Retiring in Southern California? Here Are Some Points to Ponder

Once many couples like you achieve the 55+ milestone, they are ready for a change. And one of the most important (and most intimidating) changes is the choice of where you want to spend these golden years.

If you’re already in Southern California, you’re one step ahead of the folks who move here to retire amidst sunshine and palm trees. But there are still important decisions to be made.

Perhaps your kids are grown and living elsewhere, and you have a lot of extra space that you no longer need. Or perhaps retirement means an opportunity to finally escape the traffic, crowds and congestion of the city, and settle down in a quieter community where there’s room to relax.

For many, retirement means downsizing, to make sure the money you’ve saved will be enough to live comfortably.

Is it time to consider a move? If so, it’s an important decision and one that must be made carefully.

The Traditional Path

Some seniors simply elect to move to a less expensive area of Southern California (yes, they still exist, but they’re on the endangered species list). Another option is to stay in the same city but in a much smaller home or apartment. Unfortunately, considering most home prices in our state, you could very easily pay more money for a smaller home – that’s downsizing in space, but not in the amount of your investment or the monthly mortgage.

If you are open to exploring different communities, will you be able to find a home that fits you at a price you can afford? The average cost of a home in Riverside, San Bernardino or San Diego counties can still reach upwards of $550k.

Find out more about the comparison between costs of stick-built homes and manufactured homes

Other Alternatives for Retiring

There is another alternative – a brand new, energy efficient manufactured home built just for you, where you can choose how much space you need, how it will look, and where it will be located. Perhaps it can even be located on your existing property, while you rent the larger home!

Not sure what a manufactured home is? You’re not alone. Many people still associate that term with mobile homes and trailers – small narrow living spaces on wheels.

It was a nice life – seeing America and taking your home with you. But that does not describe today’s manufactured homes. They look like any other homes – same size, same appearance, same appliances inside and amenities that homeowners like. The only difference is that these homes are built in a factory, and then shipped to their destination. They are then placed on a permanent foundation, just like homes built on-site. And once you drive up or step inside, you’ll never know the difference – see this gallery of manufactured homes.

Dollar for dollar, you get more value with a manufactured home. The cost comparison with older, traditional homes is very favorable.

Being Close to Family

A manufactured home is also a favorable option if you already own undeveloped property, or if family has property large enough for a smaller residential home unit, or friends have undeveloped land available. In fact, the State of California has dictated to all municipalities (both cities and counties alike) to allow secondary homes to be placed on any property that can fit within the set-backs from their property lines.

If you already have the land, obviously the cost of owning a new custom, made-to-order home becomes dramatically less than traditional home ownership. Consider the other benefits as well:

  • Customize your home with the features and amenities important to you
  • No compromising for the right house in the wrong neighborhood, or the wrong house in the right neighborhood – you get the house you want, where you want it

Finding the Right Option for You

Which option is right for you? It depends on a number of factors. Click here to take our confidential home assessment, to help you understand whether your retirement plans are better suited for downsizing to a smaller home or apartment, or buying a new manufactured home.