These days, in our 60s, if we sell/buy a place, it’s likely to be a small home, hopefully on a largish lot. What we have now is a multibedroom, 2 bath house, in two stories. We’re working actively on turning it into single floor living.
If I was buying a home now, and I was younger, I’d have done a lot more thinking about what it was I expected to be doing in 30 years. Every other home we’ve bought (2) we were in < 10 years, so I expected that when we moved here too. That’s an entirely different set of expectations. If the home is fundamentally sound, you get it painted, spiff it up and sell it. After 25+ years, almost every home needs systems replaced: water pump, septic, electric, water heater, etc.
Replaced the water heater 3 times.
Changed the heating system 2 times.
Replaced or bought 2 woodstoves.
Bought or replaced 3 refrigerators.
Bought or replace 3 sets of washers/dryers.
Replaced the well pump twice
Replaced the pressure bladder once.
Got the roofing redone.
Got the chimney pipe replaced.
Replaced the spark arrestor at the top of the chimney and flashing for the chimney/roof.
When we moved in, the home was only 6 years old, but the guy who was here had worked construction and I swear used scraps, left overs, and replaced pieces from other homes for a lot of things. And his workmanship wasn’t great either.
So, what i’d recommend? Look at the home’s systems and make a timeline of when you’d expect to replace whatever. When we bought this place, during the Bush bank/real estate recession, there were a lot of junked houses on the market and it was impossible to sell a house. Six months after we moved in, DH was let go.
And we used savings to hang on.
None of that was expected. We didn’t have a backup plan and much of what we had planned for the future was shot down when 1) we couldn’t sell this place after he got work elsewhere and 2) the second new job he got was with a small company where the boss didn’t like running payroll, so at one point he was 3 paychecks behind.
We ate up our savings, and ran up a lot of credit card debt. It has taken us years to pay that off and then start saving again.
So, plan for the worst case, not what’s “normal” is probably my biggest suggestion. Buy less than what the bank etc. say you can afford.