5 Factors to Look at When Buying a Retirement Home

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Your golden years should be filled with fun, relaxation, and, of course, a great home to create new memories. When it comes time for you to find your dream home, there are definitely things you should be looking for. Important factors range from location and transportation, to smaller things such as bathroom accessibility – all of which are important to think about when picking out your home. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes time to buy.


You know the old saying of “location, location, location?” It’s definitely true in this case. When you’re getting ready to pick your retirement spot, think of what you want to do with your new free time. Do you want it to be warm all the time? Do you still want four seasons, but maybe a more mild change between them? What about recreational activities, such as boating or golfing? Figuring out what you’d like to be doing the majority of the time will help you pick the spot where you want to do it. Also, when determining your new location, keep in mind where the rest of your family is located. You might not need to be close to them right now, but you might feel differently in ten years. Always try to think long-term.
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Parents make sure to check out schools for their children before buying a new home. Similarly, retirees should give the same thought to what their transportation needs may be in a decade or two, writes Forbes. Sure, you can drive fine now, but if you’re going to live in your new home the rest of your life, try to imagine when you’re 80 or 90. Will you still be driving? Maybe, but there’s also a good chance you won’t be hitting the road as much. In that case, make sure there is public transportation nearby you can use. Also, look for neighborhoods that have well-marked, maintained and lit roads, so when you do drive it’s as easy as can be.


Believe it or not, the bathroom is the No. 1 room in the house where accidents occur, says comFree. You want to make sure to have a bathroom that has enough space to move around. While some bathrooms may already offer various safety features or appliances, such as grab bars, there’s a good chance you’ll have to install these yourselves if you ever opt for them. So, take a look and make sure you’ll have enough room to do that if you decide to make some safety changes.

Space and maintenance

Look into communities where exterior maintenance is taken care of for you, according to Hull Financial Planning. Even if you enjoy taking care of your yard, there may come a time later on when doing yard work seems more like a burden. It’s a nice option to have on hand. As for size, don’t go unnecessarily big. An extra bedroom or two works great for guests who come and visit. But any more than that, and you’re causing yourself to deal with extra cleaning, furniture, and utilities.

Think zoning

When you’re picking your new home, it doesn’t hurt to look into zoning. A great option is to pick a neighborhood where apartment complexes are also allowed, says Forbes. That way you have the option to stay in the same neighborhood if later down the road you decide you’d like to downsize from a house to something a little smaller. “The idea, of course, is those high density apartments are more likely to have stores and other services in close proximity. And you’ll be able to stay in the community where you have long-time friends happy to offer you a lift to social events,” writes Forbes.