Whether grown children leave home and return then leave again or your life situation has significantly changed since you bought the home, there are many reasons why someone might consider downsizing from their present home. It’s especially common for people entering their retirement years to sell the large family home and move into a smaller space requiring less maintenance.
Too Much House
Homeowners will generally consider downsizing when they have too much house for the number of people living there. Maybe you never had that large family you dreamed about or perhaps the children grew up and got married, leaving you and your spouse rattling around in a home that’s far more than you need. A large house requires a lot to keep it heated in the winter and cool in the summer. Your property taxes are also going to be significantly more on a larger home.
When people retire they often are forced to live on less income than when they were working. This makes a lot of people take a hard look at where their money is going each month. Home ownership can take a huge chunk out of your monthly income, especially if you’re still paying off a mortgage on a pricey home. Relocating to an area where the cost of living is less than where you are as well as moving into a smaller home can both save you a bundle of money each month.
Too Much Upkeep
People with small children or dogs really need to have a home with a fenced in yard. That makes perfect sense. But once the children are grown and the dogs are long gone you may find yourself asking whom it is you’re maintaining that sizable yard for. How much sense does it really make for a family of two to hold onto a home on a large lot? Do you really want to spend your retirement years tending to your property on the weekends?
So Many Choices
Once you decide that downsizing would be a good idea at this stage in your life it’s time to put some thought into where you’d like to live. For instance, there are states that tax Social Security benefits and many that don’t. There are states where property taxes are simply outrageous and may be more than you can afford in retirement. There are also states like the Carolinas where the cost of living is just more affordable for retirees.
Condo or House?
Downsizing doesn’t have to mean giving up having your own home, yard and gardens. You can move into a smaller single family home. You can choose to move into a retirement community – gated or not. There are many very affordable mobile home communities offering lifestyle amenities. And for maintenance-free living, consider condominium living, many also with lifestyle amenities and HOAs.
All That Stuff
It just makes sense that when you move from a larger home into a smaller one you’re going to have to purge a lot of your things. Before you move is the time to sort things to decide what to toss or sell. Give a bit of thought into what lifestyle you want to pursue in retirement. If you’re giving up gardening and have no desire to ever mow a lawn again, then you won’t need any of those gardening supplies and you can sell the lawnmower, too. If you picture yourself golfing in retirement, take the money you make and buy yourself a really nice set of golf clubs.
Once you move into a smaller home you’ll find you have more money. Your utility bills will be smaller since you’re heating and cooling a smaller space. Your property taxes will be significantly lower. You’ll probably have paid off the new home with the proceeds from the sale of the large family home so there’s no mortgage payment to deal with every month. It just makes sense to move into something smaller once the family has launched and you’ve reached retirement.
Give us a call at Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty and let us show you the perfect properties ideally suited for those who have begun those wonderful years of retirement.