Many people, when approaching retirement age, dream about selling their current too big home and buying a smaller one and then investing the money made on the salet to help fund their retirement. For many of these people, though, the reality turns out to be a little different because downsizing often doesn’t work out as well as they’d hoped. But done right, downsizing can produce some hefty profit along with other benefits. With that in mind, we offer these 7 ideas to help retirees downsize in .
1. Know What and Where You Really Want
Before retirees downsize, they should determine exactly what they want in their new home and neighborhood and exactly where they’d like to live. Do you, for example, want to live in a warm climate, or is it more important to be near family even if they live where winters are harsh? Is your goal to relax and live quietly, or are you seeking opportunities for outdoor adventure? Would you prefer to live in a big city or in a small town? And do you want to live among people your own age and with similar interests?
Getting clear on these matters is the best first step because happiness is more important than profit. Once you’ve got this squared away, it’time to move on to the next consideration.
2. Figure Out How Much Space You Need
When retirees downsize in , they need to think long and carefully about how much space they need in their new home. You don’t want to wind up with another house that’s too big for you – with wasted square footage, closed-off and unused rooms, high heating and cooling bills, and burdensome maintenance. But, then, you also don’t want to make the mistake of over-downsizing, of buying a house too small for your needs.
Consider your retirement lifestyle. Will you be entertaining a lot and hosting friends and family? Or will it be just you and your partner? Your local real estate agent will be a good resource to help you determine exactly what your space needs are. (To find out more, just call 866-593-7012.)
3. Do the Math
When retirees downsize in , they often make the mistake of not carefully crunching the numbers. The end result then is that they spend much more money on the new house than they had planned – which, of course, eats into the money from the sale of their old home they had planned to use to augment their retirement funds. And the unexpected expense includes much more than just the home’s purchase price.
In doing the math, you have to take into account not only the purchase price of your new downsized home, but also such things as property taxes, insurance, utilities, HOA fees, and even cost of living in the area. Downsizing doesn’t have to mean downgrading, but you don’t want downsizing to cost more either. A local realtor can help you determine costs in the area and neighborhood you’re moving to. (Call 866-593-7012 for more information.)
4. Look at the Floor Plan
Retirees who downsize also need to carefully consider the floor plan in their new home. First of all, you need to make sure you can place your furnishings to advantage and pleasingly. You should also make sure the floor plan suits your physical abilities and energy level. Ask yourself questions like these: Will that huge corner coach really work in the tiny living room? Do I want to climb stairs every night to go to bed? Will that one extra bedroom comfortably accommodate grandchildren when they visit?
5. Get Rid of Stuff the Right Way
Typically, when retirees downsize in should be given some careful consideration. And that is to hire a good local real estate agent – one who knows the area and neighborhood you’re moving to so that she can help you implement all the other ideas listed above. An agent who knows the local market can make house hunting and the purchase process much smoother and far more effective.