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By John Luddy, Senior Vice President of Reverse Mortgage Lending for Norcom Mortgage
For decades, many retirees have downsized to smaller homes and condos to travel, enjoy their hobbies, be in a warmer climate or be closer to their children. However, since the pandemic, nearly 30 million baby boomers have retired altering their retirement outlook and plans. As a result, this generation is ushering in a new housing trend – upsizing their home instead of downsizing. According to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) 2021 Home Buyers & Sellers Generational Trend Report, 62% of buyers over the age of 50 purchased single-family detached homes averaging almost 2,000 square feet.
Whether you’re looking to upsize or downsize your retirement home, below are some important questions we help retirees address when considering their new dream home:
Is this home the right-size for my current needs?
“Right-size” does not always mean downsizing, but rather finding a home that works for you and meets your physical, financial and emotional needs.
At Norcom Mortgage, we have clients from all walks of life that have varying needs. Some are making a transition to warmer climates. While others may be moving back to their hometowns to be closer to family. Whatever the situation, finding a home that is right for your current needs will contribute to your happiness and longevity.
Will it suit my needs in 5 years?
The configuration of your new home, townhome or condo is very important for retirees who want to “age in place,” or for adult children who plan to care for their parents in their home.
Are the doors big enough for a walker or wheelchair to go through them? Is the master bedroom on the first floor? Does it have an in-law apartment? If not, can one be added easily? These are all questions to consider when touring homes and looking for that perfect dream home.
What does the neighborhood and surrounding town offer?
When you were searching for your first family home, being in a neighborhood with young families and good schools was appealing. Now – maybe not so much.
Quality and design of neighborhood, proximity to friends and family, convenient shopping, walkability, and home affordability were among the top five factors for influencing a retiree’s neighborhood choice in the NAR Generational Trend report. Others were access to healthcare facilities and entertainment and leisure activities.
What are the home maintenance expenses?
Many homeowners of retirement age don’t want to worry about lawn or home maintenance, so another area to consider when right-sizing your home to fit your lifestyle are maintenance expenses and the time spent on dealing with repairs.
And then can I afford this new home and lifestyle?
Reverse mortgages give retirees the maximum financial flexibility they need in order to maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle.
As a financial solutions provider, Norcom Mortgage has helped many retirees achieve their dream retirement home by utilizing this mortgage option, which is available to borrowers over 62 years old.
This financial tool helps alleviate the financial burden of homeownership for retirees by offsetting the cost of a new home or converting their current home’s equity into cash. Also, unlike traditional loans, reverse mortgages don’t have to be paid back until the home is sold, the borrower permanently moves away, or is deceased. For more information about how a Reverse Mortgage could work for you, please visit www.NorcomMortgage.com.