If you’re one of the many Cape Cod home buyers who are shopping for a home today but not planning on purchasing until you retire, you might want to consider the benefits of buying your Cape Cod retirement home sooner rather than later, if you are in the financial position to do so.
First, while nobody knows for sure what home prices will be like at any particular point in time, history tells us that over time, real estate prices inevitably rise. By buying today, you are locked in at today’s prices instead of tomorrow’s. If you are putting money away for your retirement anyway, perhaps you should discuss with your financial advisor whether or not it makes good financial sense to put some of it toward a mortgage on your retirement home, which can be paid off when you eventually sell your primary residence. If you have solid equity in your primary residence, you might even consider tapping some of that equity to use as the down-payment on the Cape house. Not only will you get into the Cape market at a likely lower price, but you will have the home to enjoy until you are ready to retire.
If you feel your finances are just a little too stretched to support both your primary residence and your eventual retirement home on the Cape, remember that Cape Cod is a vacation destination and most homes on the Cape have rental potential. Of course the exact value of the potential depends on many factors, including how close the home is to a beach. But even homes that are inland can typically be rented in the summer if the price is right. This means you can likely use some rental income to offset the cost of your annual mortgage, and STILL have the home available for your own personal use. Many homeowners on Cape Cod only come down during the shoulder seasons and rent their home during the peak summer weeks.
Finally, if you typically vacation on the Cape each year through a summer rental, remember that by buying your own home on the Cape, you may be saving several thousand dollars each year that you would typically be handing over to another homeowner to rent THEIR home and thus pay THEIR mortgage. That “vacation fund” savings, combined with the potential rental income, could go a long way toward paying for your own place.
While buying a retirement home early isn’t for everyone, it may be the perfect plan for you – one that allows you to get into the market at today’s prices, enjoy the home periodically until you are ready to retire, and use potential rental income and your vacation budget to take a bite out of your mortgage payment. It’s an idea worth discussing with your financial advisor, who can help you evaluate the pros and cons of buying your retirement home sooner rather than later. Good luck and whether renting or buying, we hope to see you on the Cape soon!