Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos
So I am due to retire in no more than 5 years and will almost certainly be living in a new home (current home is too big) and almost certainly out of state.
And I'm curious how people handled the transition and why?
1) Did you just wait it out until a few months before the change?
2) Or did you pre-emptively buy before hand?
3) Did you live in the area first and then buy?
I have the cash to buy another home now. My reasoning is that home prices will probably greatly exceed inflation so why wait?
We had just assumed we would have to sell our house in NY first before we could buy one in NH. So for us we thought we would have to retire first and then sell our home. We intended to pay cash as we had not had a mortgage for a very long time and wanted it to stay that way going into older age. (we were already in our 60's)
After I left my job, I set up for us to meet with a fee only financial advisor. He needed some estimates on what housing could cost us in NH. So I looked a lot on line and gave him some figures and he then told me what amount we could reasonably afford when my husband retired, which at the time we thought would be in about 2-3 years or so when I would be 65 and could go on Medicare. (I was on his employer health insurance and I am 2 years younger then he is).
We took a ride up to NH to look at some housing, including the community where we now live. On the way home we were kind of bummed because we thought we could not buy the house and there were only like 10 lots left. We figured they would be all sold way before we could buy and it would be almost impossible to find anything else like it in NH, and something affordable.
But- a week later- at the urging of some people on another forum I belong to, I called our Financial Advisor to tell him about the house. He told me to go ahead and do it! He said not to worry about selling our home first- that it would eventually sell- and we could manage everything in the meantime and he would help us with the particulars.
In addition, my husband was getting weary of working and wanted to retire sooner rather than later. The Financial Advisor told him he could- actually he could have even sooner than he eventually did- which was just 4 months shy of his 66th birthday. And it just so happened to fall on the closing date of our new house!
It helped that the house being new construction was going to take awhile to build. And we had a lot of cash reserves for the deposit and for the "extras" being put into the home as it was being built.
Our former house was put on the market the same day we drove back up to NH to sign the papers for the new house. We had a buyer the very next day! We closed on our former home on Sept. 30 and ironically we moved into our home buyer's former house as renters, as they moved into our former home as owners! Having renters enabled our home's buyers to get their mortgage without having to wait to sell THEIR house to buy ours!
BTW- I went on COBRA for 2 months, but our financial advisor urged me to do an ACA plan since we have no pensions and not collecting SS and mostly using cash to live on, so income very low. Best thing I ever did in regards to health insurance. Went from $500 per month premium to a $34 per month premium.
*We had vacationed in New Hampshire several times in the past plus have a timeshare here, so we were familiar with it. Plus our only child lives in the state. But as I mentioned in another thread of yours, the lifestyle in the community we are in is a lot different from where we used to live.
I am glad we didn't wait to do the whole thing- quit my job at 62 (3 years earlier than I planned), sell our home in NY, buy the NH house, hubby retire later on, etc., as a month after we moved COVID hit.
One thing I will say is doing a new construction home is difficult when you live 6 hours away and one of you is working. We could not make weekly routine checks on the construction progress and had to rely on the realtor to keep us in the loop and send photos. Not ideal to say the least. Most of it fell on me since I was home. But I was also emptying the house out (we got rid of A LOT- and I mean A LOT), packing, finances, dealing with the realtors on both ends, dealing with movers- remember- we had to move twice!, making all the necessary changes of addresses and accounts like with the utilities, for example. Can you say STRESSFUL? I told my husband even if we hate it we are never moving again! LOL! Of course, we do not hate it at all. There are things we like and things we don't. But that's life. Nothing is perfect.
Sure- if we would have waited we would have gotten like $100,000 more for our NY house. But then we would have never been able to afford anything here that we would have wanted.
And one more thing: for years we analyzed where to retire to. We wanted it to be Vermont badly, but taxes on SS and the political environment there turned us off to it, though my heart is still there for so many other reasons. We vacationed there every year for 22 years. Always felt like home- but we were on vacation, so...
We even thought about Nevada or Idaho or Colorado. Yeah- we did consider Florida or Tennessee or NC or SC as well.DE and PA. We were open to a lot of places.
But NH fit the bill overall for our priorities. Familiarity, our son living here, the low taxes overall, a political group we aligned with, good freedom index, closeness to Vermont, the landscape.
And that day, finding this house sealed the decision for us.