Photo via Pexels | Article by Stephanie Haywood
While your 40s and 50s may seem a bit early to think about downsizing, if you are no longer utilizing your large and costly home, it could make financial sense. This is especially true if you choose to move into an apartment. In fact, living in a rental avoids having a mortgage at all, and you’ll not have to dish out money for major repairs that homeowners experience.
Here are some reasons from real estate agent Brian Chandler regarding why you should consider making a move to something smaller and what to keep in mind if you do.
You’re an empty nester.
Chances are the kids are mostly, if not completely, gone. They’re off to college and not spending as much time at home as they used to. While you want to make sure you have space for them to come back to, instead of paying for an empty house, All Pro Dad suggests downsizing to a smaller one means you could potentially use the savings from a move to help them pay for college. While it can be hard to let go of a place that houses all of their childhood memories, making a move allows you to have more flexibility for the future.
Retirement is just around the corner.
It’s never too early to start preparing for retirement and the lifestyle changes coming your way. If you don’t want to retire in the home that you’re in now, you should make the move while you are still physically and financially able. Think about the kind of floor plan you want, and consider homes with fewer stairs as well as retirement communities where things like yard maintenance are low. You may also want to live in a vacation spot where your kids will be motivated to come to visit you more. Either way, US News says “it’s important to do some soul-searching and research before you buy your retirement home.”
Part of that research involves finding out how much of a mortgage payment or rent you can afford for your retirement home. Check with local lenders to see what offers they have available, and also go online and use a mortgage affordability calculator to quickly ascertain the size of your monthly payment. Factors to include: the amount of the down payment, the length of the loan payoff, your income, and your credit rating.
In order to get the most out of your house when you sell it, consider making some home improvements that will boost its value, like fixing problem plumbing, replacing cracked windows, and increasing curb appeal. You also want to make sure that your house has what people want right now, and for many buyers that feature is a home office space. Now’s the perfect opportunity to learn what buyers want and decide what projects would increase the resale value of your house the most.
To save money, HGTV suggests you can likely do much of the work yourself. You’ll be surprised what a simple coat of paint will do to spruce up a room. New light fixtures and appliances also make a huge impact. Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure you give your home a good cleaning as well as declutter it before putting it on the market.
There are many additional benefits of a downsized home, including the fact that you’ll be able to reduce your carbon footprint. Living in a smaller house and on a smaller lot is a great way to cut common costs such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, and utility bills. As a result of selling your current larger home, you may be able to pay off your mortgage, increase your retirement contributions, and possibly live debt-free.
Americans tend to spend more on housing than they do on anything else. This includes home maintenance and security, both of which are time-consuming and stressful tasks to keep up with. You can relieve yourself of some of this financial burden by downsizing now.
When you’re ready to sell your home, it’s important to work with a real estate agent you can trust, like Brian Chandler. Unlike searching online yourself, your agent will know how to get the most money out of your house, and they can guide you into a new house if you choose to purchase.
By spending less time and money on keeping up a larger home, and more of it living the life you’ve always dreamed of, you’ll be able to have more control over your lifestyle choices. Whether it’s traveling or pursuing long-forgotten hobbies, downsizing could make a big impact on the quality of your life.
Real estate pro Brian Chandler of RE/MAX Alliance Group is a top producer and sales trainer located in the Parker, Colorado, area. Whether you’re buying or selling, team up with Brian today! 720.808.1007
Writer:: Stephanie Haywood