By Team MyGate
Buying A Home As A Senior Citizen
By Team MyGate
India’s elderly citizen population is growing at 3% annually and is estimated to reach around 319 million in 2050. With a shift towards nuclear family and dismantling of the traditional joint family system, more senior citizens are considering living independently post-retirement. Age is not a factor when it comes to buying property even nearing retirement, however, it’s always wise to know the implications and technicalities of property purchase in any case so that you’re aware of what applies to senior citizens specifically.
What are the features of senior citizen /retirement community living?
- The concept has now taken off in India as we see many retirement community homes being launched by a handful of builders who are the first movers.
- Senior living means living in a community of residents above the age of 55 who may or may not be still actively working.
- The establishment has senior-citizen-friendly features like safe premises, housekeeping services, emergency health care services, and medical assistance.
- The design features that make living easier also include wide hallways with flat passageways to accommodate wheelchair access, skid-free floors, continuous grab rails, etc.
- There are amenities and facilities for recreational and group activities, along with concierge services that assist with paperwork, bill payments, hiring on-demand services, lounges, clubhouse, laundry, and cafe services.
What is the price range?
Usually, retirement homes are available in low income (Rs 10-20 lakh), middle-income range (Rs 25-50 lakh), and above. The top cities to look for a retirement home are Lavasa near Pune, Bhiwandi on NH8 in Rajasthan, Jaipur, Chennai, Delhi/NCR, Goa, Puducherry, and Coimbatore.
Factors to consider before buying property as a senior citizen
How old is the buyer?
If you already post 70 years of age or younger but are not in the prime of your health, you might want to choose a retirement home that can take care of you 24/7. However, if you are independent enough and can take care of your basic needs, you can own property in regular housing societies as well. Senior citizens are usually well taken care of by friendly neighbors and good samaritans if you scout the community beforehand to make sure that the neighbours are congenial.
Availability of healthcare & infrastructure
It’s the age of telemedicine consultation and on-demand medical services (like blood test, thyroid test) delivery reports which can be received at home. It’s also preferable to look for property that is located close to clinics and hospitals in case of emergency health services. There should be access to roads and cabs.
Elderly citizens like to enjoy their peace and quiet and may not enjoy living in a community with hyperactive kids and loud get-togethers occurring frequently. In such cases, you can opt for a property situated on the outskirts of the city or an apartment location that can provide heightened privacy.
It’s always a preferred option for senior citizens to occupy a home on the lower floors, or else the apartment complex should have elevators, along with CCTV surveillance with security guards trained in fire safety and first aid. Another feature to seek is safety handlebars installed in bathrooms, balconies and no unnecessary complicated furniture/application customisation inside the apartment should be allowed. Many retirement communities have tie-ups with nearby health facilities, ambulances for cashless treatments.
It’s commonly known that senior citizens above 50 may not get a housing loan from a lending bank as easily as a working professional, however, with proper financial planning, owning a property in your golden years is achievable.
If you’re receiving a regular pension, getting a home loan is easier. In most cases, banks offer home loans to senior citizens for maximum repayment duration of 15-20 years or up until they turn 70-75 years of age, whichever comes first and the EMI is set accordingly. Banks like SBI, PNB, LIC (and other leading national banks) offer home loans to senior citizens starting from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh (others can go even higher).
Senior citizens can even choose to invest in a property and rent it out to earn 5-10% of the total price.
An important factor to consider is Loan To Value Ratio. For instance, if the total price of the house is Rs 10 lakh and you’re making a down payment of Rs 1 lakh, you’re actually borrowing Rs 9 lakh, so the LTV is 90%. Choose a loan with a low LTV ratio so that the EMI is not too high every month.
Retirement Community Living is a growing trend among city dwellers and it reduces the impact of loneliness among elderly residents as they are well occupied throughout the day. Premium retirement homes in urban areas provide acres of land for leisurely lifestyle and pursuit of hobbies among various high-end amenities like mini-golf courses and outpatient clinics.
All in all, investing in a property in your elder years is a step in the right direction if planned correctly in advance with the help of family, friends, or even professional realtors.
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