We’ve heard an awful lot recently about how popular renting is becoming, but one of the more surprising things about this trend is that seniors especially, are beginning to look more favorably on rentals over homeownership.
With older people, renting actually makes sense for several reasons – the biggest of them being the mobility that it affords; if they want to move closer to children or grandchildren, they can easily do so. Similarly, if seniors want to live in community housing that provides specialist or better services, it’s not difficult to do. Those who rent also don’t need to concern themselves with repairs if things go wrong, nor do they need to pay property tax.
Another thing going for rentals is that communities created specifically for seniors often have loads of great amenities, such as fitness centers, community rooms, swimming pools and more.
Edie Brownman, 85, is just one of a wave of senior citizens selling up and moving into a rented home. She sold her Washington DC condo in order to move to Chicago, where she could be closer to her family. Now she lives in a building for seniors which provides housekeeping, cooked meals and lots of recreational opportunities.
With the money from selling her condo, she’s now planning a vacation to London.
“I don’t want to own real estate anymore,” she says. “I want to enjoy my money while I can.”
And who can blame her at her age?
But a number of factors dictate whether renting or buying is the smarter option financially, say real estate experts. Purchase prices and the average rents in the area you are moving to will have a big impact on your decision.
If you’ve finished paying off your mortgage then it’s going to be cheaper to just stay where you are than rent a place. But if your mortgage is still significantly large, you may be better off selling up and renting.
For older people who are living in a home that is bigger than what they need, they face the prospect of weighing up the benefits of renting over homeownership. This includes both the costs involved and the emotional attachment they may have to their home.
As Marion Somers, the manager of a geriatric care home in Brooklyn explains: “There is no easy answer. Seniors need to talk to people who have been through a similar move, and they also need to consider what they want to do with themselves after they move.”
“If you want freedom from any responsibility, or if you want to travel, then renting can be a good idea.”
Would you consider selling your home and renting after all these years?