. There are a few things to bear in mind.

    Buying as an empty nester

    1. Review your lifestyle. U.S. News suggest that if you entertain, you should find a house that offers open spaces to do so. If you plan to have grandkids spend the night, look into houses that have extra space for the kids. Review what you're expecting from your lifestyle and go from there [1].

    2. Consider location. If you're uprooting, or are planning to uproot, consider where you're going. Do you plan to travel? Maybe live closer to an airport. Do you want to live somewhere warmer? Consider going south. Living close to medical centers can also be helpful for when you grow older and have more medical needs [2].

    3. Check out the levels. As you grow older, you might not be able to climb all of the levels of your house, so consider sticking to a one story home. If you feel you need more space, you can always build out, but sticking to one story will ensure you can access all parts of your house no matter your age [1].

    4. Spend less than you can afford. U.S. News mentions that you buy a house that's at a lower price range than what you can afford, since you never know what the future holds. This will also allow you extra money to visit family or go on vacations [1].

    5. Think about the bathrooms. So many accidents occur in bathrooms that it is very important to check out your bathroom options. Consider that you may not always be able to climb into a slippery bathtub. Look into bathrooms with easily accessible showers and toilets and save yourself the struggle and potential danger of falling in your bathroom [2].

    6. Maintenance. Look at the property and review all of the maintenance that you will have to do to manage it. Don't to buy a house that requires work if you plan to be traveling and can't tend to it. Also, think about the neighborhood's regulations of what you're expected to do to your house. Plan for the future about what you will want to do, as well as what you'll be able to do.

    [1] How to Choose the Perfect Retirement Home for You
    [2] 5 Factors to Look at When Buying a Retirement Home, Cheat Sheet




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