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Should I Downsize Before Retirement

Are you living in a house with several empty bedrooms? You might be considering downsizing, but the best age to downsize isn’t always right at retirement.  Should I downsize before retirement? You might wait for a while after retirement, or maybe consider downsizing before you retire. Several factors should play into your decision, including the cost to buy and sell a home.

Costs of Downsizing

The costs of downsizing are going to be there regardless of the time you choose to make that move. So, just when is the right time to downsize? The best time is when it benefits you financially. No matter where you decide to retire, whether it’s in the same town, across the state or across the country, you will need to know several things:

  • What is the cost of living in the new location?
  • How much home can you afford?
  • What is your debt to income ratio?
  • How much mortgage can you afford if you decide to finance your new purchase?
  • Should you pay for your new home with cash or should you get another mortgage?
  • How much does it cost to sell my home?

If you don’t have a mortgage now, it may be less expensive to keep the larger home. Compare the cost of utilities, maintenance, insurance and other home costs. Don’t forget to add in the cost of selling your home and buying a new home.

Only you can answer these questions and they should all be answered before you even contact a real estate agent. Once you have done the research and decided to downsize, then you should contact a real estate agent in the area you plan on moving to.

I’m Downsizing!

Now that you’ve answered the question, “Should I downsize my home?” you have several other items to consider. For example, are you going to travel? Do you have grandchildren who visit often? Should you consider a rental? Downsizing in your 60s means you may have to hire someone to do a lot of the work you might have done when you were a few years younger – and that means additional costs.

Downsizing After Retirement

Downsizing your home for retirement also means that you have less to do. If you are not one to mow the yard or do some maintenance, you may consider renting. However, if you still enjoy working on the yard and fixing a place up so it’s just right, a smaller house could save you money – in some cases, it could save you more than renting.

Downsizing after retirement also means that you will lose out on some of that extra space. Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean that you aren’t working. If you have a home business, you may need that extra bedroom to use for an office. If the grandkids visit often, you may like an extra room for them to stay in. You might still be able to have that extra room or two even after downsizing if you plan the move right and are able to find a home that meets your needs.

Other things to think about include leaving decades of memories behind and travel costs to visit relatives and friends who live close to your current home. Of course, if you are at the point where you cannot care for a home because of medical reasons or just because you don’t want to, all of this is moot because you’re going to downsize anyway. As long as downsizing is a choice, consider all of the options and then contact a real estate agent at On Point Carolinas Realty to list your home and to help you find a new home.

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About The Author
Gus Testa

Gus Testa, Top Realtor with On Point Carolinas Realty, LLC, has been in real estate sales and management since 1977. In 1993, after leaving family, friends and his owned real estate franchise firm behind, he and his wife Beth made the decision to “head South” with their 2 sons. Since that time there has been no looking back. Gus immediately began working for a local and well respected new home builder, building beautiful neighborhoods in and around the Charlotte area. In his first year of new home sales he was awarded “Rookie of the Year” for the highest volume of sales for the company. Then in 2002, it was time to move on and Gus joined major developer Crescent Resources as one of their Residential Sales Associates. From 2002 through 2012, Gus along with his business partner Kim McBee, continually sold several million dollars in volume and became very familiar with the movers and shakers in the Real Estate industry in and around the Lake Norman area, the Charlotte area and the Northern most portions of South Carolina. In 2013 Gus and Kim partnered with a local developer to open On Point Carolinas Realty, LLC; a full service real estate company, listing and selling new and re-sale homes and home sites. Gus holds licenses in both North and South Carolina.

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