Should You UPsize in Retirement? Finding Your Perfect Property for Homesteading and Entertaining

A newer trend among retirees these days is to trade in the city life for a slower pace. Some retirees are even getting into the homesteading mode as a way to stay active, enjoy a hobby, and appreciate the peace and calm of living more simply. It’s a shift in perspective, and if you’ve warmed to the idea, there are plenty of great benefits involved.

Beyond the perks of fresh air and fresh hobbies, a great thing about buying a property outside of town is that you can often upsize to a bigger home without overspending—leaving you with space to accommodate kids and grandkids. If this retirement lifestyle sounds picture-perfect to you, here’s a few things to consider to get started.

Your Budget and Financing

Before buyers start looking at homes in earnest, it’s always good to have a budget in mind. If you already own a home that you’ll be selling, the first part of this process will be to get an idea of how much you can anticipate from the sale of your property. With that figure and other sources of income to consider, you’ll want to set a home buying budget that you’re comfortable with.

It’s also perfectly fine if you’re buying your first home as a senior, but as USA Today explains, first-time buyers should be extra careful to factor in all the costs of homeownership in addition to the price of the home.

Unless you plan on paying cash for the property, the next part of this process is to look into financing options to find the one that’s right for you. Many buyers assume their only option is to call up their local bank, but it’s worth considering any alternatives that might be available. For example, if you’re a veteran, you may get better terms with a home loan through the VA. With a VA loan, you aren’t required to make a down payment or pay for private mortgage insurance, plus you’ll get better rates than with other types of loans.

For those who aren’t eligible for VA loans, getting a conventional loan is typically the best option, and if you have a higher down payment, you can still get low rates and avoid having to pay for mortgage insurance.

Finding Your Retirement Homestead

Deciding to buy a bigger home in retirement opens up a new world of possibilities, so don’t be afraid to prioritize what you want most from this property. These are just a few ideas to keep in mind as you make your wish list:

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: If you plan on hosting visitors frequently, you’ll want to find a home that has enough room for everyone. At the same time, Insurance News Net cautions against sacrificing your own comfort for the benefit of accommodating others. Most seniors are happiest with a full master bedroom suite on the first floor so you don’t have to worry about stairs as you age.
  • Common areas: Being able to entertain is one of the top reasons why seniors upsize their home. If entertaining is in your plans, you may want an open concept with a great room where guests can socialize. You may also want to consider space for grandkids to hang out, like a rec room or bonus room.
  • Acreage and outdoor features: For seniors who want to take up homesteading as a hobby, the outdoor space on the property will be a top consideration too. Country Living Experience notes the amount of land you need really comes down to what your goals are, whether you just want a small garden or enough land for livestock. Another thing you should keep in mind is the home’s slope and entrances because an uneven lot could become another safety issue as you get older.

Just as there aren’t any rules for getting older, there aren’t rules for what it means to be a homesteader. Retirees often think they have to choose between their home and the lifestyle they want, but the thing about homesteading is that you don’t have to compromise. You aren’t just buying a home – you’re buying the retirement lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of.

Guest Post by Bob Shannon

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