Around 70% of Americans age 55 or older are homeowners. But maintaining a home isn’t cheap, and it’s all too easy to discount the most important cost of all: time and energy. Yards require work, appliances break down, and pipes eventually burst.
This kind of cost and routine maintenance isn’t always possible for older Americans, especially since 85% of seniors have at least one chronic health condition.
This may be just one reason you are considering apartments for seniors. If you know what to look for in an apartment complex, apartments can offer seniors more security, value, and freedom than traditional homeownership.
Not sure what you should look for in senior living apartments? Our guide will cover the basics.
1. Subsidized Apartments for Seniors
Low-income senior apartments for rent are available in certain subsidized housing programs. When the average social security stipend is a little over $1400 a month, saving money is even more important for seniors and retirees.
If saving money is a priority, look for public housing apartments or low-income housing tax credits. The apartments may be low-income, but that does not mean they are without amenities or are situated in dangerous neighborhoods. All it means is the property owner is receiving a government kickback by offering their apartments as part of the program.
Note that the subsidized housing programs tend to have a significant waiting list. While subsidized apartments for senior citizens are an ideal situation, normal apartments will still see cost savings and a quality of life improvement for most seniors.
2. Senior Living Apartments
Many apartments are filled with millennials and their young families. Fortunately, it’s possible to relocate to an apartment complex and still live with people in the same age group. Some apartment complexes are part of a senior living community.
In a senior living community, all renters must be of a minimum age, typically 50 or higher. If you find an apartment complex that isn’t part of a senior living community, consider speaking to the tenants personally. This can help you find neighbors who are older and more mature.
The benefit of senior living apartments extends beyond neighbors you can associate with. Since these complexes are made specifically for senior citizens, they’ll offer amenities that are specific to senior needs.
However, if you or your family member requires special care or treatments, senior living apartments are not an ideal choice. For seniors who require more dedicated health services and conveniences, learn how to choose the best senior care home.
3. Inclusive Amenities
The apartment complex should include all essential amenities — and some extra ones to boot! Some essentials might include laundry facilities, medical staff in case of an accident, and a clean communal seating area.
An additional comfort might be a pool, which provides excellent low-impact exercise. A park or outdoor seating area may also provide a peaceful and scenic retreat into nature. A clubhouse or dance space is an excellent opportunity to have fun, stay active, and meet new people.
The apartment should be located in a secure building that requires a fob or keycard to gain entry. Look for an apartment on the first floor to avoid lugging groceries up flights of steps. At least choose an apartment building with safe and accessible elevators to ease the burden.
Within the apartment itself, ensure the shower is senior-friendly. Speak to the landowner and see if a grab bar can be installed if one isn’t already.
4. A Good Landlord
The best part about owning an apartment? You don’t have to do any of the maintenance! Usually, anyway. Some landlords try to push routine maintenance on to the tenants or require them to deal with scheduling a repair service.
You don’t want you or your senior being abused by a scummy landlord and risking their health and financial situation.
Take a good look at the lease to see if the landlord will maintain and fix appliances and other damages. Don’t overlook the small things either. If your apartment is on the first floor, ask if you’ll be responsible for keeping your section of the yard maintained.
Even if you seem covered on the lease, contact some current tenants and see if they’ve had good experiences with the landlord and maintenance services. Having a great landlord is a key factor in choosing the right apartment.
5. Location, Location, Location
Unlike home ownership in the suburbs, apartment complexes tend to be right in the heart of the city. Beyond the additional amenities, the surrounding town may have grocery stores, a library, doctors, and parks all within walking distance. If so, it’s another opportunity to save money since a car won’t be necessary.
A nearby pharmacy and medical facility is a paramount concern, as well as the area’s general safety. Even if the apartment complex is secure, you don’t want it to be located in an area with high crime. A few Google searches can give you a good sense of a city’s safety record. We also suggest considering these 4 factors to help you decide where to live.
Consider dropping by after peak hours. You may discover there are some local businesses or venues that are noisy even during the dead of night — or perhaps the neighbors themselves are noisy and argumentative. Cover all your bases and make sure it’s a comprehensive and safe environment at all times of day.
It’s Time to Find an Apartment
Since it takes several months to find, apply, and get accepted to an apartment complex, it’s time to begin your search. Looking for the ideal apartments for seniors will likely take more time than a traditional search since your wish list is more comprehensive. But in the long run, you’ll save money, time, and sanity by making the move to a cozier, cheaper apartment.
When it comes to renting apartments or buying a home, we have the information you need. Check out the buy section of our blog and get the most out of your budget.
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