Should an 80 year old buy or rent?

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igloo and send brought up most of the points I was intending when I wrote "It depends." I'm 64 and I'm thinking that I don't want to be bothered with the maintenance and expense of a house. We own this house here and some of the repairs, e.g. roof or water damage, cost the equivalent of several months of rent. Insurance is another month's worth. Taxes are two more month's worth. The cost of maintenance, insurance, and taxes are so high now that there is really no benefit in ownership except that it is yours.

If I were 80, the only way I would buy a house would be if it was such a good investment that I couldn't pass it up and I had heirs who could enjoy that investment. Otherwise, I would just rent a place in a community that had people my own age around me.
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If any lending will be needed regarding buying a home & age, lenders / mortgage companies can't turn you down due to age as its discrimination BUT lenders can use actuarial tables to determine risk and place the terms of the loan within that risk. It may be that you an only qualify for a conventional loan & the downpayment is 50% - 70% of the price & the usual mortgage insurance plus require a life insurance policy with mortgage as the beneficiary.

It's a lot of $ that is now placed into a home which is an investment which is not easily liquid IF something should happen & you need $ quickly.

If you have a higher monthly income plus oodles of other assets & they are easily liquid (like maybe 300k + to private pay for care & regular living expenses plus that mortgage) and so the $ used for the downpayment for the house is not needed for your life style now & in the near 10 yr future, then buying can make sense.

Personally I'd be looking to downsize big time at 80 with as little debt as possible
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Dulcimer, are you asking about buying or renting in a Contiuing Care facility? I know that there are some facilities that will offer a client a "buy in" option where you give them A Lot of money upfront and they guarantee to care for you for life. These were the norm where I grew up NYC suburbs) but as people live longer, not as many places are offering them. I think they were also a mechanism by which to exclude folks who weren't wealthy.
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Yes, if the goals are to age in place, have caregivers in when the time comes, and have the possibility to leave your home to an heir, an 80 year old should buy a home. It is easier to design the monthly expenses to suit your budget over time according to the down payment (never 100%) decreasing the mortgage. You should start with a small mortgage to be able to access any equity for your own needs-if you buy it 100%, it is almost impossible to refinance the home. Even if you never could afford to refinance, you want to retain the option.
Additional benefits are you won't be begging to have pets (how many, what breed), having to move if Landlord sells, have unexpected increases in rent if landlord's property value skyrockets.

If financial planning and legal protections (such as not allowing adult children to steal out your equity for their needs under the guise of buying you a car, and "helping you) are in place like a trust, then buying may be feasible. Almost any mortgage with a down payment of over 30% will get almost anyone with good credit a house with a loan. imo. ,I could be wrong!!!! Also, there are 15 year mortgages. Depending upon who is living with you and their investment in the home, you should have what you want to meet your needs. Then, if you have the money, buy. Don't however, buy a fixer upper.
A modest one level, suitable for long-term such as ramp, wheelchair access, or even buying in a retirement community close to family or senior services could all work.
With home ownership comes responsibilities as well as rewards and a certain dignity unattainable when living in a home that is not yours. Imo. Expect to have a gardener and housekeeper in your budget. Avoid HOA's if possible. Don't buy
if others on the street are over developing huge mansions on postage sized lots because your property taxes will go sky high. imo.
One vote: Buy
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You'll need to provide more information, such as where the 80 year old is living now, whether he or she need higher levels of support, what other factors are relevant to a decision of whether to rent or buy.

However, perhaps the most important consideration of buying is age. Lenders would look askance at granting a mortgage to someone of that age, unless he/she holds sufficient assets to pay off a mortgage either before or after death.

A secondary issue is the health of the individual. It isn't easy for an 80 year old to keep up a house. The cost of internal and external care, such as cleaning, home repair, lawn services, etc. would have to be considered as part of the cost of house maintenance.
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Buy or rent a home? It depends.
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