A Guide to Purchasing a Second Home for Retirees


Finally, retirement. After years of working, you can finally sit back and relax. But where, exactly, are you going to be doing that relaxing? For most, if your family lives close by, you won’t want to move away from them permanently. However, who doesn’t want to retire to the beach or mountains, sipping warm coffee with the sounds of nature all around you? Retiring to a beautiful location seems to be a common theme. However, making that dream a reality can be complicated. Picking, finding, and buying a vacation home can be complex.


Paying for it


Before you even consider where to get your second home, you need to consider whether you can afford to get one in the first place. While buying a home might seem simple if you have the retirement money saved up, you should ensure that such a big purchase won’t make it difficult to meet your other financial goals. It might not be easy to travel if you’ve spent too much on your second home. If you don’t have the saving money available though, you might find financing it somewhat difficult. While lenders can’t reject you because of your age, they can reject you if you don’t have enough income. Since you’re retired, this can be difficult.


One option that can help you afford an additional mortgage payment is to rent out the home when you aren’t using it. Of course, to get top dollar, you’ll likely have to make some updates to make your property more attractive to renters. Save money on this part of the process by hiring a trustworthy local contractor. While it may seem cheaper to do the work yourself, a contractor can actually save you money thanks to their relationships with suppliers and the ability to complete the project without costly mistakes.


Maintaining It


Houses regularly require maintenance no matter where they are located. Yards need to be kept, floors need to be swept, and gutters need to be cleaned. If your vacation home is located hours away, you will probably not be able to do this upkeep yourself. This means you will most likely have to pay someone to do it, which can be a hefty expense on top of owning the home. According to the New York Times, some of these companies will even stock the fridge, turn on the heat, and warm up the hot tub for you -- at an extra cost, of course.


Will You Use It


Of course, you might imagine spending every winter down south, but as the years go on, you may discover that it is actually pretty common to get tired of going on the same vacation over and over again. Instead, you might want to consider traveling to a variety of places, as opposed to purchasing a permanent vacation home. Take your vision for the next couple of decades and carefully consider what option fits you more.




Insurance is extremely important when it comes to a second home, especially when you’re retired. However, insurance rates can be expensive if not approached correctly. If insurance looks like it is going to be out of the budget, consider raising your deductible. While this means you’ll have to pay more if something does happen, it should lower your monthly payment considerably. You could also look into getting a multi-policy deal, adding new safety features to the home, and raising your credit score.


Purchasing a second home after retirement can be exciting, but there is a lot you need to consider before you make the leap. You should carefully consider whether you can actually afford a home and if purchasing one is even what you really want to do in the first place.


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