Over 50 and thinking of buying a property? Here are some key things to consider

You’ve just turned 50 – or maybe you hit the big 5-0 a little while ago. Either way, this birthday milestone can start the ball rolling on some substantial lifestyle and financial changes, fuelled by new goals and aspirations. 

When it comes to considering a property purchase, the number of over 50s taking the plunge is growing.

Analysis of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) data by mortgage specialists Tembo showed a 29% increase in people over the age of 50 buying property for the first time between 2018 and 2022.

As younger homebuyers struggle to get on to the ladder (Research by the FCA indicates a decrease of 5,630 (8%) in 18 to 25-year-olds joining the property market during the same period), now is the era of the older buyers who have the life experience and capital behind them to make a sound investment.  

Why should you buy a property if you’re over fifty?

Many existing homeowners have an urge to downsize when their large family home no longer has the people around to fill it. A large property also comes with more upkeep responsibilities, which can be time-consuming and expensive!

Once dependants are no longer so dependent on you, the pull of different, often dreamed-of locations gets stronger. Perhaps you have always wanted to live by the beach? With the capital behind them to make such a move, many over 50s look to relocate to new areas for a better quality of life, in their dream location, and home!

  • It can be a long-term investment 

Property values usually increase over time so buying a home can serve as a long-term investment, with the potential for substantial equity growth. 
The equity accumulated in property can be leveraged as collateral for other investments too, without having to consider liquidating assets.

Many over 50s are also thinking of their children or family members and setting them up well in a financial sense when they are no longer around.  A property is a tangible asset that can provide financial security and assets for future generations.

  • It offers stability and belonging

Owning your own home offers emotional security and peace of mind. Not only this but being a member of a vibrant local community offers significant mental health benefits and companionship, especially for those over 50. Owning a home in a community such as this fosters a true sense of belonging and involvement.

  • Enjoy a touch of personality, flexibility and freedom

A significant advantage of homeownership is the ability to tailor your living environment to personal preferences and evolving needs.

As a homeowner you have the creative freedom to customise your space without any limitations or rules imposed by landlords. 

With age too, our needs change. Owning a home gives you the flexibility to undertake modifications that can better accommodate health-related issues, mobility concerns, or other lifestyle adjustments.

  • Maximise additional income

Renting out part or all of a property seasonally, taking in lodgers, or converting part of a home into a rental unit can provide a steady stream of income. This can be valuable in topping up any retirement or pension pots. 
In some cases, expenses related to the rental, such as maintenance, improvements, and utilities, may be tax deductible. 

Legal lookouts

If you are aged 50+ and buying your first property – or your fifteenth – the following legal steps need to be carefully navigated for your purchase to be as stress-free as possible, and importantly, a rewarding endeavour in the long term.

Competent Conveyancing – Not to be Underestimated: From first finding your dream home, to having an offer accepted, to then finally settling down in that same property with a cup of tea and calling it your own, involves some deft legal steps known as conveyancing. There are many stages, including property searches, contract exchange, and completion, and they all demand meticulous attention. Having an experienced house-buying solicitor or property conveyancer by your side, and on your side every step of the way, can help ensure a smooth and trouble-free purchasing process. 

Searches and Surveys – The Earlier the Better: Buying a property is a huge investment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Thorough inspections, searches, and surveys are crucial to uncovering potential issues with the property. Having these done as soon as possible in the purchasing process will allow for a quick resolution if any problems are identified. 

Almost There – Contracts and Completion: Understanding contractual commitments and timelines is essential in the final stages. From finalising mortgage arrangements to setting completion dates, careful navigation of legal obligations ensures a successful transaction. This is where a good property conveyancer is worth their weight in gold, and they should keep you updated every step of the way.

Finding and purchasing your dream home is a big deal, no matter what age you are, and the process can be packed with ups and downs. By enlisting the services and advice of legal and financial experts, you can make informed and educated decisions that align with your lifestyle and financial goals.

The journey to owning your own property at a later stage of life can be a rollercoaster, but with the right support, it could be the start of an incredibly exciting and rewarding chapter.