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Tips for Buying a Home After Retirement

1.  Make a plan with your significant other.
It may seem funny, but more couples than you think assume that they are on the same page about retirement – when they aren’t. If you believe that you are going to be retiring on the coast, while your partner is dreaming of going back home to the Midwest, you are going to have a problem.
Instead of making assumptions, take some time and have multiple conversations about what you both want in a retirement home. With a little planning, you should be able to come to an agreement that makes both of you happy.
More and more couples who have some financial independence are also purchasing a second home in a vacation destination. They are buying a home near family but also have a second place in a location they love. Typically, the vacation spot is in a warm weather climate that is easier on our bodies as we age.

2. Investing in Real Estate :
A notoriously lucrative asset class, real estate—both residential and commercial—has become one of the most popular ways to secure residual (or passive) income. Traditionally, building a residual income stream through real estate has required a large upfront investment, both of time and money, but thanks to new investment vehicles those interested in earning passive income through real estate have several options to choose from
3.  Verify if it exist:
As a real estate investor, one cardinal rule you must never ignore is conducting due diligence. Take your time to investigate and understand the deal you are getting yourself into. Make sure that the property you are being sold exists both on paper and on the ground. A value, an estate agent or a surveyor should help you to positively identify the property through the use of relevant documents such as survey/deed plans and registry index maps.
4. Establish ownership:
Even if the property exists, establish who the true owner is through an official search. An official search will show the name and address of the owner and a note of any inhibition, caution or restriction affecting his right of disposition. These restrictions or cautions are usually referred to as caveats.
The search will also give a brief description of the property, stating clearly whether it is freehold or leasehold. It will also note all the encumbrances or burdens on the property such as bank loans or mortgages.
5.  Know about the history:
A title from a bad mother title (an illegally acquired title) is invariably fake. Also make sure the land or the property you are buying does not fall within a road reserve or a riparian area. Even if you are buying an apartment unit, you still need to ensure the mother or original title is genuine.
6.  Don’t leave all to the lawyer:
Most investors leave all the verification of the authenticity of the title and everything else in the process of buying a house to the lawyer.
A lawyer “cannot” read a map or do a structural survey of a building. If the lawyer doesn’t consult the necessary professionals, you might end up buying a collapsing building or a plot on a road reserve.
7.  Use only professionals:
If you are buying land, get a reputable land surveyor. If you are buying a house, seek the services of a qualified and registered estate agent.
8.  Abide by regulations:
Each property has a specific use into which it can be put. In Kenya, a property can be residential, commercial, institutional or industrial. The use must be physically possible, legally permissible, and financially feasible and that which will give the highest returns hence the concept of highest and best use.
9.  Beware of hidden costs:
When negotiating for financing, the borrower should be keen to know the true cost of borrowing. Apart from the interest rate, there are also hidden costs such as valuation fees, legal fees and loan negotiation fee among others. When taking a mortgage, also ensure you know the implication of taking a fixed rate mortgage or a variable rate mortgage.
10.  Rates clearance:
Never buy a debt-ridden property. Land rates, payable to the local authority under whose jurisdiction the property falls, sometimes accumulate into millions of shillings. Legally, it is important to obtain a clearance certificate from City Hall to confirm that dues pertaining to the property are settled. Failure to obtain the certificate means the buyer inherits the accrued debt from the previous owner. A property lawyer can help one avoid such pitfalls.
11.  Insist on a title deed:
Under Kenyan land laws, only a title deed is recognised by the government as proof of ownership. A share certificate cannot replace a title deed.
12.  Structural soundness:
If you are buying a completed house – whether new or old – make sure you get an expert to undertake a structural survey to ascertain that it is not falling apart.
13.  Pick a location that will work well when you are older.
As you age, it is going to be more challenging to get around. Eventually, driving will not be an option. So you want to pick a location that will give you easy access to the things you care about.
Rural locations may be fine if you are close to friends and family, but city locations are often easier to get around in. Also, consider what activities you enjoy the most and try to make them easy to access.
One of the things I’m often mentioning to people is thinking about how to pick a neighbourhood you will love. Some of the things mentioned may or may not be necessary to you. What you have to figure out is what you must have.
Do you want to be close to the beach, a golf course or some other hobby you enjoy? Make sure you consider the drive time when picking a place for your retirement home.
14.  Go for big hallways, entryways, bathrooms, etc.
More and more people are choosing to build new as part of their retirement home plan. Buying new constructions offers a myriad of benefits including customizing precisely what you want. Many retirees are opting to make their living quarters easier to get around in.
Wide pathways are much easier to navigate with a wheelchair, including hallways, entryways, and bathrooms. Fortunately, the current style for homes focuses on spaciousness, so it should not be too complicated to find a home that has the room you may need.

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