There may come a time in your life, as you approach retirement, or after you retire, where you think it may be time to downsize your home of many years.
Often, as the children move out and you are looking to the future of not going in to work every day, the home you have known for many years may no longer suit your lifestyle.
It could trigger you taking a look at your living situation and if there may be some better options for you.
One couple I had recently helped sell their home of 38 years and downsize to an over 55 condominium community started the process with much trepidation, but were very pleased with the outcome.
So I asked them what they were really enjoying the most about their move.
Both of them said the lack of maintenance…. mowing the lawn, keeping the gardens weeded, power washing the house, general maintenance, etc…
They were spending so much time maintaining the exterior of their home and large lawn. For them, the regular upkeep of a large house and yard weighing them down.
It has given them time to travel and spend with their children and grandchildren.
Seven Reasons To Downsize Your Home
The decision to downsize from a larger home to a smaller one or a different one that may suit your needs better is personal…. very personal. But here are a few of the signs to trigger some to downsize into a new home.
Retirement is an event in one’s life that often triggers downsizing into a smaller home. Once you stop the daily grind of working the 9-5 every day. It gives you time to think a little hard about the future.
is this where you want to be in retirement?
how downsizing would fit into your overall financial planning?
do you really need all this space?
and more, will get you thinking if downsizing is the right option for you or not.
When you are living in a large home, the maintenance and upkeep can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Now that the family is gone, you may have no need for the large yard and a large house. The motivation to spend hours mowing the lawn, weeding the gardens and maintaining a large home may be gone.
If the maintenance is overwhelming you a condo could be a great alternative. Living in a condo, leaves a lot of the exterior maintenance and lawn upkeep to someone else.
Or, if condo living isn’t for you, maybe a smaller, more manageable home is ideal.
I had a client that had 8 children, all long moved out of the house, with families of their own They have a home that is 6 bedrooms and over 3600 square feet.
Their current lifestyle had them using about a third of the home…. the master bedroom, kitchen and family room and a small office.
Most of their house is shut off. And, while financial concerns are not high on their list, they are still paying a lot of extra money to heat and maintain a home they are barely using to its full potential.
The decision was to sell the home and find a home that suited their current lifestyle. The couple bought a much smaller, new construction, single family home.
The new construction offered a very open concept living area and a first floor master, which is a huge plus to help them age in place. They love the decision they made.
Move Closer to Family
I run into many folks that have decided they want to be closer to family. For some empty nesters, their family has spread out and they want to be closer to their children or possibly move in with one of their children.
The reasons to move closer to family or live with family can be many. I’ll list a few here:
- Financial- Living with a family member in a multi generational living situation can save both parties’ money.
- Help A Child- Having the free time that comes with retirement now gives you the time to help out one or more of your children with daycare.
- Care- Maybe as you age, you want to be closer to your children to give you a hand with some care, rides and maintenance that might be required as you get older.
When we are raising our families and are working hard, our lives are filled with commitments and not much else matters. As children move on, or you slow down at work, you find you may have a lot of time on your hand.
Making a move when you downsize can give you the opportunity to move closer to shopping, golfing and other activities you enjoy, family, doctors or even becoming more involved socially. I have known people who move to an adult community for activities and involvement with peers with similar interests.
Financial Need Tops The List of Why It May Be Time To Downsize Your Home
A home is often a person’s single, largest asset. Moving into a smaller, less expensive home could tap into some of your home’s accrued equity to help fund your retirement.
That equity can be used to augment a fixed income from pension payments or social security.
Looking at a large home that requires extensive maintenance while paying for taxes and utilities on space you don’t event use may stretch your monthly budget. You also may be looking at having to pay people to mow the lawn or plow the driveway, tasks you used to do when you were younger.
Years of paying down or off your mortgage can now benefit your retirement years.
Aging At Home
As people age their mobility can wane. And they often want to stay in a home they are familiar with. But a home used to raise a family may not be as suitable as you age. It could be time to downsize your home and think more carefully about your living space.
One of the biggest home features the over 55 community looks for is either single floor living or a first floor master. Navigating stairs becomes one of the biggest problems one needs to navigate as they age.
There are other home features that can help someone age in their existing home. Open floor plans, wider doorways, no step entries, etc… are all features that make navigating a home easier.
Downsize Your Home Summary
Now, downsizing might not be for everyone. There are plenty of people who want to stay put just for the security of what they know.
But I am sure at some point everyone goes through the thought process of what would the benefits be of downsizing be. I listed the 7 most popular reasons why people consider when is it time to downsize, but the list could be much longer and everyone’s circumstances are personal.
As always, if you are considering it may be time to downsize your home talk to a local REALTOR that has experience.
Other Real Estate Resources:
- Sometimes moving means making a long distance move. And that move may include transporting your automobiles. Michelle Gibson provides 5 tips for moving your vehicles long distance, starting with choosing the right transportation company.
- With interest rates having a drastic increase lately, considering an Adjustable Rate Mortgage may be an option to consider lowering your monthly mortgage payment. Bill Gassett provides all the information you need to consider an adjustable rate mortgage.
- This summer, here in New England, it has been pretty darn hot!! Paul Sian helps us stay cool this summer with his article on How To Keep Your Home Cool.
- Closing on a home means doing a walk through of the home just prior to closing. Joe Boylan discusses what you should be looking for at the final walkthrough to avoid any issues after the closing.
7 Reasons Why It May Be Time To Downsize Your Home is provided by Kevin Vitali of EXIT Realty. If you would like to sell or buy a home, give me a call at 978-360-0422 and let’s get the process started.
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