Downsizing to Fit your Lifestyle

Downsizing to Fit your Lifestyle — If You're an Empty Nester here are Some Things to Consider


Downsizing to Fit your Lifestyle — If You're an Empty Nester here are Some Things to Consider

The kids have left home and you have more house than you know what to do with. Now what? If you're an empty nester or simply want to downsize here are some things to consider. 

Many retirees downsize to improve their quality of life and their finances; owning a smaller home often means less maintenance along with substantial savings on mortgage payments, utilities, and property taxes. If you have a lot of equity in your current home, you may even be able to buy a smaller home or condominium outright and eliminate a mortgage altogether. So when’s the best time to sell? Of course, you want to get the best price for your house, so the ideal time to sell is when the housing market is strong in your area (which isn’t necessarily the best time to buy). So before you stick the “For Sale” sign in the yard, research the local real estate market and the current value of your home versus that of any home you may potentially purchase.

Downsizing may be a difficult but necessary step.

Relocating to a new state

If you’re thinking about moving to a different state, compare local and state income tax rates, and whether your monthly pension and Social Security will be taxed. This could make a big impact on your monthly income. In some cases, renting may make more sense than buying right away, especially if you’re testing the waters of an area and want to become more familiar with it before making a long-term housing decision.

Think ahead

When choosing a new home, older buyers have even more to consider, including current and future home maintenance requirements, security, accessibility to health care, and floor plan. This may be a good time, for example, to eliminate homes with stairs and narrow doorways from consideration. For some, selling the family home and moving to a new home in retirement is a highly anticipated culmination of years of planning, saving and dreaming. For others, downsizing may be a difficult but necessary step. Whatever the circumstances, having a well-thought-out plan will help make any transition easier.