Florida Home Buying Tips for Older Couples

According to study findings reported by the Pew Center for Research, an estimated 19.1 percent of people 65 years and up live in Florida—a...
a bicycle parked in front of a house

According to study findings reported by the Pew Center for Research, an estimated 19.1 percent of people 65 years and up live in Florida—a state that’s a famous destination for older adults and retirees. Many retirees and older adults who desire rest, relaxation, sunshine, and sandy beaches decide to move to Florida, which has the apt nickname of “the Sunshine State.” Some retirees and older adults choose Florida to settle down in from their careers for economic and tax reasons, as Florida is a state without a state income tax nor a tax on retirement income and Social Security benefits. People may also choose to retire in Florida to meet new people, expand their social lives, and keep up an active lifestyle.

Older singles and couples who retire in Florida get the chance to meet other retirees and become a part of active adult communities. Socializing this way allows people to bond with others over past and present life experiences in a new environment. Retirees and older adults can use Florida’s national parks, beaches, and other places that encourage outdoor activity to stay physically active. Additionally, taking up physical activities like running and swimming enables people to enhance their physical health.

When preparing for and making a move to Florida, many retirees and older adults consider factors such as the average cost of living in specific Floridian cities, their financial status, expenses related to food, homeownership, healthcare, home maintenance, and utilities. Older singles and retirees who have a good understanding of the costs associated with living alone will have an idea of what options to explore, including living in a retirement community or residing with roommates à la The Golden Girls.

It can be a challenge for some older singles and couples to decide which of Florida’s sunny cities they wish to move to and determine the type of property that best suits them and how to pay for it. Listed below are tips to follow to make moving to Florida and buying property easier.

1. Create and follow a financial plan for buying a home.

It’s in older adults’ best interest to create a budget and determine a limit for the highest amount of money they’d be able to spend on purchasing a house. A budget can guide people to search for ideal properties in their spending range and select the suitable properties they’d consider buying. After setting a budget, homebuyers should explore the financial options available to them.

One such option, for instance, is a reverse mortgage. Older couples can consult a trusted financial advisor or Internet resources to learn how reverse mortgages work. A reverse mortgage is a loan specific to senior homeowners. Older adults who are 62 years old and up, own their homes, and have considerable home equity, can receive a lump sum payment, fixed monthly payment, or line of credit from borrowing against their home’s value. Mortgages used to buy homes require monthly loan payments, but reverse mortgages don’t.


The reverse mortgage lender provides borrowers of reverse mortgages with payments. The homeowner decides their payment option and pays interest on the proceeds, which gets rolled into the loan balance.

Several types of reverse mortgages are available: single-purpose reverse mortgages, proprietary reverse mortgages, and home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs). Homeowners should keep upfront costs, their age, their home’s appraised value, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance in mind when deciding which reverse mortgage to obtain. When deciding to take out a reverse mortgage to acquire funds for retirement living expenses, it’s crucial to discuss such a move with your spouse and family members.

2. Thoroughly inspect your prospective new home.

Once you find one house or a few that you take an interest in, consider participating in an open house and touring a property, so you can examine it for yourself. Touring the property in person gives you the chance to ensure that your future Floridian home is a clean and safe space inside and outside.

Considering the various aspects of homeownership and the many features of a home, you may be unsure what to inspect during a house tour. During an inspection, be sure to investigate the condition of the property’s roof, insulation, ceilings, walls, floors, air conditioning and heating, and plumbing. Additionally, an inspection is an excellent time to confirm if a house has properly functioning appliances, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. Furthermore, a house tour enables you to identify any water damage risks, issues with the roof, or problems with entryways, exits, and windows.

If your property has problematic or outdated windows and you want to get rid of them, consider replacing them with new energy-efficient windows. New homeowners in Tampa and other Florida cities, for instance, can consult professionals at a reputable remodeling company, such as FHIA Remodeling. Professionals at such a remodeling company can help homeowners, and their families, get the most out of their homes and save money. Getting new energy efficient windows in Tampa, for instance, is a way to lower energy bills and provide more protection against heavy winds.

By removing single-pane windows and replacing them with premium windows, homeowners, especially in Tampa, can reduce their energy bills by almost $500. Older couples who move to Florida and desire updating their property and its windows have many energy-efficient, attractive options to choose from: bay windows, impact windows, double-hung windows, and picture windows.

3. Reduce the number of belongings you transport to your new home.

Downsizing your space or relocating to Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, or any Floridian city can be easier when you don’t have many items to move. Whether you utilize professional moving services, ask your children or family members for help unpacking your items, or move your items yourself, only bringing possessions you need and have room for can make the process more efficient. Consider renting a storage space unit to store your belongings in and reduce the clutter in your home. Doing so can result in lighter moving trips. You can find sorage units prices in Orlando and other cities on the web and find convenient storage space within your budget.

After completing the home-buying and moving processes, older couples can enjoy making their new houses more functional and designing their new residences to their liking. For instance, many people give plant gifts to new homeowners. If you love caring for plants, you could take the time to arrange any houseplants you receive in visually pleasing ways, based on the sunlight they need. You can enjoy arranging plants, simple wall art, and other decorative pieces in a way that represents you and your spouse.

Moving is never easy, but following these guidelines will help get you settled in as painlessly as possible.

Samantha Watson joined Urban Tulsa as a staff writer, before becoming Copy Editor earlier this year. Some of her previous writing and editing work can be found at the LA Times, the New York Times, and Washington Post.