Retirement can be tough if you haven’t planned out how you’re going to live in your golden years. If you don’t have an income plan or don’t already own your own home, it can be difficult to know what kind of apartment to look for once you retire. The most important thing you can do is start saving and investing in your retirement as early as possible so that you have time to earn interest on that money before you need it, but even then, choosing the right place to live will require some planning and research.
Finding a Reasonable Price
One of your biggest concerns as a retiree will be how much you’ll spend on rent in retirement. You don’t want to overpay, but you also don’t want to put yourself at financial risk by choosing an apartment with a below-average price point. An easy way to ensure that you find an apartment that strikes a good balance between fair price and quality is to use information found in independent rankings. These rankings can help you make better decisions about apartments for rent without having to do extensive research on your own. For example, if one apartment has great amenities but poor reviews from previous tenants, while another apartment has terrible amenities but great reviews from previous tenants, then it makes sense to choose the first apartment because it offers more value. Rankings can help you cut through these kinds of details and provide an objective analysis of various apartments based on factors like location and price per square foot.
Finding Apartment Amenities You Need
A lot of retirement communities have apartment homes with amenities specifically geared toward seniors. Look for a community that offers options such as elevator access, live-in managers and keyless entry systems. You might also want to consider an apartment complex with extra storage or laundry facilities on-site. For more tips on finding Apartments for rent in San Jose, contact your local senior center.
Finding Apartments Within Walking Distance
Whether you’re in good health or have a disability, it’s important to find an apartment that can be reached easily by foot. It’s also important to make sure there are sidewalks and crosswalks in front of any apartment you consider moving into. If it makes more sense for you, apartments with parking garages (instead of surface lots) will give you more flexibility when driving around town. You may even want to look at apartments that offer free transportation services within a certain radius. That way, if you need groceries from across town or other items from outside your neighborhood, you don’t have to worry about driving yourself.
Checking Availability and Conditions
When you’re looking into apartments in an area, it’s important to take a look at them first before committing. Conditions can vary wildly from one apartment complex to another; some may be built better than others, and prices also vary considerably. While there are plenty of online resources that let you see what different apartments cost in various areas (such as Zillow or Craigslist), it doesn’t hurt to check out apartment buildings personally before signing a lease. If possible, try to visit apartments during off-peak hours so you don’t have to deal with crowds. You should also bring along a notebook with pen and paper—you never know when details about an apartment will come up that could sway your decision either way.
Approaching Landlords or Property Managers Personally
The best way to find an apartment when you’re renting as a senior is to approach landlords or property managers personally. When you go into a rental office, be courteous and professional. If possible, come in with two forms of ID and proof of your income—in addition to your driver’s license, bring along a pay stub from your recent job. This will help prove that you can afford their rent price without putting too much strain on your budget.
Choosing Apartments with Longer Leases
Some older folks would prefer a lease of one or two years, while others like being on month-to-month agreements. A retirement plan should always include having options: choosing an apartment with shorter leases means you can more easily change apartments if your situation changes (like an increase in rent, or decrease in maintenance services), but apartments with longer leases can have lower month-to-month costs (and more stability). Looking at both types of lease when searching for apartments for rent is a good idea.
Deciding Between Rents and Home Buying
With interest rates at historic lows, it might seem like now is a great time to buy a home. However, in most areas of the country, renting remains much cheaper than buying and there are plenty of tax benefits to go with your rental house. If you decide that renting is better for you, try searching on our site to find an apartment near work or school that meets your needs and fits into your budget. Even if you plan to eventually buy a home, renting first can be a smart way to save money for down payment and other expenses. Renting first gives you valuable insight into whether homeownership is right for you and how much house you can afford without going overboard. When ready, rent-to-own homes allow renters who want to own their own property but may not have saved enough money yet to do so.