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Should I sell my house and rent when I retire?
Many homeowners decide to sell their house when they retire to release equity so they have access to more money to fund their retirement. It's an option for many who are happy to rent, rather than own a property in their later years.
Often, when homeowners are approaching retirement age they consider selling their property and renting for their retirement, to reduce responsibilities and live on the proceeds from the house sale. But what are the pros and the cons of renting instead of owning?
There are several benefits of choosing to rent a property instead of having the responsibility of owning. Many older homeowners who are coming to retire find that they struggle to maintain their property, and realistically it will only get more difficult to maintain as you age, especially if you have a large garden or lots of hedges that need constant work. A lot of the time retiring homeowners choose to sell their house, rent somewhere and downsize at the same time, making the general maintenance in the house such as cleaning easier whilst leaving the outside maintenance like the garden in the hands of the landlord. An added advantage of this is if you do choose to downsize, you’ll likely be saving money long-term as your utilities and taxes may be much less than they are if you’re currently in a large house.
Another benefit of selling your house and moving into rented accommodation when you retire is that it opens up the possibility of you moving anywhere. You can look at moving closer to family if you choose, or consider moving abroad to experience your retirement in the sun. It is also much easier to finish a rental agreement and move elsewhere if you decided you wanted to than it is to sell a house, which can take much longer.
Something that many homeowners forget about but is a really important factor to consider is that as a homeowner your house is counted as an asset. If you or your partner needed some sort of healthcare later on in life, owning a house would be included in the means test, meaning you may not qualify for certain funding or help for long-term care- but this is very much situational, so whilst you should be aware of it you shouldn’t sell your house solely for this reason.
The cons of renting in retirement
There are negatives to every decision, and you must take them into account before making a big decision. If you’re looking for rental properties and you’re approaching retirement, it can be more difficult to find a property that is completely suitable for older residents. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any- there are lots of 55+ resident flats that could be ideal, but if you’re looking for something like a bungalow, for example, you may struggle. According to the National House Building Council, in 2014 only 1% of new builds in the UK were bungalows- a huge drop from 7% in 1996.
There is also the financial aspect to consider; when renting a property you will have to pay a monthly rent which could rise over time, and may not be ideal on the reduced income that comes with retirement. You also lose the security that comes with owning your own house; you can be given notice on your rental agreement and have to find somewhere else to live which can be incredibly stressful.
It can also be stressful to sell a property. Moving house is one of the most stressful events that we go through in life, and so doing so in retirement may not be the best time if you’re finding issues with getting viewings for your property or if you’re not in a position to hire help to move boxes and furniture.
Most people have either experienced a bad housing sale or know someone who has; with the amount of time between contracts and sales, any number of things can go wrong including buyers dropping out. If you’re looking to sell but are worried about the potential issues that come along with it, come to us at We Buy Any House. We can give you a free offer and a timeframe for your quick, easy sale to give you peace of mind if you want to sell your house in your retirement.
We buy any home in as little as 7 days, or timescales to suit you. Head to our website for more information.