Do you want a home where you can live independently, stay active, and connect with others in the 55+ community? Are you thinking about renting? Well, then a senior apartment might be right for you!
The advantages are simple: Apartments are easy maintenance. They’re low in cost. They provide security. And best of all, they provide a sense of community.
For seniors looking to rent, there are many aspects to consider, including cost, location, and even available services. Here are the top 10 most important considerations when renting a senior apartment:
What types of senior apartments are available within your budget?
First, consider which type of apartment best suits your retirement plans and savings. Prices vary by state, so the range is pretty wide. Prices are generally categorized as follows: affordable, market rate, and luxury.
Affordable apartments are priced for seniors with low income to be able to pay rent that’s only 30% or less of their monthly earnings.
Apartments available for market-rate are without any subsidies. Competitive prices are usually offered, and at lower rates than all-age apartments. This means, at market rate, senior apartments are still relatively cheaper than other options in an area.
Luxury apartments offer larger units, more amenities, and are located closer to local attractions. These factors usually make them the most expensive options.
Keep in mind that many senior apartments require homeowner’s association fees!
How safe are senior apartments?
Most apartments include safety and security at no additional cost. All you need to do is ask this question: what does this place offer?
Front desk attendant or security guard? Key cards? Smoke detectors? How about security cameras? Are fire escapes easily accessible? Check out parking lots and other public spaces you may frequent. Are all of the areas well-lit? Does it seem easy to stay aware of your surroundings there?
It’s never inappropriate to ask staff how they keep their residents safe!
Sure this apartment building is close to my family – but, what else is it close to?
Consider the location! You are an active and independent retiree – you’ve got places to go and people to see!
Will your new home be close to shopping areas? How about emergency services – are they nearby? Think of doctor offices, dentists, and your place of worship. Oh, and don’t forget dining!
Assessing the location first is important because being near family and friends is important, but no one wants to drive an hour away for groceries!
Are there amenities?
Fitness centers, common areas, and swimming pools are all typical amenities you may expect to see in senior apartments. Also, depending on the location, there may be housekeeping and laundry services included!
Remember to ask if amenities or services cost extra, so you are not blindsided by surprise fees.
Consider how your personal health needs will be met in an apartment
Senior apartments are for independent lifestyles. Buildings and individual units are usually handicap-accessible and equipped with helpful hardware. Common conveniences will include handrails for extra stability and shower chairs for bathroom safety.
Do not mistake accessibility for care. If you require personal care or extensive medical assistance, this will not be for you.
Are senior apartments age-restricted? And, what does that even mean?
Most senior apartments are age-restricted to adults 55 and older. The idea is to allow the comfort of aging in place with like-minded neighbors. The Fair Housing Act contains “Housing for Older Persons” exemptions which an establishment must adhere to if it wishes to lawfully rent to only senior citizens. If you’re looking to become part of a community consisting of mostly neighbors who are close to your age, then get ready to make some friends!
Don’t forget – you’re downsizing!
Apartments are smaller. So, keep in mind your furniture and décor probably won’t all have a place in your new home. Apartments have very little storage space and garages aren’t always a feature, so owning multiple cars may not be an option.
What are the policies?
You’ll sign a lease or rental agreement before moving in. This is a legal contract, so you should know what is included.
Is there a deposit? Are there maintenance fees? Curfews? What are the rules regarding pets? How about smoking policies?
If you don’t know or the policies are unclear – just ask!
How senior-accessible is this place anyway?
Most senior apartments will feature widespread use of handrails, wheelchair ramps, and grab bars for easy accessibility. Ask if there’s regular maintenance on the building to keep residents as safe as possible. Pay extra attention to individual units so you know what you’re getting and if it’s right for you. Are things like kitchen and bathroom cabinets designed with aging adults in mind? Make sure the building you’re looking into has the hardware you need so you can live comfortably and independently!
Ask yourself, ‘how do I want to spend my days?’
Consider the lifestyle you wish to lead and the comfort you want in your apartment. Are you a social butterfly or mostly private? Every location offers different amenities, so ensure the apartment you’re renting features plenty of options for fun and rest.
Ready to go apartment shopping?
Visit our senior apartment directory to find housing near you!