Some people will opt to buy a smaller home or condo, some others will decide to rent
So the kids have moved out and now you have a lot of extra unused space I your home. You’re paying maintenance, heat, lights and taxes on a home that you may now only be using half to maybe 2/3 of the space. It’s expensive to pay for space that isn’t going to be used. Perhaps it’s time to rightsize.
Some people will opt to buy a smaller home or condo, some others will decide to rent. Regardless on where you move to here are some questions you should ask yourself before you start the process.
Can you afford to buy a house or condo? Hopefully you sell your large family home, make a nice profit and buy a condo in a great building close to all amenities. But if this move involves you needing a mortgage will you be able to afford it in the coming years? Consider the chance of illness in the coming years. Housing is the largest expense for retirees, averaging between $12,000-15,000 per year.
Add in utilities at around $2500-3500 per year. If you or your spouse became sick and have to pay medical bills not covered by government or insurance will you be able to afford a house or condo. Also keep in mind certain health problems may require an immediate and unplanned sale of your existing property if you are no longer able to stay there.
How often will you have house guests? While many retirees look forward to frequently having kids and grandkids visit and stay in the family home that may not be realistic. Between the cost of travel, busy lives and difficulty getting time of work, your family may not be able to visit as often as you would like. If they only going to be visiting 1-2 weeks a year, is it practical to maintain your 3-4 bedroom for such limited usage? In a smaller condo or apartment you could put a sofa bed in a den or second bedroom for guests.
Can you live without a car? It’s great if you are still driving, but remember many health changes, even something as simple as a change in medication or memory loss can result in a permanent termination of your driver’s license. Most accidents in aging adults start between the ages of 70-74 and the highest rates are 85 and above. How would it affect your lifestyle if you were suddenly unable to drive? Is your current home close to necessities like shopping, bank, doctor etc? It is a good idea to be sure that any new place you move to would be manageable without a car.
Although the terms “downsizing” and “rightsizing” are used interchangeably, they are different. If you are moving to streamline life and not because of financial reasons, you are rightsizing. Our housing needs change over time. Making a move to a more suitable home rather than staying in the large family home can actually improve your lifestyle, give you more independence, less responsibility and save you money.
If you’re interested in seeing housing alternatives in our local Halifax market, I am happy to share my insights with you and show you some options. I’m an experienced Realtor® with years of working with Boomer and senior clients, and I look forward to the chance to help you – just give me a call. To learn more about your options, I also invite you to click the link for a copy of my free e-book 11 Boomer and Senior FAQs.
If you are ready to sell your home for maximum value, the best place to start is by clicking here and scheduling an appointment.
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Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991, Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. Call Roy at 902-497-3031 or contact Roy here