Next month my mom will be moving into her new home, her first “active adult community.” We’ve been having so much fun joking about this time in her life during our phone conversations, but kidding aside the search for her new community showed us ways in which some places stood out from others. Here are three questions we developed to help narrow the search for the place she would call home during her retirement years.
Location. Of course this tops the list of priorities when looking for a new home at any age. But one thing that was important to my mom and probably to most of her fellow baby boomers is proximity to daily conveniences. Not having to drive everywhere is a huge bonus, plus she’s lessening her carbon footprint by walking. When considering your next move ask: How far is the grocery store and do my other choices offer a closer option?
Energy Efficiency. My mom is on a budget, like most retirees, so the cost to power up her new home is another top priority. Things like the age and energy efficiency of the appliances, the age of the windows and type of insulation used in the home help to determine how much or little a monthly power bill will cost. When looking at your options, ask your Realtor: What is the monthly power bill for this home?
Shared Amenities. Having a smaller yard is both a benefit and a curse. It still means all your lawn equipment must make the move, too. Or that you have to have the added expense of a lawn service company to maintain the grass. However, in some communities lawn maintenance and other services are covered, or access to shared equipment is provided. Make sure to inquire about amenities such as a community garden, equipment access or shuttle/transportation, all of which when shared by the community helps the environment.