Reasons for Seniors to Own Land in Retirement
You’ve been settled in your community for years and you think that the arrangement will never change. But that’s not the case for 400 seniors in Carson, California, who had lived in the Imperial Avalon Mobile Estates, just south of Los Angeles and near the South Bay.
This year, they’re scrambling to find new places to live after receiving letters saying that their community was sold to a commercial developer who will turn the area into a mixed-use development. A story on Spectrum News One in the Los Angeles area that went live October 2020 said the settlement wasn’t enough for many residents to put a down payment on another mobile home.
The story broke two months before California passed AB 2782, a state bill aimed at adding more protection for residents in manufactured homes.
This shows there are lasting benefits for seniors who own their own land.
What states are best for owning land
Where you live and why you live there is a deeply personal decision and a financial decision, too. If you’re nearing retirement, or are retired, living on the land that you own in a state that’s retirement friendly can give you a desirable quality of life. For some people, it allows them to live debt free.
Look at each of your options through a different lens.
For example, Investopedia ranks the following five states as most affordable for owning land:
· West Virginia
· New Mexico
WalletHub ranked the following states as the top ten most livable for seniors as of January 2021:
5. North Dakota
10. New Hampshire
Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see a state that you enjoy. It changes. In 2018, WalletHub, as quoted by AARP, ranked Florida and Colorado one and two but South Dakota was ranked third, Iowa was fourth and Wyoming was fifth.
Florida is ranked tops for overall affordability but 20th for health care.
There are plenty of reasons to consider owning land in other states.
Senior homeowners in South Carolina, for example, are exempt from paying property taxes on the first $50,000 of their home’s fair market value. You have to be at least 65 years old and have been a resident for at least one year by July 15 in the year that you’re claiming the exemption.
So now that you have a diverse list of states to choose from, let’s look at the type of home that’s right for you.
What kind of home can you have?
Here’s where owning land is quite different than just buying real estate with a house. You tour the neighborhood and find an existing home that you can either move into or fix up.
Buying land and building a home is a good option for those with an adventurous spirit. Your options for the types of homes are:
Each one has benefits, but consider the benefits of having land with a manufactured home. The overall cost of ownership is much less than site built homes and often less than modular homes. Living spaces in manufactured homes range dramatically from around 800 square feet to nearly 3,000 square feet.
So, if you’re retired as a single or couple you can have enough space to be comfortable, or a space that’s large enough for relatives to visit. And if you live near a college town, you could rent out a room to a responsible student.
Learn more about the lifestyle through the Manufactured Housing Institute.
Other important considerations
Land is a valuable asset and a nice way to diversify one’s portfolio. Rural land will likely have limited appreciation over a decade or two, but it’s possible to buy near a metro area that’s expanding and enjoy a boost in property value.
You can live in a place with a small-town atmosphere, but enjoy plenty of cultural events like concerts, plays and lectures if you’re living near a university or college.
Consider your health needs for the future so be sure to know what the medical community is like.
If you have children and grandchildren out of state then choose a place where you can live affordably and comfortably, but one that has an airport that’s easily accessible so you easily fly to see them.
Talk it over
Discuss the variables of owning land with Sandra Cantu, owner of Cantu Land Plus. She’s a real estate professional with over 35 years of experience internationally and throughout the U.S. But more importantly, she cares about her clients and often brings buyers and sellers together.
You’re making a deeply personal decision and Sandra will honestly answer your questions because she wants you to be at ease.
Take a closer look at land ownership with a free guide from Cantu Land Plus:
You’ll read case studies of both a seller and buyer along with a resource section you can use as a reference.
Sandra enjoys serving others so give her a call to have your questions answered: 813.690.4979.
For a unique home, click on this blog post Consider Building an Earthbag Home on Land that You Buy.