4 Steps Seniors Should Take When Buying Into a Mesa Retirement Community
Written By Barbara Thompson
Senior Care Advocate
Mesa, Arizona, is a great place for seniors to spend retirement years. With an average annual temperature of around 71 degrees, the city is a welcome respite for retirees heading south for their golden years. While the city offers a wide array of housing options for seniors, many individuals may be interested in the convenience and social opportunities that come with buying into a retirement community. Here are a few things to do and consider before you make a final decision.
Spend time at the community
You wouldn’t buy a piece of regular residential property based on a brochure and sales pitch, so why would you invest in a retirement community without getting a personal feel for the place? Schedule a visit to any retirement community you’re interested in and spend as much time there as possible.
If you have a friend or relative in the community, consider staying with them for a few days to get an authentic understanding of how the community operates. What are the neighbors like, and do you find the sights and sounds of surrounding areas appealing? Staying overnight lets you understand whether ambient neighborhood noise will impact your sleep.
Look for a culture that fits your needs. Are any services offered consistent? You’ll also be able to walk the community grounds to look for signs that it’s well kept (or vice versa).
Consider all the costs associated with the decision
Next, consider the costs of buying into the retirement community and whether that fits your budget. You’ll need to consider the primary cost — either the mortgage or the monthly lease payment for your space in the community. You might also have to pay taxes and HOA fees.
Luckily, Mesa is a fairly affordable city. The cost of living indexes for groceries, health care and transportation are all lower than the national average, so even seniors on limited retirement incomes may be able to adjust their budget to make room for community fees.
Read the fine print on rules and regulations
If the community is a fit for your personality and your wallet, the next step is to read all the fine print involved in a commitment to live there. Consider having someone assist you with this step, such as a real estate agent or a friend or family member. Two pairs of eyes mean you’re less likely to miss something, and a professional is likely experienced with such contracts and knows what red flags to look for.
Some things to consider as you review the details include:
- Whether the community is age-restricted. Some retirement communities require you to be 55 or older to buy in. Others market to seniors but allow others to buy into the neighborhood.
- Whether pets are allowed. If you want to bring a favorite fido or feline with you, this may be a make or break deal.
- Restrictions on how you can use your property. Can you host parties, have overnight or long-term guests, or use your space for a part-time business?
Plan ahead for future health and mobility needs
After the details check out, take time to consider future needs before you make a final decision. Will the community support you as you age and allow for assistance with health matters and mobility? If you’re concerned about these things, you might want to consider one of Mesa’s 75 senior living communities, which provide for independent living and social opportunities while ensuring active, on-site medical support.