How to Find Senior Apartments
Finding senior housing options can be challenging while staying within a budget. However, you can find senior apartments on the market designed for those in retirement with relatively low expenses.
If you are looking for senior apartment options, you’ll want to conduct some thorough research first. We want to help, which is why we’ve put together this in-depth guide to senior apartments and how to find them.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
What is a Senior Apartment?
A senior apartment is found within a complex or community that has been explicitly designed to meet the needs of older adults. Senior apartments can also include other housing options, such as condos or townhouses. Regardless of the housing type, a senior apartment is likely to have a variety of provisions, such as:
- Fitness centers
- Laundry services
There are several reasons why older adults seek out housing through senior apartments, including that they find that living in a more traditional housing option, like a home or standard apartment, is no longer an ideal living situation for them. Elements like high cabinets or stairs can make day-to-day tasks challenging, making senior apartments a more appealing option to them.
How to Find Senior Apartments
Searching for senior apartments can be challenging, as they are not always readily available or easy to find.
If you’re looking for senior apartments near your city, here are a few helpful tips.
Start Your Search Early
The first thing you’ll want to do is start your search as early as possible to find a place that works for you. If you start early, you’ll have plenty of time to speak with property managers and see what type of accommodations are available in their facilities.
Senior apartments can also be limited, which makes the search that much more competitive. The best idea is to start your search early to be sure to find what you are looking for.
Know What You Are Looking For
When you start your search early, you have the time to outline exactly what you're looking for. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions before starting your search:
- What neighborhood do I want to live in?
- What are my must-have amenities?
- How much rent can I afford?
- How much square footage do I want?
- What are transportation options nearby?
- Do I need a furnished apartment?
Since senior apartments can be challenging to find, it is crucial to know exactly what you want in an apartment to act quickly. If you’re looking for some extra savings, be sure to keep an eye out for apartment move-in specials.
Search for Listings Online
While finding apartments online is easy to do, looking for senior apartments specifically can be a bit trickier.
Here’s where you can start your search online:
Set Up Apartment Tours
Once you’ve found a few options you’re interested in, it's time to tour and apply. You always want to make sure to visit the apartment you’re interested in before signing a lease. Seeing the unit in person and meeting your potential landlord or property manager are crucial parts of the rental process.
When you set up your apartment tours, you’ll need to prepare a list of questions to ask. Prepare thoroughly by looking over the list before your tour.
Another helpful trick is to bring materials with you on your apartment tours. That way, if you find exactly what you’re looking for, you can secure it right then and there.
Some of the necessary materials you’ll want to have on hand include:
- Cash, credit cards, or checkbook to pay for the application
- Proof of income
- Landlord references (or personal references if you don't have a rental history)
Apply and Sign Your Lease
Senior apartments come and go quickly because the demand is so high and the supply is limited. In some instances, you might have to put yourself on a waiting list to be considered.
To help get you into a senior apartment sooner, come prepared to fill out an application and pay a non-refundable application fee. If you can talk to someone ahead of time, call the broker or landlord in advance and ask what documentation is needed for the application.
Pros of Senior Apartments
Is moving into a senior apartment a good idea for you? If you are on the fence about the decision, you may want to weigh the pros and cons appropriately.
A lot of the factors contributing to the pros and cons of senior apartments will depend on the details of the lease agreement. As with all rentals, you want to make sure that you always read your rental agreement carefully and understand every last element.
Here are some of the pros of senior apartments.
More Security & Safety
In general, living in senior apartments heightens your security and safety. Apartments, in general, provide you with more neighbors who can help look after you and your home. Additionally, in senior apartments, you may be able to find additional safety features, such as:
- Gates to enter the building
- Building guards
- Security systems
- Multiples lock doors
Cheaper Than Owning a Home
Another perk of moving into senior apartments is that the costs are significantly lower than paying a mortgage on a traditional home. You will also find savings in taxes and maintenance in a senior apartment compared to a house.
Opportunity to Build a Community
When you live in a senior apartment, you have camaraderie with fellow older adults. More than likely, you will find people who enjoy the same hobbies as you. This perk is a considerable advantage to older adults who look forward to participating in an active and fun social environment.
One of the primary reasons people turn to senior apartments is the added amenities these communities have to offer. While the list of amenities varies from apartment to apartment, some of the common things include:
- Planned activities
- On-site laundry
- Outdoor areas for picnics and barbeques
- Basketball, volleyball, or tennis courts
- Fitness centers
Keep in mind that the longer the list of amenities offered, the higher the costs for monthly rent. However, when weighing out your options, it’s essential to know which amenities are needs and wants.
Cons of Senior Apartments
While living in a senior apartment may sound fantastic, it is equally as important to consider the cons as well. Here is a look at some of the downsides to living in senior apartments.
Unsurprisingly, living in an apartment will mean downsizing your square footage. More than likely, when you’re moving from a house into an apartment, you will have to cut down on some of your possessions to fit into your new senior apartment.
No In-Home Health Care
If you require in-home healthcare, having rent to pay on top of that can get quite pricey. An alternative to senior apartments might be living in an assisted living facility, where you can have your in-home healthcare included in your rental costs.
While senior apartments usually come with a long list of amenities, you’ll often have higher rent rates. As such, you’ll find that the best senior apartments can be pretty costly. You’ll need to carefully weigh out the necessities to see what you can afford.
Pet Policy Limitations
Many senior apartments have limitations on the types of pets you can have. Similar to other apartment complexes, it’s not uncommon to find no pets allowed. Be mindful of this if you do have a pet and if you’re unsure, always feel free to ask the property manager.
Determining whether a senior apartment is suitable for you depends on what you are looking for. Keep in mind that finding the right senior housing while sticking within your budget might be challenging. Hopefully, after reading through our in-depth guide, you have a better idea of what to look for in your senior apartment hunt.