One of the most common dilemma’s faced by retirees is “When should I downsize and move to a new place?” It’s never easy to decide when to leave the family home you have lived in for decades. It can be a very emotional decision to make. I have had clients move from homes that have been in the family over 60 years. So if you are in the stage of considering making a move here are 5 points to consider.
- Housing needs change over time. Your 4 bedroom 2 storey house with large backyard was perfect to raise a family but the kids have moved out years ago. Many clients I work with are currently only using 3 rooms (living room, kitchen & bedroom), typically they are only using between 25-50% of the house for day to day living. The remaining rooms are unused. They are however paying to heat, insure and maintain the entire house.
- Don’t try to time the market. Yes, your home may sell for a few thousand more next Spring, depending on the market. But if you are going to spend the entire Winter stuck in the house because of snow and ice and paying some one to plow the snow, it might be easier to sell sooner rather than later. Homes sell year-round, so pick the time that is most convenient for you,
- Don’t wait until you have to move. Staying in your home as long as you can usually means waiting until something unfortunate happens that forces a sudden move. In many cases it will be the death of a spouse or a health problem. Downsizing in these situations are at best chaotic and stressful.
- Does your house need maintenance or upgrades? Homes do require upgrades as things wear out and sometimes multiple things need to be replaced at the same time. Spending $10,000, $20,000 or more to enable you to stay another 1-2 years is very expensive and likely to bring limited return on resale.
- Are you finding it financially difficult to continue living in the home? If it takes all of your income each month to live or worse, you are dipping into savings each month to cover housing costs than a right sizing move may make sense. Eliminating expensive housing costs while simultaneously freeing up equity to invest and produce income can change your financial situation. If you invest $300,000 (using RBC Managed Payout Solution or a similar product) it will pay approx. $1500 per month in income and you can eliminate $500 per month in housing expenses, you now have an additional $2000 per month to live on.
Obviously, your situation will be different than that of other readers but hopefully these points will give you some things to consider in making your decision of when is the right time for you to right size.
Downsizing is a process but a rewarding one. It can be an opportunity to right size your life and move onto the next chapter with more independence.
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Roy Thomas SRES is a Senior’s Real Estate Specialist and a REALTOR® with Sutton Group-Professional Realty. Licensed since 1991, much of Roy’s practice is helping retirees with their later in life moves. Roy can be reached at 902-497-3031, by email: RoyThomas@RoyThomas.ca or read other articles online at www.HalifaxSeniorLiving.ca
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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. If you are contemplating a move and would like a complimentary copy of Roy’s guide to downsizing entitled “Preparing to Downsize” please click here|