What Seniors Should Look for While Apartment Hunting
You love your house, but you're ready to move on. You dream of a small apartment, with less upkeep. You imagine spending more time with friends and no longer needing to drive to get everywhere. But how can you make that dream a reality, without sacrificing your quality of life?
Why an Apartment?
Many modern seniors are trading in their single-family home for an apartment all their own. A big house can feel empty if you're by yourself, and it can be a lot to take care of. Here are some of the perks of renting an apartment:
- It frees up equity to help pad your pockets and supplement your current funds.
- Things to do, places to go, and people to see. One of the best things about apartment living is that there are so many people to meet. Your new neighbors might become your new best friends!
- Your landlord will take care of the building. In an apartment, it isn't your job to clean the gutters or replace the roof.
- No more yard work. Goodbye lawnmower! You can always create a small indoor garden if you miss getting your hands dirty.
This will be a big change, but for many seniors it is a change for the better.
So now that you've made your decision, what should you be looking for in your new apartment?
Location is Everything
Everyone knows the realtor's motto: "Location, location, location." And if you don't want to drive everywhere, it should be your motto too.
A centrally located apartment means you can either walk or use public transit to get everywhere— no car needed. Imagine how nice it would be to simply stroll to the store with a friend!
Think about everywhere you like to go on a regular basis. See how close each apartment you look at is to everything you need, including:
- Grocery stores
- The library
- Convenience stores
- Your pharmacy
- Your doctor
- Medical facilities
If your doctor is too far away to walk to, how will you get there? See what it would be like to take public transit there and back. If you are looking at a senior community, ask if they provide transportation.
What Amenities Does the Building Have?
You will be happiest if there are fun activities to do and plenty of places to meet up with friends. You should keep an eye out for these amenities:
- A pool
- On-site laundry facilities
- Fitness center
- Medical personnel on site
- Outdoor areas
- A café
- Dining room
- Computer rooms
You need to eat, exercise, and do laundry. You want all of those things nearby, preferably within the building itself.
And don't forget that you need to have fun. Is there a clubhouse where you can play games? A sitting room where you can knit and talk with others? If you have a hobby that you love, be sure to find a place to do it.
Is the Apartment Safe and Easy to Live In?
Your apartment should be a comfortable place for you as you age. Look for:
- A one-level apartment. It should either be on the first floor or in a building with an elevator. You don't want to deal with stairs.
- Grab bars in the bathroom. You will need permission to have these installed. They will help you stay balances if the floor gets slippery.
- A safe neighborhood. You need to feel comfortable walking around outside.
- A secure building. Do residents need a key card to enter the building? You don't want strangers wandering around. Make sure each apartment has a secure lock and deadbolt.
What is it Really Like to Live There?
Nobody can answer that question better than your future neighbors. Talk with them and learn what it's really like to live there. Think about asking them:
- Do they like living there?
- Is the landlord good at fixing problems with the building?
- Is it quiet at night?
- What is the neighborhood like?
- Do the neighbors get along?
If you decide to move in, you will already know your neighbors. And if they turn out to be rude and unlikable people, you know to keep looking.
Home Sweet Home
Remember when all you needed to do was look in the newspaper for available apartments? Things have certainly changed. But that change means you have more options. Now you can look at pictures of apartments without leaving your house!
In your search, don't overlook senior apartments that are designed with older adults in mind. They will have a thriving community and they specialize in the amenities you're looking for. Some senior apartments have flexible levels of care so if you ever need more help, it's available.
Stay true to yourself and be firm in what you want in an apartment. Before you know it, you'll find one that's perfect for you.