Where the “Boomers” are Heading
Since the real estate market has begun moving in the right direction, seniors are looking to downsize and gain the freedom that comes with living in a condominium community. Lynn Hodges, REALTOR® for Prudential Verani Realty in Hampton, NH says she has helped a number of the Baby Boomer generation sell and relocate into housing that better fits their current needs and ones they may require in years to come.
“Single family living with condo convenience is very popular on the Seacoast,” Hodges says. “I have helped many single people and many widows make that big move out of a home and into a condominium. Many say they want to downsize, end up choosing similar square footage to their old home, but they gain the ease of owning a condo.”
When you own a condo, you own the inside of your unit and garage, if it comes with that option, but the exterior of the home, the grounds, all the landscaping and maintenance is the responsibility of the condo association. You, as a condo owner, contribute to the costs of maintaining the property, but do not have to do any of the work to maintain the property outside the front door.
What should “Boomer Buyers” look for in a retirement condo?
- Square footage: Unless you are willing to sell or give away large pieces of furniture and much of your “stuff” you must find a condo with adequate closet space and square footage to hold your furniture. Sometimes, if money permits, it is easier to get rid of some of your larger pieces and buy smaller, condo-size versions of living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture.
- Accessibility: You may be healthy and athletic or you might find stairs a real pain to climb. Know your limitations and plan for the ones that may happen in the future. Is there an elevator? How many stairs are there to climb each day? How soon might this affect your activities?
- Neighbors: Often as we get more spare time to our daily schedule it is nice to have a neighborhood with others around to share activities or a cup of coffee. How close are your neighbors and are they possibly a good match for your lifestyle?
- Proximity to shopping and basic needs: How far will you need to travel to buy groceries each week? How close are cultural attractions and the library? Is there public transportation available?
- Proximity to emergency services: When you need doctors, emergency staff, or medical consultation, you will want them a short drive away.
Think about the location, all of the aspects of the property and how it will serve you in the years to come. Nobody can see what their future needs will be, but if you have a good idea of what’s to come and have a plan in place for many of them, you will find peace of mind in making the transition to a condo easier.
photo courtesy of 401 (K) 2012