Buying a retirement property, much like your average suburban home, should coincide with a distinct set of criteria, not the least of which is price. If for nothing else, one should aim to receive the best deal they can on the home they choose to settle down in. It’s also worth noting that, as someone on the verge of retirement, you must account for a fixed-income. Most people will want their nest egg to take them as far as it can, and the best way to do that is to buy a home within your budget. But where can those intent on buying a retirement property find the best deals? The answer is simple: Florida. The Sunshine State is far and away the best option for those looking to buy the home they intend to retire in.
Not unlike your typical homebuyer, the prospect of buying a house is accompanied by a distinct set of criteria. Any smart buyer should have a predetermined set of amenities and features they covet over those that are otherwise unnecessary. However, it’s safe to assume said criteria is contingent on where the respective buyer is at in their particular life. Not surprisingly, the criteria for a millennial homebuyer varies drastically from that of a retiree. If for nothing else, the amenities that accompany a home are much more divisive when viewed from two completely different ends of the spectrum. What one demographic may find appealing, the other may disdain.
For instance, studies have shown that millennials tend to favor metropolitan areas with strong “walkability” scores over traditional suburban neighborhoods. As one approaches retirement, however, the same amenities coveted by millennials — such as commute, employment opportunities, or even a close proximity to schools for their children — are rendered moot in the face of an aging population. What may have been relevant in years past has essentially been replaced by an entirely new set of criteria that is more accommodating to an older generation. That said, there are cities that inherently cater to those on the verge of retirement, and their respective housing situations are no exception.
With that in mind, anyone thinking about buying a retirement property should place an emphasis on those areas that cater to their needs the most, which begs the question: which cities should those on the verge of retirement prioritize in their home search? For starters, those on a fixed-income should consider more budget friendly options for their particular situation.
In a study released earlier this year, Trulia “ran the numbers for the 100 U.S. cities with the largest share of residents aged 65 and older.” The study found that it was cheaper to buy than rent in every single city observed. Of particular importance, however, was the region in which the top ten cheapest cities to buy a retirement home resided in: the Sunshine State. Not surprisingly, Florida is home to the 10 cheapest cities for retirees to buy a house than rent. Those looking into buying a retirement property, provided they value a bargain, are advised to at least consider Florida.
If you have prioritized buying a retirement property over renting one, it’s safe to assume you have done your homework, as buying remains cheaper than renting on a national level. While there are exceptions, buying is 34.8 percent cheaper than renting. It’s worth noting, however, that 34.8 percent represents the national average. There are actually cities that coincide with a much more significant discount for those looking to retire; that is if you know where to look. The following represents the three cheapest cities to buy a retirement home than rent one:
1. The Villages, FL: Located to the northwest of Orlando, The Villages boasted a median home value of $250,019 earlier this year — enough to land the city the top spot on our list. While The Villages isn’t the cheapest location for buying a retirement property, it represents the best bargain when compared to local rental rates. In fact, with the median rental rate topping out at $3,100 in March, it’s approximately 71.6 percent cheaper to buy in The Villages than it is to rent.
2. Naples, FL: Coming in at second on our list, Naples boasts a median home value of $325,803. While considerably more than the average home in The Villages, it’s about $100 less a month to rent in Naples, making it 69.4 percent cheaper to buy a retirement property than to rent.
3. Venice, FL: Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Venice has become a proverbial hotbed for retirement activity. With a median home value of $227,508 as recently as March, it’s cheaper for retirees to buy than rent. In fact, with an average rental rate of $2,200, it’s 66.5 percent cheaper to buy in Venice than to rent.
It’s worth noting that Florida isn’t the only state in which retirees find favorable housing conditions. “Those looking for a drier heat to retire in have options: another four are either in Arizona or Southern California, and in each one of those markets the cost of buying is between 38% and 55.9% cheaper than renting,” according to Trulia.
Above all else, buying a retirement property should coincide with what you need the most. It just so happens that most of those buyers on the verge of retirement tend to favor a deal, as the money they depend on is more limited than when they were working. That said, if you are interested in buying a retirement property, you may want to consider Florida.