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5 House Hunting Tips For Seniors In Orlando FL
Seniors looking for a new home in Orlando, Florida, want what all homeowners want: a comfortable house that fits their needs and preferences. But older individuals often have specific concerns, many of which are easily addressed by the variety of available homes in the Orlando area. Check out the five house-hunting tips for seniors below before working with a real estate agent to find your new abode.
1. Find a Budget-Friendly Neighborhood and Home
Like any homeowner, seniors must find a house that fits within their budget, and Orange County, FL, offers some perks that help make this possible. First, you can get a discount or exemption on property taxes in Orlando if you meet certain requirements. Potentially relevant exemptions include:
A $500 widow or widower exemption
A limited income senior exemption
A $500 disability exemption
Orlando has a cost of living index slightly below both national and state averages for all major costs except utilities, making it a budget neutral location for many seniors. However, the health care cost index is much lower, which can make Orlando budget friendly for individuals who spend a large portion of their income on medical needs.
2. Choose a Location That Meets Overall Needs
Orlando is packed with amenities, and seniors may want to choose housing in neighborhoods that speak to their personal preferences and needs. For example, the Fairview Shores, College Park and Lake Eola neighborhoods are all located near Florida Hospital. They also all include green spaces and parks and Lake Eola Heights has several public transportation stops for seniors who no longer wish to drive.
3. Look for Accessibility Options
Accessible housing is as important as an accessible neighborhood. Seniors on the house hunt may want to look for single-story homes with wide halls that can accommodate wheelchairs or walkers now or in the future. And while you can always add safety rails to bathrooms, a home that already includes a walk-in shower means you won't need to spend a lot on safety upgrades if you plan on living independently in the house long term.
Luckily, the climate and landscape of Orlando lends itself well to single-story, ranch-style homes, so with the help of a real estate agent, seniors can find plenty of accessible options.
4. Don't Rule Out Senior Living Communities
Seniors should remember that a traditional stand-alone home isn't their only option. Orlando is home to a number of condo complexes, many of which market to seniors and offer assistance with maintaining the house's exterior and handling weekly chores such as garbage removal. These communities can also provide access to things such as pools, on-site gardens and tennis courts.
And if you want even more assistance or security, a senior living community might be an option. Many top-rated communities found throughout the Orlando metro area offer all the amenities you might want in a condo complex with the added benefit of on-site medical staff and help with mobility and other activities of daily living.
5. Keep Repair and Maintenance Factors in Mind
Finally, no matter what type of home you're looking for as a senior, keep repair and maintenance needs in mind. If you own a property — whether it's a stand-alone home or a condo — you may be responsible for upkeep. Consider your physical capability to do the job yourself and your financial ability to pay someone else to handle it. You may need to incorporate those concerns into your house-hunting budget.
If you're ready to partner with an experienced Orlando real estate agent to begin your senior house hunt, contact us today.
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