House Hunting Tips for Seniors in Saratoga Springs

April 04, 2019

House Hunting Tips for Seniors in Saratoga Springs, Julie & Co. Realty

Approaching retirement? Choosing Saratoga Springs, New York for your Golden Years is a great choice if you’re looking for sunshine, relaxation and a buzzing community of fellow retirees. Seniors are drawn to the peaceful atmosphere, exquisite beauty and natural freshness of Saratoga Springs – with the Adirondacks and Lake George each being just an hour away.

The house hunting process, while it may seem daunting, can be easily managed if you have all the facts up front. Below you’ll find a few things you should keep in mind during your search for a home in Saratoga Springs:

Research the Financial Implications of Buying in Saratoga Springs

Buying a new home in a new city – or even your current city – can be quite challenging. The effort requires a great deal of research into the overall housing market – even if you enlist the help of a real estate agent. According to real estate website National Association of Realtors, the median price of homes sold in Saratoga Springs is $350,000, which is above the national average of $289,000. This may seem like a big jump, but ultimately real estate is an investment – and the value of housing in Saratoga Springs is projected to continue climbing. Investing the money now can pay dividends in the future when it comes time to sell the home.

As another benefit, New York state is considered to be tax-friendly for retirees. Social security income is not taxed, while withdrawals from retirement accounts and income from private pensions are partially taxed. Income from public pensions is also not taxed, and wages are taxed at normal rates. The marginal state tax rate in New York state is 5.90%.

If you still believe your dollars can’t stretch far enough, but you have your heart set on Saratoga Springs, you should know there are financing options available. If you want to get a bit of supplemental income from your new home, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgages for Seniors (HECM) program monitored by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development could be an excellent option for you. The HECM is FHA’s reverse mortgage program that enables you to withdraw a portion of your home’s equity. Your real estate agent can help walk you through the pros and cons to see if the program is a good fit for your needs and goals.

Keep Your Future Needs in Mind When Looking at a House

Purchasing a home when you’re a retiree is a very different process from buying a home during your younger years. Your ability to safely live and navigate your home can change as time goes on due to declining health or mobility limitations. You need to remember that your changing health needs and evolving mobility limitations will one day affect the way you navigate and live in your house.

Enlisting the help of an experienced real estate agent can help ensure your next home is one that you can keep for the long-haul. Examples of senior-friendly home amenities include:

  • No step entryways
  • One story floor plans
  • Wider doorways
  • Open floor plans with extra floor space
  • Bathrooms with safety features for seniors

Explore Alternative Senior Living Options in Saratoga Springs

Buying a new home in retirement isn’t the best choice for everyone. The wisdom of that choice will depend on individual circumstances. If you ultimately decide buying a home in retirement isn’t the best choice for you, just keep in mind that Saratoga Springs has many different living options for seniors who want to call the city home.

As one alternative option, you can explore the idea of buying into a retirement community. Living in a retirement community also referred to as a “55-plus” community, essentially gives you the freedoms homeowners enjoy without having to deal with the full scope of homeowning responsibilities. Things like landscaping, exterior maintenance, termite extermination, and other home maintenance issues are handled for you by community management. 55-plus communities also usually offer many different recreational amenities, such as pools, fitness centers, and organized activities for residents to enjoy their retirement to the fullest.

If you think you will likely need help attending to activities of daily living, such as getting dressed, bathing, keeping up your home and managing your medications, you should consider an assisted living facility. There are several top-rated communities in the Saratoga Springs area, and these facilities offer peace of mind that comes with having assistance nearby whenever needed.

Ready to embark on your house hunting journey? Contact Julie & Co. Realty today to connect with knowledgeable and passionate real estate agents committed to finding you the best home for your retirement.