Should older cou­ples buy or rent? Both can work well

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - PRIME PROPERTY -

We re­cently re­ceived a cou­ple of ques­tions deal­ing with cou­ples who are in their 60s, 70s and 80s who are plan­ning to move and won­der whether they should buy or rent their next home.

One of our cor­re­spon­dents wrote: “You gave ad­vice to a 63and 64-year-old cou­ple who were con­tem­plat­ing buy­ing a house, but there wasn’t any men­tion of the fu­ture. They aren’t old, but if the wife is left alone, will she re­ceive any part of his pen­sion? So­cial Se­cu­rity? It would seem they need to con­sider fu­ture sources of re­tire­ment in­come af­ter one of them dies.”

The next ques­tion went as fol­lows: “My hus­band is 85 years old, and I am turn­ing 80 next month. Our pri­mary rea­son to move from our house to the Philadel­phia area is that our adult chil­dren live there with their spouses and chil­dren, as well as our grand­chil­dren. We are con­cerned about the real es­tate mar­ket sta­bil­ity in Philadel­phia and its sub­urbs. We want your opin­ion as to whether, at our age, it is bet­ter to rent or buy an apart­ment.”

We put these two ques­tions to­gether to talk a bit about what peo­ple should think about when they are mov­ing or look­ing for new homes but may be ap­proach­ing re­tire­ment or are well into re­tire­ment years, even if they still work.

There is no magic for­mula. The de­ci­sion is a very per­sonal one. Here are some is­sues to think through care­fully:

Do you have the money? De­ter­mine whether you have the fi­nan­cial re­sources to sell and buy a home. You also need to make sure you have the fi­nan­cial re­sources to cover ex­penses in­clud­ing re­pair costs and the costs of the move.

Once you de­ter­mine you have the re­sources and you’re com­fort­able that you will con­tinue to have the in­come and fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, you should find the right home that will suit your needs, life­style and pock­et­book as you age. You can also fig­ure out any tax ben­e­fits that you might re­ceive as a home­owner vs. a renter and fac­tor that into the de­ci­sion.

Fac­tor in your health. Homes re­quire phys­i­cal work, and houses re­quire more than con­dos. You need to de­ter­mine whether you are healthy enough to carry the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of own­ing a home. Whether a home is a sin­gle fam­ily or con­do­minium, if you’re re­spon­si­ble for re­plac­ing wa­ter heaters, dish­wash­ers, and all other items, you need to make sure you’re up to it.

If you are mar­ried, in a part­ner­ship or live with some­one, the de­ci­sion-mak­ing has to be joint, tak­ing into ac­count all of these is­sues for both of you. You may never be too old to buy a home, but there may be many in­stances when rent­ing may be a bet­ter de­ci­sion than own­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.