Top Tips for House Hunting in Salt Lake City Looking for a new home for your retirement?
You should know that Salt Lake City, UT counts itself among U.S. News’ list of top places to retire in America. This city is not to be overlooked.
Retirees who love the outdoors will appreciate the city’s 900-plus acres of public parks, including Liberty Park, Sugar House Park and This is the Place Heritage Park. For those who love cultural experiences, museums such as the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, performing arts venues such as the Vivint Smart Home Arena, and attractions such as the Hogle Zoo offer an array of options.
First thing’s first, though - you need to start your house hunting journey to find your perfect home in Salt Lake City. Here are some tips to help guide you during the process:
1. Get Your Retirement Budget in Order
If you’re like many rising retirees, budget is a top-of-mind concern. The good news is that Salt Lake City is one of the more affordable places to live in the U.S. The cost of living is inexpensive when compared with other major metropolitan areas.
There are a few steps you can take in order to have a full understanding of your budget and what you can truly expect to afford in retirement. First, comb through your current expenses and determine how much you spend each month. Consider how much is spent monthly on food, utilities, healthcare, house maintenance, and homeownership costs. Once you have a good understanding of how much it costs to live on your own, you will have a more comprehensive understanding of the costs you will incur monthly during your retirement.
Other steps you can take to get a clearer picture of your long term finances include:
- Evaluating your eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid for your present or future health expenses.
- Checking in on your 401k or other retirement plans to calculate your expected monthly income after you’ve stopped working.
- Review the property tax situation and other cost of living nuances applicable for Salt Lake City.
It’s important to know that Utah is one of just a handful of states that taxes retirement benefits. Social security income and other types of retirement income, including pension income, are subject to the states 5% flat income tax, though seniors can claim a small credit against those taxes. Despite this, property taxes and sales taxes in Utah are fairly low. The average effective property tax rate is 0.67%. Additionally, Utah has no estate or inheritance tax.
2. Think About What You’ll Need to Age in Place
The reality of retirement that seniors need to keep in mind as they search for a new home is that housing and living needs will likely shift as they continue to age. Over time, you may require different living arrangements to accommodate for changing health and mobility needs.
The most effective way to ensure comfortable aging in place is to work with your realtor and target the amenities you’ll need in your home based on changing health or mobility needs. Focusing on one-story homes, for example, can help you avoid having to climb stairs to get to your bedroom. Other amenities like wide hallways, no-step entryways, and shower grab bars can also help ensure your home will remain appropriate for you in years to come.
3. Consider Other Senior Living Options in Salt Lake City
If you want to stay independent during retirement, but would rather not shoulder the responsibility of managing an entire house, an active adult living community could be the right option for you. These “55-plus” communities offer many amenities - including pools, fitness centers, and transportation options. Living in a retirement community usually requires payment of extra fees, so be sure to discuss these fees with your real estate agent prior to deciding on any given community.
If your needs go beyond just needing assistance with home maintenance, you may want to consider moving into a senior living facility. In Salt Lake City, there are many highly rated communities in the immediate metropolitan area and more nearby. These facilities are ideal for retirees who may need help with activities of daily living - such as bathing, managing their medications or getting around their living space safely.
4. Find a Reliable Realtor to Work With
As you’re searching for the perfect home for our retirement in Salt Lake City, it is highly important to work with a reliable realtor. Ask any realtors you’re thinking of hiring about their experience or any formal training they’ve received in helping senior homebuyers in the 50-plus age range. You should also make sure you feel comfortable enough with them to have transparent conversations about what you’re looking for in a new home, including budget and timeline.
If you’re ready to get started on your house hunting journey, call Kathy Vallee at Park City Homes and Land with Coldwell Banker today for a consultation! Our respect for your privacy and preferences, partnered with our distinct experience, enables us to provide you with the highest degree of competency possible. We believe it is important that you have a full perspective of the process. We are looking forward to working with you and helping you find your dream home for retirement!
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