Longboat Key, Florida | October 23rd, 2017 – If you’re considering selling your large family home and think renting in retirement is right for you, don’t be so sure. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median age of repeat buyers in the US is 53 years. There is good reason for this, too, as owning a home comes with numerous perks your rent-paying counterparts miss out on, and with Sarasota’s low property taxes and budget-friendly housing options, you are set for success in retirement.
Price stability. Renters are at the mercy of their landlords, who can increase rental fees each renewal period. Depending on supply and demand, rental fees can skyrocket up to 400%, according to Realtor.com. If you think it can’t happen, you’re wrong. In 2015, a San Francisco woman received a letter from her landlord’s attorney stating that her $2,145 apartment would soon increase to an astounding $8,900 per month. And these price hikes, no matter how unreasonable, are perfectly legal in areas not covered by rent control restrictions.
Tax advantages galore. Unlike renting, any money you put down to purchase a home may be tax-deductible. Property taxes, mortgage interest, and prepaid points are just a few of the many line items that will positively affect your tax return as a homeowner. Homeowners can additionally take advantage of energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits (when available). A 2015 article posted on MarketWatch asserts there are no less than 10 major tax breaks that make the case for homeownership.
Customization. Owning your own home allows you the freedom to customize your space based on your specific needs and tastes. This is especially important for older adults who may require upgrades such as lower kitchen cabinets, wider doorways, or walk-in showers to accommodate mobility limitations.
Emotional security. More than just financial factors, having a place to call your own may be good for your mental health. Real Estate news and advice website Realty Times notes that having your name attached to the mortgage instills a sense of ownership pride. This pride of ownership is apparent in neighborhoods where rental properties are few and far between, as homeowners tend to respect their property more than renters, since they have their roots firmly planted within the community.
Wealth building. If you’ve ever wanted to invest but didn’t think you have the money, you’ve been looking at your wealth accumulation plan all wrong. A home is an investment that grows over time and one that could potentially net a 5% gain year after year, according to Zillow, which is similar to the average 401K plan. Even if you buy at age 55, statistics suggest you have at least another two decades to build equity that you can leave as a legacy to your children or leverage to enhance your own quality-of-life. Many seniors use the equity in their homes to make improvements to the property while others use their investment to fund lifelong travel plans.
Family and friends. One of the most overlooked benefits of homeownership is being able to have friends and family over anytime you like. Many rental properties, including apartments and condominium complexes, restrict how long your visitors can stay before they must be listed on the lease. If you plan to have grandchildren spend their summers with you, owning a home is your best bet. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for rental properties to have occupancy restrictions which bar you from extended travel, even if you pay your rent on time.
Flexibility. While most experts, including those at Business Insider, suggest that you should remain in your home for at least five years in order to see financial gains, owning your own home means you can sell at any time without paying a penalty. Apartment dwellers are typically required to give 30 to 60 days’ notice and forfeit their deposit if they decide they want a change of scenery.
With so many reasons to buy, there is no better time to consider homeownership. Low rates and favorable loan terms mean even repeat buyers can continue to live out the great American dream regardless of age. Why not start that dream in sunny Sarasota?
Jim Vogel, for Judy Kepecz-Hays