Are you thinking about downsizing?

by Valerie on Tuesday, January 10, 2017
For several empty-nesters and retirees, continuing to live in the family home is something to be proud of. Many are emotionally attached to their home or may enjoy the idea of maintaining it in order to allow their adult children and their families to “come home” during the holidays, or even just for Sunday dinner. Others may feel that downsizing would not be a wise financial decision for themselves, or for their family.

Some of the reluctance stems from the idea that trading a house with a paid-off mortgage for a rental unit or condominium with maintenance fees will lead to higher monthly costs. However, as a home ages, issues and repairs will become more common. Replacement of a roof, a furnace, windows & doors will become necessary. Neglecting this maintenance not only depletes the home’s value, but also leads to higher heating costs, thereby making living there more expensive.

It is also important to consider the cost of outsourcing household chores that you no longer do yourself, like snow removal, lawn and garden care, window cleaning and pool maintenance. Would these tasks be manageable for you in a smaller place? Would those services be included in maintenance or condo fees?

People often fail to appreciate how as one gets older it becomes harder to move. Anyone who has moved recently knows that the process is physically and mentally exhausting, even at a young age! It is that much more daunting for older adults, especially if a move is thrust upon them following a health event or a bereavement.

After nearly 3 decades of helping people transition from one living situation to the next, we have helped with this change under nearly every circumstance:from finding smaller homes for vibrant empty nesters downsizing to maintain their active lifestyle, to advising adult children concerned with their parent’s loss of autonomy. If our experience has taught us anything, we have learned that it is usually better to take the plunge sooner rather than later.

If you are considering downsizing, we would be glad to answer any questions you may have, so that you can make the decision that is right for you and your family.