Resources for Seniors in Home Buying
Trying to buy a home can be challenging. The more you narrow down your search, the trickier it becomes. Fortunately, being a senior opens the doors to several resources to help you purchase a home.
Seniors Real Estate Specialists – Seniors Real Estate Specialists, or SRES, are designated Realtors qualified to address the specific needs of seniors age 55 and better who are looking to buy or sell a home. An SRES earns their designation by proving their expertise in their ability to counsel and assist seniors through the homebuyers’ major lifestyle changes during the relocation process as well as guiding them through the financial aspects of buying and selling a home. They can direct you to a 55 plus community that fits your needs and style of living.
Mortgages – If you’ve bought any Texas real estate before, you likely know that there are quite a few mortgage options available to help you finance the purchase of your new home, as well as programs to assist you with down payments and various types of loans. In addition to the variety of standard mortgages, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or reverse mortgage, is a mortgage option for seniors age 62 and better and turns your equity into cash for you to use to pay off debts or put down money on a new home. However, because reverse mortgages take equity away from your current home, they can be tricky to navigate and are often best for the short-term. A financial advisor can counsel you and help you decide if a reverse mortgage is something you should try. There are also many loans available for you or your spouse if either one of you is a veteran. If you’ve never owned a home before and are purchasing a dwelling in a retirement community for the first time, you may be eligible for first-time homebuyer grants.
Veteran Benefits – If you or your spouse served in the armed forces, you’re eligible for many different kinds of benefits and assistance in Texas. You could receive grants, fixed-rate mortgage financing, mortgage credit certificates, down payment assistance, and special loans that can assist veterans with buying, repairing, retaining, building, or adapting a home to better suit their needs.
Websites – The internet provides a plethora of information. A quick online search can help you find many web pages with information, tips, and tricks for senior home-buying. Just be cautious: If a website seems to be trying to sell you something, they probably are. Their information might be good, but they also might be deceptively telling you what you want to hear. Take everything with a grain of salt, and try to stick with the information available from reputable organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or AARP. You can also contact Kissing Tree to discuss your future in our active adult community.
Whatever options you decide to try, make sure to use caution and seek expert counsel. There are many predators who target seniors for their money. If it sounds too good to be true, it often is.