Many people with aging parents come to a point where it makes sense to help them find a senior apartment. Senior apartments allow your parent to maintain some of the benefits of independent living, such as having their own space they can furnish and decorate as they please. But senior apartments are typically found in a senior living complex where your parent will also receive support from on-site staff as well as socialization opportunities. Here are three tips for finding your parent a senior apartment.
Get a Handle on Their Budget
It's wise to start by sitting down with your parent and going over their budget. Are they selling another home and using that money to purchase their apartment? How much can they afford per month for HOA fees (these are typical in senior apartment complexes since the staff takes care of landscaping and maintenance), property taxes, and utilities? Keep in mind when setting the budget that in many states, senior apartments are considered affordable housing and may, therefore, require a lower down payment and lower mortgage than a traditional home.
Work With the Right Real Estate Agent
Buying a senior apartment is a unique real estate transaction so it's smart to work with a real estate agent who has experience in this specific area. Buying a senior apartment is usually similar to a traditional home purchase in that your parent will likely be buying the apartment from the previous owner. There may be additional contract requirements and paperwork to complete, however, especially if the apartment is considered part of an affordable housing program.
Come Up With a Plan for the Future
Senior apartments are a great middle-ground when your parent no longer wants the burden of owning and maintaining a standalone home but they are also still reasonably healthy, mobile, and independent. It's a good idea to discuss the future though since there is always a chance your parent's health and mobility will decline with age. Ask them if they plan to sell their senior apartment and move into an assisted living facility at that point if they'd rather keep the apartment and rent it to a fellow senior, or some other plan entirely.
Working with a real estate agent who has senior apartment experience and following the other tips on this list will help ensure a smooth process as you help your aging parent find a senior apartment.