Renting vs Home Ownership When You’re Over 55

We are asked the question frequently: "If I'm over age 55, should I be buying a home or renting one? What's the best choice?" The question of whether renting or buying is the best choice when you’re over 55 is one that only you can answer. You’re at the age when many of your peers are downsizing and selling larger homes. Downsizing may or may not make sense for you, but it might surprise you to learn that home ownership can provide more benefits than home rental, especially for older adults. We'll walk you through the pros and cons of both.

Home Rental Considerations When Over 55

Renting provides the flexibility to move on short notice after you give a standard 30-day to 60-day notice. That can be important if you don’t expect to live in the rental unit indefinitely. In some cases, a property management company takes care of things like snow removal, mowing the lawn, and other outdoor maintenance, freeing you from having to complete these tasks yourself.

On the downside, home rental means you have to sign a lease and commit to living at the property for a set time. Initial leases typically last for one year with the option to renew. It can feel like you’re throwing money away every month because the only thing you potentially get back when you move is your damage deposit. Here are some other negatives to consider with home rental:

  • The design of most rental facilities does not support aging in place or mobility limitations. That could mean searching for a new place to live when you have less physical strength to handle a move.
  • You cannot customize your rental property since it doesn’t belong to you.
  • Rent increases can be unpredictable, making it challenging to budget.

Home Ownership Considerations Over 55

Home ownership in later middle age still provides stability, tax benefits, and equity. When you choose the right home, you can still enjoy the benefit of performing little to no outdoor maintenance. Because you own the home, a landlord nor anyone else can ask you to leave. When you sell a house, you stand to gain thousands of dollars that you can use to support yourself later in life or leave to younger relatives. Therefore, equity you build in your home can provide income or an inheritance. Additionally, the tax benefits you get from home ownership are not available to renters.

In terms of cons, home ownership provides less flexibility if you decide to move again in the future. Depending on your financial situation, you may not be able to afford another move if the need arises. It's important then to find a home that can age with you and accommodate your changing needs. 

Linkside: Home Ownership with the Perks of Rentals

Linkside is a unique 55+ living community in Columbia, Missouri offering the best of both worlds. Here is what you can expect when you decide on home ownership at Linkside.

  • Stability, tax benefits, and equity of home ownership combined with the cost savings and flexibility of home rental.
  • Every Linkside home displays high-quality craftsmanship down to the finest detail.
  • The design of Linkside homes can handle mobility changes that come with age, making aging conveniently possible. (use your magic to reword).
  • Your monthly mortgage payment and HOA dues cover all external maintenance.
  • You can still downsize, your new home will become a financial asset while accommodating changing physical needs.
  • Purging unnecessary items- making extra money and saving loved ones big clean-up jobs at a later time (again word it so it is nicely said...Don't leave your loved ones with the responsibility of selling or donating all of your belongings for 60 years-lol).

Housing costs are most people’s largest expense and will always be there whether you buy or rent. We encourage you to consider both options carefully to find the best solution for your needs. Our Community Liaison can assist you with analyzing your options as well. Please contact us today to learn more or request a tour.



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