Is your current space too big?
We have worked with many empty-nesters or retirees who are looking for a new home and have helped to guide them to the right neighborhood and right home based on that next stage in their life. In our years of real estate we have found several commonalities in these two primary groups looking to downsize:
- The two main things we see in people looking to downsize is either 1) the kids are all gone and the house is just way too big for two people, or 2) they lived in a certain area for the school zone and now that school zoning is no longer a factor they want to be in an area where they want to live.
- We have seen many empty-nesters trading their suburban home for a life back in the city as well as moving from areas like the Memorial Villages to the Heights to be in a more walkable community with restaurants and shops only blocks away.
- Having a home that is more open and fit for entertaining is very important. Whereas previously it was a game room on the 2nd floor for the kids, having an open layout on the 1st floor and a large kitchen island, now take priority.
- Quality over quantity is what matters. Instead of going for a larger house with a lot of rooms, empty-nesters tend to be more focused on the layout and finishes.
- The master suite matters! Whether it is the size of the closet or the layout of the bathroom, the one space that empty-nesters tend to care about more than any other is where they spend their time every day.
Many of the items noted above could be repeated again here, but we do note several other aspects to consider as one reaches the 60+ age category, which include:
- Are there any social clubs in the community that enable you to connect with others on a frequent basis? For those that have retired and are no longer seeing people day-to-day, factoring in the social aspect of a new home/community is something to consider.
- Mobility may not be an issue today, but opting for a 1-story home or a house with an elevator is something to consider.
- Condos are a great option! Many buyers over their years have migrated from apartments, to a townhome, to single-family homes and have never lived in a condo during their working years. With the extra amenities offered and concierge service it is definitely an option that one reaching retirement should consider…and the views at some of them are amazing!
Another important factor to consider is that when downsizing there is generally a house that needs to be sold in conjunction with the new purchase. We have been able to navigate clients through this process, whether that entails a lease-back period on their current home, a contingent offer on the next home, or some other solution to make sure our clients are not in an undesirable position of paying double mortgage on two properties for an extended period of time.
A great advantage of down-sizing is for some clients dropping down to a lower monthly mortgage, or no mortgage at all, means they have the ability to splurge on that ski house, lake house or beach condo they’ve always wanted. With both team members having had backgrounds in accounting and finance, and John being a CPA, the Deveau Realty Team is best equipped to help guide clients through the financial implications of a second home. Many times this involves providing worksheets to help a client ‘see the numbers on paper’ and make sure that their dreams are in line with their budget. The great thing about working with a team from Compass is we have a great network of top teams around the country, and we have been able to refer our clients, when purchasing properties in other states, to agents who are going to serve them well.