Do not buy a house if you are over 65, unless you have deep pockets or you win the lottery! Owning a house involves the initial down payment, moving costs, and real estate fees. Although you might be able to get a 30 year loan, who knows what health crisis you will face within that 30 years. Also, maintenance on a home is pricey. Plumbers, electricians, gardeners, and painters are earning a living and they want to be paid. Although I had bought an older home, a newer home will also need maintainance. I learned my lesson the hard way by ignoring the reality of home ownership and now I know I will always rent.
The first house I bought in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s was wonderful and I think of it often. However, after a disastrous wild-fire, the glow of owning this place was lost. Then my sister and her husband left the area and I was a little isolated. The view of the burned canyon was no longer pleasing. The real estate market was up and I sold that house in three days. With my tidy profit I bought a new house on the Oregon coast with a fantastic view of the water. That lasted about 18 months and then I knew I was isolated again. The real estate market was still fine and I bought the Eugene house. We all know how well that turned out.
The condo/house I am renting is delightful, affordable, and has many neighbors. Now, when something goes wrong in the place, I call the landlord and get the toilet fixed…and then a new dishwasher…or the fence painted, without putting out more than my monthly rent. Fantastic.
Buy or rent? Rent… (and put any extra dollars into savings).