Downsizing is almost inevitable for most of us. Just like the home-preferences of single adults are different from those of families with young children, so are the home needs and wants of retirees.
Often retirees need less room in their home and yard and more freedom from home chores and expenses. Even so, many find it difficult to choose to downsize. In fact, 64% are planning to remain in their current home throughout retirement, according to a Merrill Lynch survey of 50+ retirees.
But delaying downsizing can mean the loss of tens of thousands of dollars or the ability to move yourself independently due to health or mobility restrictions. Deciding to downsize can be smart financially and give you a new sense of energy and freedom.
So how can you tell when it’s time to move to a smaller home?
Here are seven clear signs it’s time to downsize, as first published by Bradley K. Tuttle in RealtyTimes.com.
Location, location: your neighborhood no longer meets your needs
Families with children often buy a home in a neighborhood close to good schools and perfectly suited for young children. If your neighborhood fits that description, chances are it is still filled with young families. Perhaps you’d like to be surrounded by others in your stage of life for a more active social life and companionship.
If you have many bedrooms and living spaces that are no longer in use, you are likely to appreciate a home with less space. No need to heat all of that unused space when you don’t need it.
Home care and maintenance is overwhelming
The time in your life when you need to be at home every weekend taking care of your family has passed. Why let your home keep you from experiencing that carefree freedom? Or you may have physical limitations that make it harder for you to keep up with the chores. Smaller homes and smaller yards need far less care and upkeep, freeing you up for activities and hobbies you enjoy.
Home features don’t support aging in place
Today, we age differently than a few decades ago. We live longer and stay active, which drives more of us to choose to age in place. Your home needs features that support your changing needs as you grow older. If you live in a multi-story home, have narrow doorways or high-maintenance outdoor areas, you may consider these to be signs that downsizing is in your future.
It’s time for a new scene
If you have always dreamed of retiring closer to the beach, the mountains or your grandchildren, a smaller home can help you afford the move. You can wake up to your new environment every day. And you may be able to find a community of like-minded people at the same time. What are you waiting for? This is the opportunity of a lifetime.
Housing expenses more than 30% of your monthly budget
Financial experts and the U.S. government recommend no more than 30% of your monthly budget should go to your home costs. When you retire, your new income may put you in that category.
A smaller home and a lower – or no – monthly mortgage payment could change this equation for you.
It’s time to tap into your home equity
Like so many of us, your home – and the equity you have built up in it – is your most valuable asset.
You can use that equity when you retire. It can help you travel or cover everyday costs, which is the number one reason retirees often give for tapping into their equity.
Bottom line, there are many, many positives for getting to the downsizing stage of life. Enjoy it! And let us know if we can help you in this transition.
For the full article see realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1043159-7-signs-it-s-time-to-downsize.
By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, email Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.