by Jenni Barnett
on Monday, September 12th, 2022 at 11:54am.
One aspect of home ownership that we appreciate most is the ability to choose a home that perfectly suits our needs. A growing family will often choose to upsize, perhaps making room for children, pets, crafting areas, or a home office. At a later stage, however, homeowners may begin to recognize several signs it’s time to downsize.
There are plenty of benefits to be gained by downsizing. Still, we recognize how difficult it can be to leave behind a home in which your most precious memories have been made.
Let’s go through several excellent reasons to downsize.
You Plan to Age in Place
Aging in place has multiple proven benefits, including improved physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being metrics. Still, if your current home presents challenges to your plan to age in place, it may be wise to relocate earlier rather than later.
The following are just a few of the features that may be challenging as we age:
Steep paths through the yard
Multiple flights of stairs
Doorways so narrow that they prevent the use of mobility aids
Narrow shower surrounds
Safety is paramount at all stages of life. Your home will best serve your plans to age in place if it is designed to prevent falls, provide accessibility, and make your day-to-day life convenient both now and well into the future.
You Dream of Retiring Elsewhere
Call us biased, but we do love Middle Tennessee best in all the world! Still, when one retires, the world is yours—you can live anywhere you like! If you dream of retiring on a mild beach near Monterey, CA, or spending your days in the soaring Colorado mountains, relocating is an excellent reason to sell your beloved home.
You are Under Financial Strain
The standard financial advice warns us not to spend more than 30% of our budget on housing expenses. This figure includes your mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, utilities, and your reserve savings for maintenance expenditures.
If you’ve found yourself spending more than the recommended 30%, you fall into the category of “financially burdened.” Your retirement years should be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible and having very limited funds—or falling into debt—will not create the environment you deserve.
If your home is draining your funds, it’s time to downsize. You will likely free up more of your fixed income for your hobbies, taking classes in subjects you enjoy, travel goals, or just going out for brunch twice a month with your friends, family, or spouse.
You Have Rooms that are Unused
If the very rooms that once convinced you to purchase your home are now sitting empty and unused for months or years at a time, you may wish to downsize. On the other hand, if your “extra” rooms are still being enjoyed by your grandchildren, friends, or your pets, you may decide that the extra housework is well worth the effort.
Keep in mind that your utility bills, property taxes, and homeowners’ insurance will all be higher in your current larger house than they would be if you choose to downsize.
Your Home’s Maintenance is Overwhelming
Suburban home ownership is an enviable privilege. However, it comes with a relatively high maintenance burden. Yard work, unclogging gutters, cleaning what can feel like endless multi-pane windows, vacuuming upstairs and downstairs, and minor home repairs—there usually comes a time when, due to the effects of time, these once-enjoyable tasks are simply overwhelming.
The key thing to consider here is timing. It’s important that you place your home on the market before lapsed maintenance begins to affect its value. Absent a scorching hot market, any savvy buyer will require a thorough home inspection before closing. Negative findings can mean losing tens of thousands compared to the value of a well-maintained property.
Your Neighborhood Is No Longer Ideal
Over time, a neighborhood that was once perfectly suited for your ideal lifestyle may have changed. Perhaps you have changed; a townhouse that was situated close to your workplace or business may now be a far cry from the cottage in the foothills you’ve been dreaming of.
Location alone can be a powerful motivator for selling one’s current home. By downsizing, you may be able to afford a neighborhood that was previously out of your price range, or you may decide to choose a less costly area altogether and walk away with a tidy nest egg for your retirement years.
Your Equity Could Serve You Better
One of the most common reasons financial advisors recommend home ownership is to build equity. Whether through a sale or a reverse mortgage, have you planned to use your equity to boost your retirement income? If so, downsizing can reduce your mortgage payment, homeowners’ insurance premium, utility bills, and property taxes.
If your situation is motivated by a desire to maximize your financial return on your home for your retirement fund, choosing a premier real estate agent is a must. Our agents will share their incredibly in-depth knowledge of Middle Tennessee’s real estate market to ensure you make the right move.
We hope this article has helped you determine whether now is the right time for you to place your home up for sale. We also encourage you to reach out to one of our Parks Realty agents to discuss the current Middle TN housing market, and the type of housing that will best suit your changing needs.
Parks Realty does not provide legal, medical, financial, or tax advice. Today’s article is intended as a source of information. Please do not use it as a substitute for professional advice from a qualified provider of medical treatment, financial advisor, CPA, or licensed attorney.