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by Christy Bieber | Published on Nov. 9, 2022

Don't buy your retirement home without reading this.

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If you're getting older, you may be looking to downsize from your family house and buy a place you can stay in for the remainder of your life. Moving can become more difficult once you've reached a certain age, so it's especially important to find the right property when you're searching for your last house.

To make sure the home you end up in is really one that you can likely stay in for your remaining years, be on the lookout for these four features.

The most important thing to look for when searching for your last house is a home that you will be able to stay in if your mobility becomes impaired. Many people become less able to get around when they get older, and that's often what forces a move.

Some key features to try to find include:

The last thing you want to do is spend your retirement cleaning and doing tons of outdoor work. And you may become unable to clean a huge house or mow a large lawn and tend a large garden late in life. So, be sure the property you choose isn't going to impose a big burden on you when maintaining it.

You may need to be close to a hospital or specialized healthcare providers if you develop medical issues as you age. Be sure the home you purchase is in an area where it will be easy to visit medical professionals when needed. More: Our picks for best FHA mortgage lenders

More: Our picks for best FHA mortgage lenders

Once you aren't working, you'll also need to find ways to occupy your time. Ideally, you'll be able to find a final home in a place that offers easy access to your hobbies. For example, you may want to be near a golf course if you love to golf or near a university if you want to take classes once you are retired and have time on your hands.

You may also want to look for an area where there are a large number of seniors so you can make friends more easily.

Finally, another crucial consideration is the cost of your home. Many seniors are on a fixed income and you don't want to be sending your entire Social Security check to your mortgage lender or to the property tax collector.

Decide on how large your housing budget can comfortably be while covering all of your other costs and look for properties within this price range. Be careful not to overspend or you could drain your nest egg too quickly and find that your house becomes totally unaffordable.

By taking these four features into account, you can hopefully find the perfect property that you will comfortably be able to stay in for the rest of your life.

Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured on major outlets including MSN Money, CNBC, and USA Today.

We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

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