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Buying a Home in San Diego? 7 Tips Every Senior Needs to Know

San Diego is a major California city that's famous for its beaches and cultural attractions. The city is home to a population that includes 13 percent seniors. There's a wide array of reasons to retire to picturesque San Diego if you are a senior looking to relocate. Whatever style or size home you're in the market for, a licensed real estate agent can help you settle into a property that's ideally suited to your needs.

1. Determine Location and Needs

San Diego features many amazing neighborhoods. Some reflect the heritage of immigrants who have and continue to settle here. Others reflect the city’s overall diversity. There are many housing types to choose from, including new constructions and historic homes such as Arts and Crafts houses. Your agent can help you find a property type that suits your needs whether you’re looking for a home with little to no outdoor maintenance or a single-level property.

In addition, San Diego is ideal for seniors who are looking for senior assisted living options. Senior living facilities in San Diego feature a wide range of care options and amenities while catering to differing budgets.

2. Consider Property Taxes

Property taxes can add a significant amount to your housing budget, and they can present a challenge to seniors living on a fixed income. The average effective property tax rate in San Diego is 1.17 percent. This means that a median home assessment of $454,600 rates an annual property tax of $5,318.82. Naturally, this rate fluctuates in neighboring communities. Your agent will discuss your budgetary concerns and help you factor in property tax rates for your chosen area.

3. Factor in the Cost of Living

It’s important to consider an area’s cost of living index when searching for a retirement location. San Diego has a very high cost of living that’s 46 percent above the national average. While housing is the most significant driving force behind that high cost, seniors should also take grocery (14 percent above), transportation (23 percent above) and health care (7 percent above) costs into account. Many seniors are willing to pay that higher cost of living because the city’s livability is world-famous. Its beaches, parks, public transportation, amenities, cultural attractions and climate make it not only a popular place to retire, but it's also a favorite vacation destination.

4. Choose an Outstanding Medical Facility

San Diego is home to highly respected medical facilities, hospitals and medical centers such as Scripps La Jolla Hospitals, UC San Diego Health Medical Centers and Sharp Memorial Hospital. San Diego also has research hospitals, specialists and hospitals with specialized geriatric care programs. Many seniors find it helpful to relocate to homes near area clinics and medical facilities, and there are residential neighborhoods located within close proximity to some of the city's most renowned medical centers. If you prefer to live near a care center, be sure to let your agent know.

5. Take Advantage of San Diego’s Public Transportation

Public transportation is highly efficient and reliable in San Diego. The city’s Metropolitan Transit System operates bus and trolley lines in and around the metropolitan area. The transit system prioritizes riders who require assistance; seniors and passengers with disabilities receive priority seating and may be eligible for other services. San Diego is also home to multiple train stations and depots and is served by the San Diego International Airport. If you plan to use public transportation, it makes sense to relocate to a San Diego property that's within easy distance of a bus stop or train station.

6. Live Near Cultural Attractions That Interest You

A real estate agent who frequently helps seniors relocate to the city should always ask about the types of things they like to do. Whether it's golf, volunteer work or shopping, living close to these types of activities can enhance life in the city. Be sure to mention the activities you enjoy such as strolling the walking trails with your dog or visiting your local library on a weekly basis.

Of course, San Diego is world-famous for its various cultural attractions that include Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, the Gaslamp Quarter and the San Diego Museum of Art. If you like the idea of living near these attractions or others, let your agent know.

7. Enjoy Our Amenities

As a major city, San Diego boasts a myriad of amenities that are popular with seniors. It’s home to nationally recognized supermarket and store chains, cuisine-specific restaurants, coffee shops, fitness centers, golf clubs, garden clubs, men’s and women’s clubs and senior centers. San Diego’s library system features materials and programs that are popular with seniors, and many area organizations organize local trips to the city’s parks and landmarks that many seniors enjoy.

If you’re looking to live in a vibrant city that experiences delightful year-round weather and urban attractions, you should consider all that San Diego has to offer. From its parks and public city spaces to its postcard-worthy beaches, San Diego is one of the most livable cities in the nation.

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