Nearing retirement and beginning the house hunting process can be an exciting and overwhelming stage of life. You will need to consider what city is best for you, what sort of house is most appropriate for you and get your finances in order. With Knoxville, Tennessee at the top of your list of destinations, you should know you are certainly on the right track. One study conducted by Magnify Money, which evaluated key standard of living elements like cost of living, quality of life and employability, found that Knoxville and Maryville are top destinations for people looking to retire early.
Your health, budget, access to care and other needed services are just a few of the many considerations you will need to take into account when buying a home. This might seem overwhelming, but enlisting the help of a Knoxville real estate agent can help all ensure all of your needs are met throughout the entire process of buying a home.
Below you’ll find a few things you should know and discuss with Hope Cudd about house hunting in Knoxville:
Your future budget is as important as your present budget.
Knoxville is, by national standards, an affordable place to live. The median price of a home sold in the city is just over $201k, which is below the national average. Even though real estate in the city may be cost-effective, it’s important to keep in mind that affording a house requires more than just accounting for the down payment and mortgage. You will need to review your financial situation as a whole to determine if you will be able to manage the cost of buying and owning a new home for the long haul.
Old debt is a budgetary concern many seniors face as they move into retirement. Moving to a fixed income situation may mean managing debt payments could become more difficult for you. As an added financial complication, many seniors find the cost of healthcare to be unmanageable as their health needs become more complex with age.
The important thing to do is get a true sense of your financial situation prior to having your heart set on a property. Some steps you can take to get a clearer picture include:
- Evaluating your eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid for your health expenses
- Checking in on your 401k or other retirement plans to calculate your expected monthly income after you’ve stopped working
- Review the property tax situation and other cost of living nuances applicable for Knoxville
When it comes to taxes, seniors will find that buying a home in Tennessee comes with many benefits. According to financial services company WalletHub’s 2018 tax burden rankings, Tennessee is ranked 3rd on the list of states for lowest tax burden. The state is just one of a few that does not impose a tax on income or public or private pensions, which means more of what you do earn can stay in your bank account. Low-income seniors who buy a home in Knoxville can also apply for property tax relief or tax freeze through the city’s trustee office. Your real estate agent can help you navigate that process.
Your home should be in close proximity to everything you need.
When you are buying a home, it is important to consider how close it to the things you want and need in life. When choosing a home, it is important to keep in mind how close you are to a hospital in case you experience a medical emergency, for example. Knoxville has a diverse medical community, including a renowned teaching hospital and a cancer center.
Knoxville as a city sponsors different programs and services aimed to improve the quality of life for older people, including programs that help them remain in their own homes and independent for as long as possible. These programs offer a broad spectrum of services, such as:
- Health and nutrition-related services
- Consumer and home-safety related services
- In-home care services
- Educational programs geared toward senior learning
- Recreational and volunteer opportunities
Accessibility and health should be built into your home.
Mobility limitations are one of the key factors you’ll need to consider when selecting the best home for you. The number one mobility issue affecting seniors is falling, which can cause serious and sometimes permanent injury. To avoid this, it may be best to search for a ranch-style instead of multi-story home to avoid accidents. Other home amenities to look for that can help keep you safe include:
- A shower and toilet with space for grab bars or another support device in case you need to install them now or in the future
- If you choose a multi-story home, at least one bathroom on the main level - ideally with a full bath
- Wide hallways and doorways to make sure you can navigate your home in a wheelchair if needed
- Outlets and switches that can be reached from a wheelchair - around 2 to 4 feet from the ground
- At least one entry to the home that doesn’t involve steps
If your health, mobility or accessibility issues are more than you think you could handle on your own, it’s important to know you have many different housing options in the Knoxville area. There are 29 assisted living facilities in Knoxville and 10 others in the nearby area. These facilities are ideal for seniors who want to maintain their independence but may need assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing or medication management.
Should you have any questions or are ready to start your retirement home search,
Call me on my direct line at (865) 809-9300 and let’s get started!