Lately, when it comes to residential real estate, it’s a seller’s market – so if you’re a Medicare beneficiary with an upcoming retirement date, you’re likely wondering how you can best seize this opportunity. Would selling your residence of the past few decades be the wisest decision to supplement your 401(k), or should you wait it out? Below, we’ll discuss how the current real estate market affects Medicare beneficiaries during retirement.
Medicare Beneficiary Real Estate Trends for 2023
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, mortgage rates have fallen significantly. This trend, predictably, spurred homebuying demand. As a result, listing prices are up, and the number of days houses spend on the market is down.
The public health crisis has also caused occupancy in senior housing to reach historic lows. Medicare beneficiaries tend to suffer the most serious, adverse effects of the virus. Thus, the ability to distance from other residents is a must-have on many Medicare-eligible retirees’ lists.
So, more seniors are choosing to live independently or move in with family. Indeed, both these scenarios further add to demand.
Homeowners over 65 and approaching retirement may consider selling their empty nest of a dwelling and downsizing. After all, doesn’t it seem like the time is right? Still, many are torn between listing as soon as possible or waiting for a further upswing.
Should I Sell My Home When I Retire?
Whether it’s wise to sell your home around the time you retire – or anytime soon – depends on multiple factors. Firstly, as anyone familiar with real estate knows: location, location, location. Think about both where you currently live and where you’d like to move.
What’s the average sale price in each place? The average number of days listings stay on the market?
It’s true that this market may be great for selling your home quickly and for a higher price. But keep in mind that it is a national trend. So, the market will likely also be kind to the previous owners of your new home.
From here, consider whether the move would allow you to tuck away a sufficient profit post-sale. Compared to previous years, mortgage rates may make you feel like you’re getting a bargain. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re truly saving money. For instance, if you’ve already paid off your mortgage for your current home, a new mortgage – plus the stress of the move – might not be worth it to you.
Further, you could begin to feel the pressure before it’s time to move. The short listing durations and low inventory may cause you to rush. Ultimately, you could feel like you’re settling for a home that doesn’t meet your expectations.
If you have a home to sell and are considering renting your next residence – at least until the market is more beneficial for buyers – you might benefit financially from making the sale. Selling in this market also may be the best option for those who are low on retirement savings and plan to downsize to a location with a much lower cost of living.
Moving can be expensive and exhausting so, like with all major life decisions – including Medicare coverage – consider your health and budget.
Which States Freeze Property Taxes for Seniors?
If you’re planning to purchase a new home when you retire but have concerns about property taxes, a handful of states offer property tax freezes for people over 65. Meaning, they prohibit an increase in the property tax for those eligible.
New Jersey is the only state with a statewide requirement to reimburse seniors and disabled individuals for property tax – although there is an income limit for eligibility that is subject to increase each year.
Other types of property tax freezes are available for eligible seniors through local governments in Connecticut (for those 70 and older), Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Texas. Similarly, certain Tennessee counties and municipalities offer a property tax freeze for which eligible individuals must apply annually.