PLANNING TO BUY THAT LUXURY HOME WHEN YOU RETIRE?

by | Jan 12, 2023 | Real Estate

Buying a luxury home when you retire should be an exciting experience. After years of hard work and dedication, retirees deserve a place to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor. And even in retirement there’s no better place to sock your money than real estate.

Related: How to create an off-the-grid holiday home

But before you head in and purchase your dream home, several essential considerations must be made. Plan, talk to professionals, so you end up with the home of your dreams.

Buying a luxury home when you retire: Understand your budget

Before you start looking at homes, you must understand your budget. It’s too easy to get caught up in the excitement of the search and forget how much money you’re working with. Instead, take some time to review your finances and determine how much you can afford to spend on a new home.

Make sure to account for closing costs, moving expenses, property taxes, insurance premiums, and any renovation or repairs needed once you move in. And write everything down.

Research your location options

Once your budget is set, it’s time to start researching potential locations for your luxury home. It will make the search process more manageable if you have an idea of where you want to live during retirement. Do you want to be near family or close to certain attractions?

Think about what kind of climate interests you and if any unique amenities would make a living in your new home more enjoyable. For example, like access to a golf course or spa. Also, consider factors like crime rates and local taxes if they’re essential to you.

Visit potential homes before you buy

One of the most critical steps in buying a luxury home is visiting potential properties before committing to anything. Even though photos can give a good representation of what the property looks like from afar, it’s still vital that you see it firsthand before making any decisions.

Check out floor plans, doorways/windows placement, lighting levels throughout the house, paint colors/finishes used on walls and ceilings. Look at yard size/maintenance needs. All these details can help inform whether or not this is genuinely the right house for you.

When touring prospective homes, make sure to bring along note cards. When comparing places later on down the line, it will be easier to remember which features without having to flip through old photos or emails online again.

Get professional help from realtors and financial advisors

Buying a luxury home is a significant financial investment that requires expert advice from realtors and financial advisors who understand the tax implications of investing in such an expensive asset class.

Realtors specializing in luxury real estate can help identify desirable neighborhoods while also providing valuable insight into local market conditions. Financial advisors can provide information about different ways investors could structure their purchases (for example, cash versus mortgage) so that those who retire early don’t over-leverage themselves either way.

Additionally, ask each advisor about any additional services they may offer beyond just helping find/purchase properties. That would include maintenance services or even referrals for other professionals, such as interior designers who could help customize interiors after the purchase has been made.

Accessibility safety considerations

When purchasing a luxury home for retirement, it’s essential to pay attention to accessibility and safety. Look for homes within walking distance of grocery stores, restaurants, parks, and other amenities.

Check the property for hazards such as cracked pavement or loose rails on stairs. If you plan on aging in place, ensure the home’s layout is conducive to that. Perhaps look for homes with a main bedroom and bath on the first floor.

Do you anticipate having visitors who will need special accommodations, such those in wheelchairs or using walkers? Be sure to consider wheelchair ramps, widened doorways/hallways, and other features that can make it easier for them to move around the house.

Consider service quarters

For those who plan on having live-in staff, consider getting a home with service quarters. Service quarters are separate from the main house and typically include a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, laundry area, and storage space for supplies.

This can benefit the homeowner and staff member. It will give the latter more privacy while reducing the chances of running into any potential legal issues (if applicable). Depending on the size of your home, you may also want to consider adding extra bathrooms for guests or family members visiting.

Amenities and finishes

When investing in a luxury home, paying attention to the finishes and amenities within is essential. Look for homes with high-end fixtures such as marble countertops, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood floors.

Also, examine the details of each room. For example, is there enough storage space? Are there well-placed closets and built-ins? What type of lighting fixtures has been installed? Is there a comfortable living area for entertaining guests? All these factors can help determine whether or not the house is genuinely suitable for your lifestyle.

Additionally, ask if the home has been recently renovated or if any significant updates have been made, such as a new roof or HVAC system. Finally, make sure to look over any inspection reports and talk with the seller about how certain old features are, as this can help you determine the condition and potential longevity of the home.

Seal the deal

Once you’ve thoroughly reviewed your options and found a home that meets all your needs, it’s essential to protect yourself from any potential legal issues when signing on the dotted line. Get everything in writing, such as details related to closing costs, maintenance fees, transfer taxes, etc., so there are no surprises down the line.

Make sure you also read through all the paperwork carefully, as hidden fees or other clauses could potentially put your retirement plans at risk. When in doubt, consult a lawyer specializing in real estate who can review any contract before it’s signed and provide legal advice if needed.

Purchasing a luxury home for retirement should be an enjoyable experience full of excitement but also caution. By considering all factors involved, including location options available within desired budget parameters, visiting potential homes before making a final decision, getting professional help from both realtors and financial advisors, those who plan correctly can ensure they get most out their purchase no matter what stage life they’re currently at. 

Top image by Sebastian Staines/Unsplash

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