Pros and Cons of Buying a House When You’re Older

With age can come wisdom, insight and a growing ability to trust your instincts. After you reach your middle age years, you might have learned to stop second guessing your own inner wisdom. You also might have learned how to spot a real benefit from a fake advantage. But, it’s the way you learn to manage money as you age that could make waiting to buy a house a good choice.

Knowing when it’s the right time to buy a house

Even if you put a sizable down payment on a new house, it may take you two to three decades to pay off a mortgage. That’s a lot of time whether you’re just starting out and buying your first house in your early 20s or if you’re a seasoned worker who’s buying her first house in her mid-50s. Factor in rising interests rates,property taxes and inflation, and the costs of a mortgage could feel like too much the older you become.

You might feel like you simply won’t have enough time to afford a house. You might feel like you’ll always be paying the bank a monthly mortgage installment, reducing the chance that you can will your children your house without leaving them in debt.

These are just some of the concerns that buying a house later in life can raise. On the other hand, if you’ve practiced smart money management skills for years,waiting until you’re older to buy a house could help you to secure the best mortgage deal. You may also know exactly what to look for in a good home insurance policy. Choosing the best neighborhood could almost seem natural for you because you’ve had years of experience living in different types of communities.

Pros of waiting to buy a house

Ultimately, the choice on when to buy a house comes down to several factors, each which can impact your life for many years. Included among these factors are:

  • Existing debt – If you’re managed your finances well, by the time you reach your mid-40s or mid-50s, you might have paid off any student loans that you incurred. Other debts that you may have paid off include your auto, furniture and clothing expenses. This could give you more room to take on a mortgage without feeling financially cramped.
  • Happiness – Over time, you could also learn that material items won’t provide you lasting happiness. You could use this knowledge to avoid binge spending and buying products to try to boost your mood or strengthen your ego.
  • Children – If you have children, they may be grown or almost ready to leave the nest. Buying a house in your middle years could eliminate the need to take on a huge mortgage. Instead, you could purchase a house that’s large enough for you and your spouse with a spare bedroom for when your adult children visit.
  • DIY Skills – You may have developed solid DIY skills that can lower the times that you need to pay a contractor to repair a leak, the roof or an appliance at your new house.

Cons of waiting to buy a house

Yet, there are downsides to waiting to buy a house. As previously noted, if you wait until you reach your middle age years to buy a house, you may be responsible for a mortgage well into your senior years. Other downsides to waiting to buy a house include:

  • Health issues – Even if you exercise, drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet, your body could start to show signs of wear and tear. Taking on a mortgage late in life could add stress to your life that you’d be better off without.
  • Grandchildren – Just because you don’t need a large home for your own growing children, doesn’t mean that a small house will work, especially if your adult children start having kids of their own.
  • Retirement – Unless you own your own business and plan to work until you leave this earth or for as long as your health allows, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ll retire. This employment shift can cut your income significantly.
  • Curb appeal – It’s easy to mow the lawn and climb up to the roof and clean the gutters when you’re in your 40s, 50s and 60s. However, that could become a chore by the time you reach your 70s or 80s. Of course, you could pay someone to take care of these household tasks. But, that’s also an added expense.

Consider the above factors when you think about buying a house. Also, consider other factors that will potentially impact your finances, health and overall well being over the short and long term. This includes your spending habits, existing financial responsibilities, job security and your ability to generate your own income.