Now that you’ve reached your retirement years, it’s time to focus on enjoying the kind of lifestyle you’ve worked hard to achieve. If you’re like most seniors, chances are good you don’t want to spend your days worrying about maintaining your home, dealing with frigid temperatures or staying stuck inside because you don’t want to slip on icy, snow-covered sidewalks.
As a licensed Realtor here in sunny Phoenix, I’ve had the privilege of working with many retirees who are attracted to all the amenities, senior-friendly services and unbeatable climate here. I understand the unique needs and preferences of both older home buyers and their family members, and I know the type of property that’s great for first-time buyers may not be the best choice for retirees who are looking to downsize, relax and enjoy a safe, well-appointed home.
1. Housing Prices in Phoenix
Affordable housing is one of the big reasons why seniors aged 65 and better make up close to 10 percent of the population of Phoenix. As of mid-2018, the median home value in Phoenix was $232,700, and the median asking price per square foot was $167 — costs that are significantly lower than many other places that are popular among senior home buyers.
In fact, housing prices in Phoenix are right on par with the national average, and the property tax rates are relatively low. Currently, Maricopa County collects 0.59 percent of a home’s assessed fair market value in property tax, so if your home is assessed at $238,600, you can expect to pay about $1,418 in taxes.
2. Find a Home That Suits Your Needs and Abilities
Retirement is all about leaving the hard work to someone else. That’s why I always encourage elder home buyers to look at properties that require very little maintenance and can accommodate people who may have difficulty with mobility. This means homes and apartments that are designed for one-level living, with all the amenities and rooms located on the same floor so you don’t need to worry about carrying your laundry downstairs or tripping on the way to the bathroom at night.
It’s also a good idea to look for a newer property since new homes tend to require less upkeep and come equipped with the latest in energy-efficient HVAC systems. You also may want to be a part of a 55+ community where you can make new friends, participate in community events and enjoy the company of like-minded neighbors.
3. Consider Transportation Options
Another reason why many seniors are attracted to Phoenix is the accessible public transportation system, which includes barrier-free buses, streetcars and a modern light rail line that make getting around with mobility devices simple and affordable. Seniors aged 65 and older pay a reduced fare, and people who are ADA-eligible can apply for a free ADA Platinum Pass for unlimited use on the entire Valley Metro system. If you’re no longer driving but still need to get around, buying a home in close proximity to public transportation is a must.
4. Proximity to Top-Tier Health Care
There are plenty of health care options for seniors in Phoenix, including the Mayo Clinic’s Campus in Arizona and the highly-rated OASIS Hospital. There are also multiple specialty outpatient clinics located in the city such as the Arizona Heart Institute and the Barrow Neurological Institute.
Access to additional services is always a concern among seniors, and here in Phoenix, there are plenty of resources available for adults who need extra help with daily living activities. You’ll find various assisted living facilities within the city as well as other senior living options in the surrounding area, so if your needs change over time, you can rest assured there are a number of high-quality options available to you and your family.