Today, an increasing number of people are choosing to live in retirement communities. If you are nearing or at retirement age and have considered such a community, there are a few things you should know. Retirement communities have become expensive to live in, and inventory across the country is down. For many people, this means being put on a year-long waiting list or dropping a name into a buyer’s lottery system.
Demand for homes located in retirement communities has skyrocketed. Primarily, retirement communities are appealing to Baby Boomers, which consist of people born between 1946 and 1964. In addition to accounting for nearly a quarter of the US population, Baby Boomers are now reaching retirement age. Within the next 10 years, there will be approximately 10 million retiree households of Baby Boomers.
According to reports generated by the National Association of Realtors, from one year ago, overall housing inventory is up slightly. However, for retirement housing there are some concerns regarding availability. With rising demand, you can easily find retirement communities consisting of million dollar homes, although communities with average market priced homes do exist. Regardless of the budget, before purchasing a home in a retirement community, you should consider a few things.
Acclimate – If you plan to move to an entirely different city with significant seasonal changes, you should think about renting a place during the off-season before you buy for acclimation purposes.
Community Characteristics – Every retirement community has different characteristics. So, prior to purchasing a home, get to know neighborhoods of interest. In fact, if you can, get to know a few of the people living within the communities so you feel confident that you are making the right decision.
Healthcare - It is common for retirement communities to offer on-site healthcare and emergency services. In fact, in some communities doctors even make house calls. Even if you are in excellent health, it is important to have nearby healthcare.
Pricing – If you are tempted to make a quick decision pertaining to a particular retirement community, you should be aware that purchasing at the right time instead of on the spot can save you money. For instance, during the months of May and June in Florida, when tourism slows down and the weather gets hotter, you actually have better negotiating power.
Activity Calendar – One of the benefits of living in a retirement community is all the fun activities. This allows you to get out and mingle with new people. However, you should spend a little time reviewing past and future activity calendars for communities you are interested in to see if things line up with what you enjoy.