Owning a large home makes sense for many people, from raising a family to having the ability to entertain large groups of friends and loved ones. However, as you age and your children move out to their own homes, yours may suddenly feel much too large. Choosing to downsize is something many individuals of retirement age choose, but how do you know when this is the right choice for you?
Listen to Your Budget
Money can be a large determining factor into whether downsizing your home is a good choice. If you are retired or plan on retiring soon, look into how much of your income will be going towards housing expenses. According to the United States National Housing Act of 1937, no more than 30% of your monthly budget should be going towards housing expenses. If your retirement income will have you making less, review your housing costs with your new budget.
Be sure to also think about your goals during retirement – do you want to travel or pursue a lifelong passion? Whatever your dreams are, make sure you have the money left to actually enjoy this new life stage. Smaller housing costs will help you live comfortably while having the extra funds to do what you like, and choosing to downsize even years before you retire will save you more money. For example, downsizing from a $250,000 home to one that is $150,000 could end up giving you $6,250 more each year.
It Feels Like Too Much House
Chances are, the home you’re in now felt as though it would be your forever home. However, if you’re finding the maintenance has become overwhelming or parts of the home are beginning to deteriorate, it may mean downsizing is best. Waiting too long to list your home could result in you having to spend more money on repairs, as well as more expensive home insurance and property taxes.
Along with maintenance becoming a factor, there may be features that were once in high demand that are no longer being used. From extra guest bathrooms to bedrooms turned storage closets, those extra spaces are costing you money in heating and cooling costs. Plus, mobility issues and other health concerns with age may result in you having difficulty just going upstairs to bed, or you may begin avoiding certain areas of the home, like the basement. Moving to a home that offers only the space you truly need in a layout that will remain comfortable for years to come is ideal.
Other Factors to Consider
The neighborhood itself may become an influential factor in determining whether you should downsize. You may have been one of many young families when you first moved to the area, but now that the kids have moved out, you no longer fit into the neighborhood dynamic. If the neighbors you knew have already moved from the area, your own home could feel isolated from those around you, so downsizing and choosing a neighborhood that encompasses others around your same age range can be more enjoyable.
You may also find that it’s time to turn your current home’s equity into extra income. Many seniors count on this equity to be part of their retirement income. There will also need to be a balance to consider when purchasing your new downsized home, so you want to try and sell your home for the most money possible with a great, experienced agent.
When you originally purchased your current home, it’s likely you considered the location in regards to where you worked. Now that you’ve retired, you aren’t tied down to a specific area, so now is the perfect time to find that house that is just right for you, no matter where it’s at. When looking at downsizing, it doesn’t always have to mean to a smaller home. Sometimes, depending on where you’re relocating from, you could get the same size home or larger for a lower cost than you were paying previously.
Ready to Downsize? Call Gateway Realty
If downsizing feels like the right choice for you, don’t put it off any longer. Contact our experienced, caring agents at Gateway Realty to sell your current home and help you find one that’s perfect for you in and around the North Platte, Nebraska region.