In search for cheap housing, many factors should be taken into account when looking for one suitable for your retirement.
It will help if you make a list of what your priorities are. What is most important to you, besides affordable housing? Do you want hot weather? Do you need to be close to your family?
Perhaps you want a quiet rural setting, or would rather live within a busy city environment. Take into account senior care services whether you have any health issues that will affect your choice.
Some seniors are opting for unfurnished housing. Choosing this option can cut housing costs considerably. When it comes time to actually furnish the apartment, visit any number of local thrift stores and see what their appliance and furniture inventory consists of. You may get lucky and happen across a relatively new refrigerator that has been abandoned due to a defective part. A bit of knowledge in appliance repair, as well as a spare part or two, and you will have a more-than-decent refrigerator (or any appliance for that matter). The same can be said for furniture. A few nails and upholstery tacks and that once “damaged” couch will be good as new.
While luxurious retirement communities were once the first choice for seniors, the poor state of the US economy has signaled a shift in priorities for retirees and many people are opting for small towns and cities instead of expensive planned retirement communities.
In 2009, US News & World Report magazine listed the ten most affordable US cities to retire in. These included Ann Arbor, Michigan and Jacksonville, Florida. Looking at these cities gives an idea of some of the qualities an ideal retirement spot should have.
Ann Arbor is a vibrant college town with plenty to do; perfect for an active retiree who wants to participate in local events and become part of the community. Dozens of concerts, art fairs, educational courses and sports events run all year long–many of which are free for seniors.
Other freebies are free bus travel and discounted taxi rides for seniors. Ann Arbor offers reasonably low cost housing options while still enjoying a steady local economy.
Many retirees look at Florida for their move, lured by the great weather conditions. Jacksonville offers cheap housing compared with the rest of the state; the average house price is $150,500, compared to $275,900 in Fort Lauderdale and $291,550 in Miami. This may be due to the fact that Jacksonville has always remained less of a vacation destination than the more southern cities.
Nonetheless it has a great social scene. Many people love Jacksonville because it is a city that feels more like a small town, with a real community feel.
In general, cheap houses for retirees will be more available in parts of the country that do not attract a large number of tourists. Look just outside these vacation hot spots and you will see that housing prices drop–in some cases quite substantially.
Make sure you consider all your requirements, however, and don’t just focus on low cost housing. You want to enjoy your retirement and that is about more than just saving money.
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