Active Adult Communities

Choosing a Landlord Over a Lender

July 31, 2020 • Fenny Peiffer

house for rent

Owning a home has been the gold standard when it comes to defining stability, and financial success, however for baby boomers, and retirees, renting has become the growing trend for practicality, and affordability. By 2030, one out of every five Americans will be 65 or older according to the Federal Administration on Aging, and this means making some decisions on how to retire, and where. From being closer to family, or having a vacation home, to shopping around for a retirement destination, renting provides options not available to home buyers such as a short term lease agreement. If you’re desiring the amenities many 55+, and active adult living communities provide but want to forego a mortgage check, some of the best active retirement communities provide options to rent or are exclusively rental based. Renting isn’t just for fresh-faced millennials anymore, with the demand for homes being driven by the baby boomer generation.

Greater Flexibility
Buying a home means you’re probably sticking around for a while. A sudden job change, or choosing to move closer to the grandkids isn’t as easy when you’re faced with selling your home or going through the buying process. If you’re trying to decide whether to rent or buy, ask yourself where you’d like to be in a couple of years? Snowbirds in particular may find renting a great option because they can entertain their love of traveling while having the flexibility to change destinations. Snowbird vacation rentals such as Anasazi Village on Stonecreek Golf Course offer resort-style condos for retirement in Arizona with options for winter and monthly rentals. If your ultimate goal is to buy a home, but you’re not quite sure where to plant your retirement roots, renting is a great way to “try before you buy.”

Types of Rental Options
According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the demographic taking the rental market by a storm is between 50-75. Many are empty nesters that no longer need or desire a large house, and who would prefer a lower-maintenance lifestyle. Retirement communities are a fantastic way to go, however, supply and demand often make finding a home difficult. The majority of over 55 and active lifestyle communities are owner-occupied, with some having a lease to own option. These homes are typically rented out on a long term lease basis (6-12 months), with limited options for a month to month, or a weekend getaway. Exclusive senior rental communities such as Bella Terra Luxury Apartments in Henderson, Nevada offer resort-style amenities and services paired with the convenience of being a tenant. Many baby boomers are still in the workforce, and short term lease options (3 months or less) are great for those needing a temporary home for out of town business purposes. The added bonus of being a boomer or retiree in this market is a property manager would much prefer renting to you versus a group of college guys, because they know the home will be maintained and cared for. Keep in mind renting typically has restrictions on pets or home improvements, so it’s a good idea to find an agent familiar with the active adult living communities in your area to help you find the home that best meets your needs.

Financial Perks of Renting
A mortgage loan is a potential 30-year commitment that some may not want to deal with later in life. If you’ve found yourself free of debt, it stands to reason you wouldn’t want to add this to your clean slate. There is less concern for the unexpected when you’re a tenant rather than a homeowner. When the roof needs replacing or you’re blindsided by a major plumbing repair, there is peace of mind knowing you can call the property owner to cover the repairs. Many living on social security, or pension income don’t have the financial cushion to face exorbitant fix-it bills, particularly singles juggling life on one source of income. Senior living rental communities and some with options to rent provide exterior home maintenance, as well as any necessary repairs within the home. One caveat to renting is taking into account the potential rent increase and the cost of renters insurance. Many insurance companies offer a discount when renters insurance is purchased with an existing auto policy.

Location Location
You want to be in the heart of where the action is but buying a home in your dream town is out of the question. Cities like New York, or Miami are exciting, and ideal spots for entertainment, amenities, and more, but real estate prices can be off the charts with limited availability. Retirement rentals are the perfect way to take advantage of what these destinations have to offer when purchasing isn’t an option. Retirees seeking a weekend getaway may find that a timeshare rental, or over 55 apartment community is a good choice for a home away from home.

Consider a Roommate
The Golden Girls had the right idea to pool together and share living expenses. Baby boomer singles may find it’s more affordable to split the rent between one another especially if they’re seeking a pricier home in a highly desirable active adult living community. Aside from the money-saving aspect of living with friends, it offers a sense of security having others looking out for you. With many senior living communities offering a wide array of amenities, having friends to enjoy them with makes it that much more fun!

According to Property Management Insider, 60% of the renter population is 55 and older. Apartment communities are seeing a growth in the number of baby boomers, and retirees choosing to go the rental route. Other housing options include single-family, and manufactured homes depending on the development. Whether you’re a weekender, a snowbird, or are just looking for more flexibility during your retirement years, renting is the perfect way to go. Do your research to find the active lifestyle community that offers the amenities and lease option that’s right for you.

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