Senior townhomes can be an alternative to apartments or larger homes that require regular maintenance and upkeep. If you are planning for retirement or looking to move into a smaller place, then a townhome can be a great option for those who don’t mind shared walls or amenities.
In this guide, I’ll break down the pros and cons of living in senior townhomes, where to find a townhome, and the average prices for buying and renting a townhome.
Pro Tip:Planning care for a loved one? Be sure to check out our free care planner tool to jumpstart the process.
What Are Senior Townhomes?
Senior townhomes are a good option for older adults who want to stay active and engaged within their communities. Many of them offer shared amenities and recreation centers to encourage community building. Particularly for those who enjoy being social, a senior townhome can be a great way to join an active community of older adults.
Amenities of a senior townhome community may include:
24/7 emergency maintenance
Usually, the age minimum for senior townhomes starts at 55+ and can cost an average of $800 to $2,500 a month, depending on your location. If you’re thinking of buying a senior townhome, you can expect it to cost between $100,000 and $300,000 in most areas. As with most 55+ communities, senior townhomes tend to cost slightly less than the market rate for similar homes.
Buying vs. Renting Senior Townhomes
Once you’ve decided to make the transition to a senior townhome, you’ll likely have the option to rent or buy a unit. While purchasing a townhome comes with the upsides of building equity and tax savings, as a homeowner, it might leave you saddled with maintenance expenses and other upkeep costs.
Renting a Senior Townhome
Renting a senior townhome can be a good option if you’re looking to downsize or forgo maintenance responsibilities. Depending on your location, you’ll find a plethora of senior townhome options for those over the age of 55. The pricing largely boils down to location, amenities, and square footage of the unit, and monthly rents can range anywhere from $800 to upwards of $4,000.
Buying a Senior Townhome
If you’re looking for long-term security while building equity, then buying a senior townhome might be a good option for you. Once again, costs will vary widely with location, size, and community amenities; however, as mentioned, you can expect to pay slightly less than the market value for similar townhomes.
While buying a senior townhome comes with the responsibility of maintenance and repairs, it comes with the potential to eventually sell your home for a profit. Deciding whether to rent or buy a senior townhome will largely depend on your budget and how much maintenance you’re willing to handle on your own.
Did You Know: If you’re not ready to move yet and want to weigh your options, take a look at our guide to aging in place.
How to Pay for a Senior Townhome
Whether you’re renting or buying a senior townhome, there are many ways to pay for it. If you are a veteran or spouse receiving VA benefits, you might qualify for monthly allowances which may cover senior care, assistance with daily living activities, and other costs related to living in your senior townhome or other senior community.
Another option is checking to see if your state offers supplemental state benefits to help you pay for some of the cost of buying or renting a senior townhome. For example, Washington, D.C. offers a Social Security supplement benefit to older adults who need room and board for assisted living communities.
Additionally, you can receive assistance or financial advice through housing counseling agencies or a Housing Assistance program in your state. This program might be able to provide grants and low-interest loans for older adults who are trying to purchase a townhome or other type of home. You can also reach out to housing counseling agencies for assistance and receive no-cost support on buying a home, renting, and general loan advice.
Medicare and Medicaid
In most cases, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover the cost of living at assisted living facilities or senior townhomes. That said, Medicaid might be able to offer housing assistance in certain situations. Although Medicaid can’t specifically help pay for senior townhomes, it can help low-income adults pay for certain assisted living-related care accommodations. If eligible, you can receive housing financial assistance through an Assisted Living Waiver program.
While Medicaid can’t cover the full cost of housing for a townhome, it can still help with assisted living care costs. If you are an eligible senior, Medicaid might be able to pay for services ranging from nursing care to medication management.
How to Find a Senior Townhome
Before deciding to move to a senior townhome, you’ll want to consider your income, investments, savings, and approximate monthly expenses. I’d also recommend reaching out to a senior community center or city government website for information about housing options for seniors. Alternatively, if you feel more comfortable going through a real estate agent for your housing needs, you can do that as well.
When it comes to senior housing, it’s always a good option to create a pros and cons list and revisit your budget and individual care needs. It’ll be worth the investment knowing that you’ve done your research and looked into financial assistance programs and local senior organizations to help you find your dream townhome.
To learn more about senior housing, be sure to check out our helpful guides:
In most cases, if you live in a townhome, you don’t have to worry about maintenance and repairs; rather, you can reach out to the property manager for assistance. If you were to live in a senior condo, you’d likely have to manage your own indoor repairs and maintenance.
Yes, in some cases you may need to pay monthly HOA fees, but there are many senior townhome communities that may offer low HOAs. The HOA fees for senior townhomes may cover exterior maintenance, upkeep, and other services.
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here