Greg Abbott – It’s not unusual for empty nesters to take a second look at their home and realize they just don’t need all that space now that their children are raised. It’s also not unusual to want to downsize and invest the equity in a new location or split the equity and purchase a smaller home AND another home in a retirement destination as well.
This thinking has been in the forefront of a movement many real estate experts have been predicting for quite some time. Much has been written about a widespread sell-off of big homes by baby boomers seeking a new way of living. That trend, however, has not shown up as quickly as predicted. One of the reasons is the economy in recent years has not been as strong enough; many have not retired as soon as they predicted.
Many retirement age homeowners have considerable home equity that can be tapped to help with their retirement. TheAARP Public Policy Insititute reported that 80 percent of Americans over the age of 50 are homeowners and more than 80 percent of those 50 to 64 have home equity. The median home equity for household in the 55-to-64 age range in 2010 was $100,000; it was $135,000 for those 65 and over. Boomers will turn 65 at a rate of 8,000 per day for the next 18 years. That’s a lot of people making decisions about the next phase of their lives. Getting good real estate advice is valuable in making plans.
Choices and Decisions. For those who have weathered the recession, downsizing helps open opportunities for new choices and newfound freedom. Several factors contribute to the ‘less is more’ lifestyle choice.
1. A smaller house translates to a smaller mortgage or no mortgage.
If you’ve lived in a larger home for a number of years it is likely you have built up a good deal of equity. You may be able to cash out and purchase a smaller home and reduce (or possibly eliminate) a mortgage payment entirely.
2. Monthly expenses go down proportionally to smaller square footage.
Your monthly costs are downsized when your home square footage is reduced. Utility bills may shrink, taxes & insurance may be reduced and general upkeep of the property will likely be more affordable.
3. Property maintenance may no longer be an issue.
Depending on your choice, you may find that mowing, weeding and exterior painting are no longer an issue. Those moving to condominiums and townhomes experience the freedom of lock-and-leave opportunities knowing that property upkeep is handled by a community association. Travel becomes a hassle free option.
4. Move out of the area.
Downsizing provides the opportunity to move home equity to a more affordable area of the state or country. It also offers the choice for a climate change. Numerous retirement communities around the country provide enticing cost-of-living opportunities for empty nesters and retirees.
5. Lifestyle Perks
With more time on their hands, Boomers can choose to relocate and be closer to new lifestyle amenities they want to enjoy. Additionally, they have the extra cash to enjoy those recreational and lifestyle opportunities.
6. The Freedom Of Less Stuff
Cleaning out all of the stuff accumulated through the years allows for easy maintenance and functional lifestyle. Many refer to it as an ‘uplifting’ experience.
Bellevue, Eastside and Seattle area residents…if you are considering downsizing
or making a change and have questions about the current real estate market,
and the value of your property, I am happy to supply you with current information
about our local market (your neighborhood) AND provide a
market valuation of your home. I’ll share all relevant nearby sales,
answer your questions, discuss the process of selling…
…and the steps I take to get your home sold.
Greg Abbott is a broker for Windermere Real Estate in Bellevue, WA, located on Greater Seattle’s Eastside. Greg’s aim is make the Realtor connection easy and a ’right-fit’ for all clients. He is committed to knowledgeable, outstanding service.
Windermere Real Estate | Bellevue, Wa
Greg Abbott | Broker | 425.466.8786 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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