Profile picture for user2625174

own townhouse need one story should I buy or rent 81 yr old ?

I own and live in a two story townhouse need a one story due to age 81 and safety, do I buy or rent ? The prices are high on either buying or renting what is best for me I live where is not senior friendly to isolated need to be in a senior complex or near senior center .

  • October 13 2013 - Glendora
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
At 81, I would recommend looking at the big picture.  At this time of life, transitions in living needs are likely to be more rapid than if you were 61 or 41.   One tends to break even on buying (and then selling) somewhere between five and ten years of ownership (there are a lot of "what ifs" in this calculation).   

Another aspect to consider is your support system.    Are you capable of taking care of a single family home for maintenance inside and out now and for the next five to ten years?   If not, do you have the financial resources to pay the maintenance guys, house cleaners etc to do it for you?   Or, are you depending on a family/friend support network to do this for you?  Are you absolutely sure they are willing and able to do so (I see a lot of elderly people wearing out their offspring and friends needing support)?

Renting offers tremendous flexibility.  You have no maintenance costs or expectations besides normal house cleaning.   You can move at the end of the lease without incurring selling costs of 6 to 10% of the house market value (plus the hassle).    Chosen properly, the lawn is mowed, the sidewalks cleared, the leaves raked as part of the rent. 



  • October 13 2013
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I wanted to do a community type living complex years ago with
downsized houses just for that reason... years ago.

I wanted to offer alternative living an completely wheelchair living
in down sized houses grouped together with their own small yard, smaller rooms and kitchens and community center in the middle where people could gather if they wish for holidays and everyday events.

These were not apartments, or joined housing. they were small individual
single story houses each designed differently and having their own personalities.

I could never find an investor and the idea got lost. I still think it is a very needed thing.
-Joseph-
  • October 14 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
I do not know your needs now or projected needs in the next few months to years/decades, so it is hard to say.   However, having helped elderly relatives through the last years it is clear it is easier to move sooner than later.   We had to scramble to find options when there was no choice except moving, and scrambling on an emergency basis means the more desirable options may not be available.   (Most people don't do this because it is admitting that life doesn't continue forever, so be a leader for your community and among your family and friends.

I would also consider selling the townhouse.   If you decide to rent the townhouse, do you have the financial ability to have a property manager and pay for all the continuing repairs?   Have buffer for 10 to 20% of the year vacant?   Turn it around (i.e. repair it) if you have the tenants of my nightmares?   $700/month net may be an optimistic projection assuming you can do all the work and have 100% occupancy.   What numbers do you find with 85% occupancy, 10% of rent to property manager and perhaps 10% of rent to continuing maintenance costs?  (you don't have to tell me, simply something to consider).

I'm a strong believer in simplifying one's estate later in life.  (You know better than I if you're projected to make it 110 or 82.)   This will help considerably in having your wishes carried out when you are gone, as well as keep your relatives together as a family rather than all being resentful.    (I just spent the day trying to appease two relatives related to settling an estate as per the instructions of the person who died so it is on the top of my mind.)


 
  • October 13 2013
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Profile picture for user2625174
You just gave me the answer to my question that I needed to hear froma baise person thank you it makes lots of sense to me. Also the adcantage I have is to lease my townhouse for more $$ than my mortgage payment that should give me at least $700.00 cash flow lease my place rent a senior apartment for less than my mortgage payment I think this is abetter optin for me . what do you advise. I think a senior rental at this time would be best for me thank you so much. for a sound advise.
  • October 13 2013
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