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Buying A Home As A Senior: Tips And Resources For Success

At Jul 27, 2017

Seniors who are looking to buy a new home for themselves face a number of challenges throughout the process. Sometimes older adults are moving from a large home to a smaller one and may have some equity they can utilize, but some others face difficulties in the process due to having retired and having limited financial resources available. Luckily, there are some resources available that can provide assistance and guidance to make the process less daunting.

Programs are available to help seniors facing low-income challenges

As the SF Gate Home Guides details, there are some local, state, and even federal programs available that can help seniors as they look to buy a new home in their older years. One potential resource is one’s local public housing authority, as they can provide information on the Home Ownership Program that is available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There are a number of strict requirements tied to this program, so not all seniors will qualify. However, this can be a useful option for those who meet the eligibility requirements.

When an older adult decides that it is time to buy a new home in their later years, whether that is due to downsizing, relocating to be near family members or a support system, or to live in a place that can better accommodate an older lifestyle, it is helpful to consult with an experienced real estate agent and perhaps a financial consultant or tax advisor. There are loans available that are more liberal in their eligibility requirements than some others that may make purchasing a home with less money available more achievable, and connecting with a professional familiar with these options is key.

Older adults can be prime targets for predatory lenders

Unfortunately, some seniors find themselves being taken advantage of when they are trying to buy a new home in their older years. As the USA.gov site notes, there are mortgage loan professionals who are predatory and dishonest and these people often target vulnerable seniors with their tactics. They may present financing offers that seem too good to be true and seniors may get talked into committing to loans that are based on false home values, have higher interest rates than are reasonable, or include shady fees.

There are some mortgage products that can be quite attractive to seniors, such as a reverse mortgage that for the right situation can be quite useful, but it is not always easy to discern which loan product is the best fit. As the HUD site notes, many communities offer housing counseling agencies that can provide support and insight to make the process progress smoothly and seniors should reach out to utilize those resources whenever they are available.

Seniors should not be afraid to ask questions and pursue second opinions

Being informed is likely the best protection against being taken advantage of when purchasing a new home as a senior, but it is not always easy to find the right resources and information. Savvy homebuyers will be wary of loans that seem too good to be true or come unsolicited and it is important to make sure that any loan for a new home is federally insured. Seniors should not be afraid to talk with multiple real estate agents or mortgage lenders before making a commitment and having a home inspection done before moving forward is important as well.

Buying a new home as a senior can be a taxing and overwhelming process, but there are many options available to help make it happen and one should not be afraid to ask questions, reach out for help, and be open to considering a variety of options. The process can be difficult emotionally and financially, as well as physically. Don’t be afraid to hire movers to help. If you’re putting some items in storage as you downsize, some providers will even pick your items up for you.

Despite all the trouble that seems to come with the moving process, It is possible to have a positive, successful experience in purchasing a new house as an older adult.

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Questions You Should Ask During a Home Inspection

At Jul 20, 2017

Whether you are a buyer interested in a particular house, or a seller trying to get the best sales price for your home, there will come a time in the real estate process where you should get a home inspection. The moment the inspector arrives to perform the evaluation, you may feel the need to […]

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10 Don’ts When Purchasing a New House

At Nov 09, 2016

With the housing market back up to the pre-recession rates, a more stable job market and better loans, many are finally considering purchasing their first home. While the dream of purchasing a new home is easier to achieve, still it’s good to be mindful of the basic ground rules of responsible credit. We’ve worked with many first-time buyers that get disqualified during the underwriting process because of making these 10 mistakes.

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5 Common Mistakes Of First Time Home Buyers

At Jun 23, 2015

5 Common Mistakes Of First Time Home Buyers

Are you considering buying your first home soon? Congratulations! Owning a home is a huge step, and a huge investment in your future. While the process can be very fun and exciting, it can also be a bit overwhelming, especially to first time home buyers. Before you decide to put an offer in on a house, you’ll want to do a bit of research and be sure you are making the best decision for you.

Here are some common mistakes often made by first time home buyers:

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Financial Benefits of Homeownership When Building Net Worth

At Jan 05, 2015

Financial Benefits of Homeownership When Building Net Worth

In theory, putting your money into the stock market instead of your home could give you higher returns. In practice, however, few renters actually do invest successfully in the stock market. Owning a home has significant financial benefits, especially for people in Seattle where it’s expensive to rent. A report by the National Association of Realtors found homeowner’s net worth ranged from 31 to 46 times that of renters in the past 15 years.

As your home goes up in value, so too does your net worth.

Many people like to set financial goals for the New Year. Increasing your net worth is all about paying down debt and saving more. But homeowners’ net worth is positively influenced by factors beyond their control such as a booming real estate market in Seattle. As your home goes up in value, so too does your net worth. Even if you missed the beginning stages of the housing recovery, it’s still a great time to realize the benefits of homeownership.
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Your Credit Score: What does that number really mean?

At Dec 19, 2014

Your Credit Score: What does that number really mean?

The importance of having a good credit score when buying a home is not something most people find surprising. A person’s credit score provides their lenders with a great deal of important information about the person and how much they could afford to spend on a home.

However, what most people don’t know is what exactly that number means and the role in places in whether or not you get a mortgage or where you are able to get your mortgage from. In addition to determining whether or not you can qualify for a mortgage, it can determine the type of home you can buy, what your interest rate is, and much more!

