Our Real Estate Blog
For many homeowners, your most significant financial asset is the home in which you live. Most assume, like previous generations, that their home will play a large part in their retirement plan. What part? That depends. You could sell your home, move into something smaller and use the excess to fund your retirement plans. If your home is paid off, you might plan to live in it until you die. Even if you don't have a plan, everyone has told you that buying a home is a great investment, so it should work out. Right? Not every home is the best bet for your retirement plans. Read to find out how your property stacks up.
Asset or Liability?
Most people think of their home as an asset. It certainly can be, but if you’re planning on selling it to fund your retirement, keep in mind you’ll need somewhere else to live. If you have a free option, like staying with your kids, that’s great! 100% asset. If you’re going to re-invest a portion of it into a new smaller home, then its maybe 50% asset and 50% liability. That number varies depending on just how much you plan to spend, and realistically how much the market will bear.
Equity vs. Home Value
Contrary to popular belief, your investment equity isn’t always the same as the home value. If you share ownership with the bank, your actual investment is the home's current market value less what you owe your lender. With the additional fees and taxes, your take away could be substantially less than you thought. This can hurt you when the market no longer supports your previous home value. If your mortgage is higher than you can sell for, you'll end up just losing money.
Reverse mortgages often are advertised as a way to stay in your house and still have an income during your retirement years. However, much of the time you don't actually receive the entire equity of your home. Lastly, since you're essentially selling your home to your lender, you're giving up ownership of your home. That means your estate and heirs will either have to pay off the mortgage or give up the house. It's always wise to make sure your children or heirs understand that your home is no longer part of their inheritance.
If this is your forever home, location is the prime feature to consider. This is a double-edged sword though. Leave it too late, and you won’t be able to pay off the property in time for retirement, buy it too early, and your needs could change. The younger generations are prime for moving to new cities and even states, so even if they live nearby now, that could quickly change. You should consider how your body will react to severe or inclement weather (and your ability to handle the maintenance) as you get older. You could end up needing to make a last minute sale. If you can afford an investment property, an alternative is to get a vacation home in the area you want to retire. That way, you can sell your current home for the income and move into your paid-off vacation property in your retirement location.
Ask your Realtor about the right homes for both your needs right now and those in the future.
1090 S Franklin St, Holbrook, MA 02343
1090 S Franklin St, Holbrook, MA 02343
If you’re buying a fixer upper, whether you plan to live on the property or flip it, there are plenty of things that you’ll need to consider. So you can budget appropriately, below, many of the costs and fees are laid to so that you can see what you’ll need to budget for when rehabilitating a home.
The Overall Costs
The costs that you’ll incur in buying and finishing a home that needs to be rehabilitated are as follows:
- The team needed for rehabilitation
- The purchase price of the property
- The cost of owning the property
- The cost of selling the property (if you plan on flipping the home)
The people that you put together to rehab your home will be very important to the entire rehabilitation process. You should take the time to research each person that you’re hiring to be sure that they are a good fit for the job.
Professionals who will be involved in the process include:
- Insurance agent
- Home inspector
You can ask your realtor or other trusted contacts for recommendations. Putting a team in place helps to make the entire, sometimes cumbersome process of house rehabilitation a bit smoother.
Buying The Property
These costs are pretty standard as if you were buying any other home. You’ll need to pay closing costs, attorneys fees, realtor fees, and more. Costs typically included in a home purchase are:
- Purchase price
- Closing costs
You should budget for all of these typical home buying costs when buying a rehab home.
The Costs Of Home Rehabilitation
This is where things get expensive. You’ll need to first pay a contractor just to consult with them to see how they will create your vision for the property. You could also take another route an consult with a home inspector who has experience in construction. They can give you an idea of what the construction expense will be and what needs to be addressed.
When you do get to meet with contractors, you’ll want to understand their construction experience and feel comfortable that they can produce the work that you need at a high level of quality.
Owning A Home
Once you have the home in need of rehabilitation in your possession, you’ll need to pay the typical costs of any homeowner. These include:
- Mortgage payments
Even if you’re not currently occupying the home, once the property is purchased, all of these costs will need to be covered and considered.
If you decide to flip the property and sell it, you’ll need to consider additional costs including realtor’s fees and other closing costs.