Tips for Buying a Home in a 55+ Community
Assuming you already know the 55+ community you are interested in, just looking within the community itself, here are some questions to explore when buying a home:
55 + Home Buying Tips
1. Find out about the monthly homeowner's association fee; what does it cover, how much is it and when is it expected to go up. If the community is older, find out if any special assessments are coming up or expected.
2. Get a copy of the homeowner association documents. Before you buy, review the rules of the association. Find out the rule for any areas of special interest to you, like pets, additions like building a patio or fence, visitors, children, leasing your property, etc.
3. Find out about the amenities. Remember in this economy many clubhouses and other amenities that were planned will not get build for some time, if ever.
4. Find out about activities offered. How often, what types, any extra fees?
5. Look at resales, not just brand new properties. Maybe you can get a deal on a resale that has been upgraded substantially. Preview listings with a resale real estate agent and ask questions about the property and the community as well.
6. Talk with the current owners/residents to see how happy they are living in the community and how happy you will be living with them. Are they your age? People love to talk, so ask questions.
7. Find out about the cost of utilities and any related cost of ownership.
8. Find out the cost of any upgrades, which appliances, counter tops, floor coverings, etc come with the property.
9. For newer communities, how strong is the builder and/or developer of the community? Is the community just getting started and right after you buy if goes in to foreclosure, will the community be a ghost town? There is less risk in a community that is further along in its development.
10. Remember buyer's agents also handle 55+ homes.
I hope these questions will help in your search process.