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Making a Mid-Life Home Purchase? Consider These Five Options


The days of buying a house and settling down for the rest of your life in one spot are stuck firmly in the past. Much like the PDA or floppy disk in the tech world, there’s just so many better options sitting in front of you when it comes to a mid-life home purchase to be tethered to one place forever.

Sometimes you just need to make a change. Whether it’s moving to a new city after retiring or looking to start fresh with something a little smaller and more manageable, your options regarding the next house you call a home are virtually endless. If you want to make a smart choice and pick the right living space, it’s time to buckle down and get to know some of the less conventional – but just as worthy – real estate options.

Most people describe making a big move, whether across town or across the country, with one simple word; nightmare. Sure, there’s plenty of work that goes into the process, as well as the potential for problems like lost or broken possessions along the way, but that doesn’t mean the every step of the way during your next big move has to be a fiasco.

In fact, when it comes to actually landing at the right destination, there’s never been a better time than now try something that breaks the mold and leaves the traditional white picket fence and two-story home in the rearview mirror. To help you find the option that matches up best with your needs, let’s break down every mid-life home purchase option – from condominiums to penthouses – with the help of some industry experts and figure out what fits your lifestyle best going forward.

The Allure of a Condominium

As the experts at the Financial Web point out, owning a condominium is all about fiscal flexibility. Because you only own your unit and not the land attached to the building itself, condos generally come with lower down payments and an owner’s association that provides amenities and benefits to those who “join the club.” Obviously, your mileage may vary, but depending on the location, switching to a condo can even help lower your maintenance and utility bills by a considerable amount when compared to a standard house.

While there’s definitely an upfront investment that comes with owning one of these homes, a condo is an asset that can appreciate greatly in value over time. If your owner’s association helps push for greater civic growth and development in the area, getting in on the figurative ground floor and purchasing early could be the most lucrative financial move you ever make.

Taking a Break with a Secluded Cabin

If leaving city life behind is more what you’re looking for at this stage in your life, then going the route of the cabin could be right for you. As the Log and Timber Homes Council, a subsection of the National Association of Home Builders, explains in its look at the benefits of cabin living, going with the more rustic feel of a cabin home comes with plenty of benefits that transcend the appeal of simply using this kind of property as a vacation home.

First off, a log-based home is not only easier to keep warm in the winter months thanks to the increased thermal mass of wood-based construction material, but it can also be up to 30 percent more energy efficient than traditional sheetrock offerings at any point in the year. Essentially, even if you’re not looking for a secluded spot deep in the wilderness, living a little closer to nature via a traditional cabin can help ease the burden of utility bills on your bank account. If you’re saving up for retirement, chances are that kind of outlook is music to your ears.

Kicking Back in a Townhouse of Your Own

Much like its cousin the condominium, a townhouse trades in the larger scale of a normal home for something smaller and more manageable. The big difference here is that you often own the home and the land instead of joining an owner’s association. In some cases, you’ll have the option to join a homeowner’s association, just like with a normal subdivision, but it’s far from the industry norm.

In return for buying in on a townhouse, Anna Assad of the news site the Global Post points out that townhome living keeps your landscaping and maintenance costs down, just like a condominium, but also helps ensure that you have the privacy that comes with owning a own standalone home. You’ll still have some number of neighbors, but generally far less than what you’d expect in a standard apartment building.

Living the Penthouse High Life

Of course, if you’re in love with the city, nothing compares with living the good life on the top floor in a penthouse. In its look at the virtues of big city living, Yahoo! Finance of India notes that moving into a penthouse has certain benefits that other ways of living simple can’t keep up with.

For instance, there’s no view quite like the top floor looking down on your favorite city – and with a penthouse you have it all to yourself. Just like most other apartment complexes, you’ll be afforded certain amenities. Depending on your complex, these perks can go above and beyond the standard free gym equipment and access to laundry facilities in a big way. Private library and cinema access, as well as exclusive elevators and lifts that take you to the top floor are just a few of the added bonuses for penthouse VIPs.

Keeping Things Simple with a Studio Apartment

Finally, if you’re not looking to break the bank with your mid-life home purchase, there’s nothing wrong with checking out a studio apartment. As Jen Doll of The Wire explains, for those who are looking to have a simple home space that require little in the way of long term investment, few options beat a one-person studio.

Sure, it might not be as big as a penthouse, but the obvious financial savings that come with this kind of personalized living space, along with the ability to cut down on your maintenance and upkeep, make this selection the perfect choice for the person that wants a more active and outgoing mid-life experience – and not one that’s weighed down by taking care of a large home day and night.

Regardless of what your next home purchase is, at least now you’ll have all the info on hand that you never thought of the first time you bought a home. Whether you end up living the big life in a penthouse, or settle down in a quite cabin by the lake, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that the place you call home fits your lifestyle and goals perfectly as you transition to the next phase of your life.