As we age and our lives change, our house may feel too large, it may be too far from loved ones or we may simply want a change of scenery in our retirement years. Those are some of the main reasons seasoned homeowners are ready to re-enter the housing market.
So what are some things you need to think about if you are looking to sell your current house, retire and find a new place to call home?
- You might want to make your downsize move a year or more before you retire. That way you can qualify for your home loan based on your current income.
- You’ll want to avoid making a move during your retirement transitional period — the time between when you notify your employer of your retirement date and the time you start to draw a pension or IRA. This is traditionally a difficult time to qualify for a home loan.
- Once you have retired and you are no longer in that transition period, a lender can verify your income. Pensions and Social Security are very easy to document through bank statements, tax returns or award letters. Investments and IRA can be also verified through statements. You’ll just need to make sure you have all of your paperwork to show income.
Since retirement homes are often smaller, less expensive houses, odds are you could pay for your new home with the equity from your old home. However, having extra cash could come in handy during your retirement or could be used for safe investments. So, rather than putting all of the money from the sale of your old home into your new one, you might want to consider a small mortgage. This could free you up to do more with your money such as remodel your new home to fit your needs. For example, you may need to change the flooring throughout, widen door frames or install better lighting.
It may have been decades since you last dealt with buying or selling a home. Tax issues, mortgage rates and the market itself have clearly changed. Seeking help will ensure that you’re home-buying process goes smoothly.
(This article first appeared on AMP's website www.amppob.com.)