Title: Retiring? House Hunting Tips for Seniors in Houston
Houston is one of the hottest destinations in America and, not so coincidentally, it’s also an amazing place to retire. Warm weather, proximity to beaches (Gulf of Mexico), cultural diversity, and amazing food are just a few of the reasons so many people choose to call Houston home. It’s a great city with a great vibe – and you can bet you’ll never run out of things to do. The city is also home to quality healthcare facilities, which is, of course, an important consideration for retirees as they age.
Ready to commit to Houston? Below you’ll find a few tips to make your experience finding a home in the city as smooth as possible.
Review Your Budget to Determine Your Target Spend for Housing
Before you fall in love with any house, it is important to review your finances to determine what you can comfortably afford. Beyond reviewing your savings, you need to do your research about how much it actually costs to live in Houston.
Although Houston is affordable, it’s important to note that the Lonestar State has some of the highest property taxes in the United States. The average effective property tax rate in Texas is 1.86%, which means a typical homeowner in the state can expect to spend about $1,860 in annual property taxes for every $100,000 in home value. This is a major expense to keep in mind when devising your budget.
Homestead exemptions are available for all Texas homeowners to reduce their property taxes, with a superior exemption available to those over 65 years of age. Your real estate agent can help you determine your eligibility for this and other housing programs.
Another piece of good news is that the other cost of living benefits offset the high property taxes. Overall, Texas is considered to be tax-friendly for retirees. There is no state income tax in Texas, which includes Social Security retirement benefits and all other types of retirement income. This translates to thousands of dollars a year in tax savings when compared with other states. You can keep more money in your pocket to spend on the things that make you happy.
Think About What Your Home Will Need for You to Age in Place
Aging in place is an important consideration for retirees. As you continue to age, your health and ability to be mobile and move around your home with relative ease will inevitably change. That’s something you definitely need to plan for if you’re going to buy a home for retirement.
In an ideal scenario, retirees can buy a home that will remain safe and appropriate for them in the years to come. Your realtor can help you target homes to fit the bill – as there are certain design elements that can help ensure your new home will always be appropriate for you. Some of these design elements can include a one-story layout, no-step entryways, wide hallways, low counters and shower grab bars or walk-in bathtubs.
Consider Other Senior Living Options in Houston
When it comes to living options, retirees should keep in mind that buying a home is not their only choice. It may even be a wise idea to choose an alternative if you believe you will ultimately need help with activities of daily living. Luckily, Houston is home to a variety of different living options appropriate for retirees.
If you want to remain independent without being fully responsible for all the headaches that come with homeownership, you should look into active adult living communities. These developments, also called “55-plus communities,” provide a safe environment that frees you from some responsibilities, such as lawn care and exterior maintenance. This gives you the time and energy to focus on those activities that bring you the most joy. Retirement communities also tend to offer different amenities for you to maximize your retirement – including pools, fitness centers, arranged transportation and a multitude of senior activities.
If you think you will need help – either now or in the future – completing vital activities of daily living, including managing your medications, getting dressed or preparing meals, an assisted living facility could be the optimal choice for you. There are many top-rated communities in the Houston metropolitan area. Your real estate professional can help you find the best facility based on your wants, needs, and budget.
Get Started on Finding Your Dream Home in Houston
House hunting can seem overwhelming, but with a devoted real estate professional by your side, it can be a total breeze. The Connell Team and Better Homes & Garden Real Estate will offer you the best service in the industry as you look for your dream retirement home and guarantees to provide undivided attention to your needs. Call us today!