How to actually find your dream home in your retirement
Let’s face it, trying to find your dream home can very quickly turn into a bit of a nightmare. Especially down here in the South East, where unless your dream property is a ridiculously overpriced eighth-floor studio flat, it can be notoriously hard to find somewhere in the first place. And if you happen to be a day over fifty, everyone assumes you’re already settled down with your embroidery and slippers in front of the fire, ready to grow old. The last thing on your mind’s going to be moving home…
Now, we happen to know that this is complete nonsense. Here at Homewise, we help people aged over sixty to move home every day and for all sorts of reasons, from freeing up money to enjoy their retirement to simply wanting their dream home. We’ve been in the business for forty years now. We’ve seen the market grow and shrink, and we’ve seen attitudes to age continue to change. But there are a few universal truths that can help you find your perfect next home.
Research is everything
When it comes to finding a home, especially if you’re moving area, research really is everything. Finding out as much as you possibly can about an area will help you work out if it’s right for you, as well as arming you with data when it comes to putting in an offer. We spend a great deal of time researching areas and properties for our customers, to help them make an informed decision on their next home.
Homecheck.co.uk can provide some useful information on the risk of flooding and subsidence, plus local planning applications and crime rates. It’s just a guide, and your solicitor will research all of this in detail should you have your offer accepted.
Rightmove also has a wealth of information on area house prices. Just go to the House Prices tab on the home page, pop in your postcode and it will show you recent sold prices in the area and market trends.
Don’t judge a house by its photos
Whilst many estate agents now offer professional photography as standard, this isn’t always the case and photos can be deceptive. Make sure you read the description closely, and if there’s half a chance this could be the property for you, then go and have a look. There’s absolutely no pressure to make an offer just because you’ve gone to view, but taking that time to visit somewhere in person will help you to refine what it is you’re looking for and you may just be pleasantly surprised.
Understand your options
There are a wealth of options out there that exist solely to help people make their next – or first – move on the property ladder. For people in their fifties and sixties, this includes things like lifetime leases, which can give you a significant discount from the property’s full market value. Make sure you explore all the options for your move.