Housing Tips for Seniors

Paying housing expenses, including mortgages, taxes, insurance and utilities, can be difficult on a senior citizen’s fixed income. Are you finding yourself overwhelmed with housing bills? If you are in a situation where you find that your home is becoming a financial burden, there are some options available to you.

Are you living in the same home you lived in when raising your family? Do you find the amount of upkeep for your current home to be overwhelming? If so, you may want to consider downsizing. Downsizing means that you sell your current home, and purchase a smaller home that’s more suitable for your current lifestyle. Downsizing serves many purposes, including decreasing your monthly mortgage payment (or providing you with a lump sum of money). In addition, you’ll probably find that you have lower insurance, tax, and utility bills.

If you want to downsize, you should talk to a Realtor to find out the approximate market value of your home. Then, you can search for properties that are smaller, and more reasonably priced. Some seniors choose to downsize in their current neighborhood or town, while others select a different area. Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider an “over 50” housing area or condo, which may require less upkeep and maintenance from you.

Another option available to seniors is a reverse mortgage. With a reverse mortgage, you will receive money to live on, while you can still remain in your home. Reverse mortgages aren’t for everyone, so you should learn about them and consider all alternatives before choosing this option.

When considering any of these options, watch out for scams that may target seniors specifically. Know who you are dealing with, and obtain recommendations from friends and relatives before paying for any services or information. If you aren’t comfortable with something, ask for help from a friend or family member before proceeding.