A typical retirement goal is to find a home to spend your twilight years in. Buying a second home allows you to do a “take two” by finding a property with all the upgrades and must-haves your first home didn’t. However, this goal is not without challenges—a second home is a large investment, and extra attention is needed to decide on one that’s right for you.
This infographic will discuss everything you need to know about buying a second home—from what to look for to managing your expectations.
What Should You Look for in a Retirement Home?
Retiring involves a change of priorities and lifestyle, from how you spend your time to sustaining yourself. Before settling on a property, look out for the following:
1. A location you want to settle down in
The first most important thing in real estate is location. Ideally, your second home should be within easy access to necessities—supermarkets, hospitals or health centers, banks, and so on. Your dream location may be full of picturesque views, but if living there makes it difficult for you to shop or see your doctor regularly, you may need to reconsider.
If you plan to take up recreational activities, volunteer work, or any hobby after retiring, choose a location that is within proximity to them. Additionally, if you enjoy having friends and family over, an area that is easy to reach should be one of your priorities.
2. A house that enables daily living
As you get older, your body changes, affecting how you move and go about your day. Picking an “age-friendly” home will make it easier for you to live in it, even years down the line. Overall, your second house should be usable by all ages, even without specialized additions or fixtures.
Key features that can address senior needs include single-level homes with minimal steps coming in or out of the house; wide hallways; storage spaces and appliance fixtures that require minimal bending, stretching, or climbing; and rooms that have enough space for moving around with a walker or wheelchair.
Apartments or condominium units still qualify for a second home, provided they have elevators and other amenities that make mobility easier.
3. A mortgage that won’t tie you down
Part of your retirement preparation should be planning out your financial expenses in the years to come. While a mortgage can help defray initial costs on your second home, bad mortgage terms can easily put you in debt at a point where you no longer have a regular income.
Take note of your retirement fund, sources of passive income, and other savings you will be using post-retirement. From there, calculate the cost and find a mortgage that works below your budget. This leaves you with some leeway for future expenses, especially ones you may not expect.
4. An environment that matches your taste
Different people have different needs. Buying a second home gives you the chance to pick an environment that matches your taste, rather than live in a place out of necessity. This could mean moving from the city to a suburban neighborhood, seeking out locations with more greenery, and even moving to areas with different climates.
Picking your second home’s surrounding environment should be a balance of fulfilling your ideals and considering long-term living in those conditions. At the end of the day, your comfort is key—not just during the first few months in your second home, but throughout your years of living there, as well.
5. A welcoming community you jive with
Your retirement years should be spent relaxing and enjoying the fruits of your labor. The community you’ll be joining is just as important as the location and surrounding environment of your second home. While scoping out your potential second home, take the time to look around and evaluate the community.
Does it feel safe? Does the neighborhood get along? Are there community activities that encourage healthy socializing? For newer properties and development sites, is the community expected to grow?
Settling down in a place whose community is peaceful and vibrant will be preferable to one that feels stagnant, unwelcoming, or unsafe.
Tips on Making the Move Easy
While retirement can seem like a dream come true, it’s best to ground those dreams in reality. These tips will help you buy a second home with no regrets.
- Don’t forget about friends and family
Having a support network of family and friends around you is always a plus. Regular contact with them can significantly enrich your retirement life. Ask yourself how big an impact your move will make on your access to your support network and the relationships you have with them.
Look through various options with your partner
Consider your partner’s thoughts, feelings, and retirement plans, too. Open the conversation on the kind of lifestyle and home you both want for your golden years. The more talks you have on your options, the less likely you will have any misunderstandings or miscommunications on the issue.
Additionally, viewing potential options with your partner gives you a second set of eyes and minds to decide if they’re still in line with your overall goals.
- Balance accessibility with the surrounding environment
As mentioned earlier, your second home should keep the balance between the ideal location and environment and access to your needs and interests. Aside from this, consider accessibility in terms of transportation.
Circumstances may prevent you from driving in the future, so having the option to walk to certain areas or take public transportation can make or break your decision. It’s better to compromise on your dreams for the sake of comfortable living than have your second home be more trouble than it’s worth.
- Plan your retirement budget carefully
Preparing for retirement means thinking about maintaining your lifestyle, needs, and second home without having a regular income to rely on. While investments and sources of passive income can give you some funds to look forward to, planning your budget can make things easier.
Besides paying for necessities, you need to consider the cost of maintenance and upkeep for your second home. Make sure to budget for utilities, any additional fixtures, replacement appliances, and possible repairs. If you live in an exclusive neighborhood or condominium complex, association dues should be expected.
- Prioritize future needs
It’s easy to view a property now and rate it based on how you experience it at this moment. However, without the foresight of your future needs, you may end up retiring in a home or community that creates more problems than it solves.
Pay attention to the features that your second home will have—will they be accessible when you get older? Can you handle the upkeep of the property? From there, it pays to observe the surroundings of your second home as well. Will it be difficult to get around with a walker or wheelchair? Are there facilities that make it easy to seek assistance within the area?
While you may not be considering these aspects now, your older self will significantly benefit from them later on.
A Journey to Finding Your Retirement Home
Buying your second home should be fulfilling—after all, retirement means enjoying what you’ve worked hard to achieve. This means going beyond wish fulfillment and taking a more critical approach to your retirement goals. Knowing what you want and balancing it out with a more realistic approach to your home and the world around it is the key to making it all worth it.
For those looking for a second home in the Philippines, Botanika Nature Residences by Filigree is a perfect choice. A high-end condo in Alabang, just south of the Metro, brings together the best of urban and suburban living. To find out more about this property, have a virtual private viewing today.