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Becoming a Renter After Being a Long-Time Homeowner

sold house with blurred family on background

Becoming a Renter After Being a Long-Time Homeowner

Are you planning on selling your home? Read on to find out exactly how to become a renter when you’re a long-time homeowner.

You’ve been lied to about owning homes. 16.5% of households that rent housing properties are headed by people older than 65 years of age. Many of these older Americans used to own a house, but they downsized as they entered retirement. 

If you’re looking to save money after being a long-time homeowner, you should consider selling your home and renting a place to live. But don’t do so just yet. You need to think about a few things first. 

Is it better to rent or buy? How can you find a comfortable place to live? How can you make your rental property feel like home? 

Answer these questions and you can find the perfect property to spend your golden years in. Here is your quick guide.

Know the Disadvantages of Owning a Home

America is a country of owners. Many people regard owning their own home as being the pinnacle of financial success. 

Yet there are good reasons you should rent a home in retirement instead of owning a home. When you rent, you can rely on the property manager to make repairs for you. You can sell your home and turn a profit in little time and then put your money toward a premium rental.

Talk to a financial advisor about your finances and get advice on whether renting would be better for you. You should also talk to your family, especially if they have an emotional attachment to your home.

Understand How Lease Agreements Work

Long-time homeowners who are renting for the first time in years can get tripped up over lease agreements. A lease agreement lays out the terms that you must follow while you are renting a property. 

Each agreement is different, but almost all of them lay out how you will pay rent and what safety rules you need to follow. You may be prohibited from smoking, having pets, or performing renovations without approval from your property manager. 

You are required to follow the terms of your agreement. However, violating one term may not result in eviction. You can negotiate a solution with your property manager and figure out a way to make restitution.

Research Places to Rent

You do not have to rent in the same neighborhood or city where you used to live. Take advantage of the opportunity and go to another part of the country entirely. 

Wherever you decide to live, take a look at a few different vacant properties. You can rent a home, apartment, or condominium. You should look at urban, suburban, and rural properties and compare their characteristics to each other.

You can prioritize price, but think about what you are getting for the money you are spending. By paying more money every month, you can have access to amenities like swimming pools and high-speed internet. 

Downsize Your Items

You may be able to find an apartment with as much space as your home. But the odds are that you are going to find a place with less storage space. You need to know how to downsize without too much effort.

You should go through your items and decide what you are going to bring with you. Essential items include important documents and anything you would use during retirement, like supplies for your hobby. 

If you’re looking to make a little money, you can sell your non-essential items. You can also give them to family members as keepsakes, especially if you are moving to another city.

Know Your Property Manager

A good relationship with your property manager can take your rental experience to the next level. As you are applying to different rental properties, ask for information from each manager about themselves. You can also ask for references so you can see what previous tenants think about them. 

The best way you can maintain a good relationship is to pay your rent on time. You can keep a schedule of when your payments are due so you don’t forget to pay. Some property managers accept early payments if you have more money in a certain month.

Customize Your Space

You may not be able to paint your walls or put new flooring into your rental space. But you can take steps to make your rental property your own. 

Consider hanging removable wallpaper and paintings on the walls. You can make your own artworks, frame them, and hang them up. 

If you want to change the windows, you can add screens and curtains in front of them. You can also install weather strips to trap the warmth in your home during the winter.

Develop a Low-Maintenance Lifestyle

When you are deciding whether to rent or own in retirement, you should think about how much maintenance you need. If you have a property that requires a lot of maintenance, you should consider selling it. It will be difficult for you to mow the lawn and it is expensive to hire other people to do it. 

Once you move into a rental property, you need to decrease your level of maintenance more. You should avoid using excessive amounts of electricity or water. You should also avoid making a mess, as you are responsible for any damage to your rental property.

Transition From Being a Long-Time Homeowner

Being a long-time homeowner can make renting a property difficult. But you can save money if you sell your home and move into a rental. Study how renting works and do some research on properties in the area you want to live in.

Try selling some of your stuff so you can make more room in your new home. Get to know your property manager and be an attentive and low-maintenance renter. 

Don’t make your move all by yourself. VerraTerra connects you to great rentals in the Seattle area. Contact us today.