Minimum Credit Scores

Sure, everyone knows there is such a thing as a ‘good’ credit score or a ‘bad’ credit score. You also know that good credit scores allow you to get a mortgage while bad ones don’t. But what exactly is a good credit score?

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Promising News For Home Sales

At Dec 09, 2014

Promising News For Home Sales

According to the latest statistics announced by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) the rate of pre-existing homes being sold is at the highest for the year. This comes after August’s disappointing news that the rate had dropped 1.8%.

September’s statistics show an increase of 2.4% (this correlates to an equivalent of 5.16 million homes being sold). It is important to note that although this is the highest rate for the year thus far, it is still 1.7% lower than this time last year. In September of 2013 approximately 5.26 million homes were sold.

Economists are optimistic citing a less competitive housing market with low interest rates which lead to stronger home sales.

Additionally, when looking at the sales of single family homes, the trend is similar. There was a 2.0% in September compared to August. However, this is overall lower than the rate recorded this time last year. Economists are optimistic citing a less competitive housing market with low interest rates which lead to stronger home sales.

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Purchasing a Home That Is Retirement Friendly (WAIT)

At Dec 06, 2014

The perfect “retirement home” for many Seattle baby boomers today isn’t necessarily located in a retirement community. Experts say a lot of boomers want to be surrounded by people of all ages in retirement. When purchasing a home in the Seattle area, it’s important to find builders that will accommodate any special concerns you have related to aging in place. An elder-friendly new construction home in Washington State is one that has an overall floor plan and features that make it easier to get around and be safe. According to a recent Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey cited by Next Ave. about baby boomers and their retirement homes, the most important features boomers look for when purchasing a home is low-maintenance features. Instead of downsizing to an apartment or small condo, most baby boo mers are planning to buy a better lifestyle. The Next Ave. article pointed out that older homebuyers specifically want diversity and to live around people who stimulate them. Some Seattle-area new homes can be built with specific aging-in-place designs in mind.

Exterior considerations

A good home builder can build you a home with a low maintenance exterior as well as low-maintenance shrubs and plants. If you choose a floor plan with a patio and porch, a builder can make sure the outdoor living areas are easily accessible with a walker or even wheelchair. If you are not building your home then there are many things you can do to make the home more accessible on the exterior but you will want to verify there are not any neighborhood restrictions preventing altering the exterior of the home.

Overall floor plan

A one-story home is ideal. Also, it’s important to have well-lit hallways that are at least 36-inches wide andno steps between rooms to prevent trips and falls. Lights at the entryway can make it easier to see in order to open the front door lock.

Focus on flooring

The flooring in an elder-friendly home needs to be non-slip, especially in the entryway and bathrooms. If you do choose a harder surface such as tile, consider placing non-slip rugs in key areas.

Other ideas include customizing your home with special showers with no thresholds, seating areas and grips.You can also install easy-to-read thermostats, touch light switches, lighting in closets, pull-out shelving in the kitchen, and anti-scold controls on faucets.  Searching for a home with plenty of natural light is a nice feature especially in Seattle.

At Alise Roberts & Company, we take the extra time to meet face-to-face with our clients. Our Realtors can show you resale homes as well as new construction models so you can get a feel for what’s right for you and your family. For more information about how we can help you find a retirement-friendly new home, pleasecontact us.

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What Type of Mortgage Is Right For Me?

At Oct 28, 2014

What Type of Mortgage Is Right For Me?

Are you ready to be a home owner? If the answer is YES, good for you! There are many great benefits of home ownership.

While many future homeowners know the neighborhood, the size, and the price range of their home, many often do not consider an integral piece of the puzzle: what type of mortgage is right for me?

Let’s look at four types of mortgages, and see which is the best fit for YOU.

•  FHA loan. This is a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. A great aspect of this loan is they offer a lower down payment than other conventional mortgage loans.  A drawback is an FHA loan limits the size of the loan.

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Seattle’s Latest Statistics Show Price Increase

At Oct 22, 2014

Seattle's Latest Statistics Show Price IncreaseAccording to some of the latest statistics for Seattle’s housing market, the median home price has risen to the highest it has been since August 2007. This is intriguing news for prospective home buyers and sellers alike.

According to The Seattle Times, the median home price has risen dramatically. The word median means middle, so the middle range price of a home has increased. This is not necessarily the same thing as average (the difference might seem negligible, but can actually make a big difference).

The median home price has risen dramatically

In August of 2007 the median price for a single family home in Seattle was $501,000. In August of 2014 the median home price was $543,500. It is also important to note that these are the prices homes actually SOLD for. Interestingly enough the median price for June was only $499,000.

Why the price changes?

Seattle has a very good job market. In June 2014 Washington state’s unemployment rate was only 5.8% according to the most recent statistics. This is the lowest it has been in six years.

Combine the increase in employed workers with good interest rates and more people are now able to purchase homes. This gives the market more competition.

Seattle’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in six years.

The Seattle Times article also lists specific statistics for many of the neighborhoods in Seattle. The median home prices are certainly an interesting statistic to keep an eye on. They can be indicative of the overall housing market and economic climate of our area.

For more information about buying and selling a home, please contact us.

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