Are you ready to relocate to an active adult community? If so, you’ll need to carefully consider several unique factors.
As your friend, REALTOR, financial, and retirement advisor for decades, I am familiar with the ins and outs of relocation. My SRES® designation makes me uniquely qualified to help with additional information, training, and resources for seniors. Here are several factors you should keep in mind about active adult communities.
Questions about Location
Begin by reviewing your preferences and needs. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you prefer living close to family and friends? Would a specific location help maintain or promote your health?
- If you can do with minimal services, would a smaller urban facility work for you?
- Are you leaning toward a more extensive, independent campus that meets all your social needs and offers numerous onsite amenities?
- Will you keep your vehicle, or rely on the community transportation options or public transit?
Questions about Cost
Your options may be in large part determined by the amount of money you have saved, the money you receive from the sale of your existing home, and by how the SECURE Act, recently signed into law, affects your retirement accounts. As a holder of the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation, I can help.
Like location, there are important things you need to keep in mind concerning cost. Do you know, for example, what your monthly budget will be? Related, how much do you feel you can invest in your new community? In your financial planning, remember to include homeowners’ fees, and any up-front move-in fees you may encounter.
Questions about Lifestyle
This one is all about living, about what you like or love to do. In your new neighborhood, what activities and amenities would improve your quality of life? If you enjoy cultural and artistic events, you’ll probably want to be close to a major center. While you can interact with people who have the same interests, priorities, or beliefs from just about anywhere, would you like to live in that kind of area?
Questions about Restrictions
Check the regulations for any potential community you are considering. Are there any restrictions that would negatively impact you or your preferred lifestyle? For example:
- Are pets permitted?
- Will your grandchildren or adult children be able to stay with you for extended periods?
- Are you allowed to rent your property, even temporarily?
Questions about Tax and Financial Impact
Please, do your homework. Seek expert advice. Doing so may save you thousands of dollars and improve your retirement options. I mentioned tax and financial planning considerations above; you do need to know if any move will impact your tax liabilities. In this regard, it’s also worth checking if the community you’re considering is on solid financial footing. Many communities require a hefty up-front fee; should you decide to cancel, will that be refunded (with interest)?
Questions about Satisfaction
There’s an old saying … ‘Try it before you buy it.’ Also, caveat emptor or let the buyer beware. In this respect, find out if the community offers a trial stay or a short-term lease. Many collectives will manage your property for you (for a fee, of course). What if things are not being managed to your standards? What are your options? Here are three more things you can do to ensure or at least help guarantee your satisfaction in your new community:
- Read all the fine print!
- Review minutes from the homeowner association meetings or the management board.
- Speak with your potential neighbors.
In summary, there is a lot to know, and to consider, before you sign on the dotted line. Please feel free to give me a call for practical guidance or help with a specific issue. I will also help with the valuation of your existing home, its sale, and ensuring you get comfortably moved into your new adult lifestyle home.