Decided to Downsize? 3 Considerations for Seniors 

Decided to Downsize? 3 Considerations for Seniors 

Article Provided by Jim Vogel

The large family home that you moved into decades ago may no longer suit your needs as a senior. Perhaps maintaining a bigger house has proven to be too much work, certain rooms have turned into mere storage spaces, or you feel that downsizing could help lower your utility bills.

Moving into a smaller home is a reasonable choice for seniors and empty nesters who simply don’t need to live in big houses anymore. Naturally, figuring out what to do with your current home is your next major decision. Depending on your lifestyle, budget, and emotional attachment to your home, you have several options after choosing to downsize.

Thinking About Selling?

Depending on your estimated property value and the price of smaller homes in the area where you plan to relocate, selling your home could allow you to purchase a new house outright and save money in the process. The profits from the sale of your home could help boost your retirement fund. When it’s time to downsize, selling is often the best financial decision.

If home prices in your area have been steadily rising, and you’re hoping to move to a town with a lower cost of living, you may feel optimistic about your profits. However, there are also costs associated with selling a home. You’ll need to factor in the price of necessary renovations and maintenance, among other expenses.

As you prepare to sell, you’ll need to get your home ready for staging. According to US News, this might mean removing some personal items from view in advance of showings and keeping them in a storage unit, or even renting different furniture to spruce up the space.

Holding on to Your Home

Perhaps you’re envisioning your children and grandchildren enjoying many more years of Kodak moments in your beloved home for years to come. It’s a heartwarming idea, but if you’re hoping to downsize without selling your home, creating a budget before making any final decisions is crucial. Add up all of your sources of income, track your usual monthly spending, and then figure out how much you’ll set aside for the down payment on a new home. Working out a budget can help you avoid the urge to purchase a home that falls outside your range of affordability.

If your financial situation is stable, and you’re confident that you can move into a new home while holding on to your property, it’s time to have an honest conversation with your loved ones. According to Forbes, you should go over the legal factors involved in passing down a property, and discuss how your children really feel about the idea of managing the home and handling the costs associated with ownership.

Becoming a Landlord

If you’re not looking to sell your home, but you aren’t planning on keeping it in your family either, becoming a landlord and renting it out is another possibility. First, you’ll need to research the rental market in your area to determine what you can realistically charge your future tenants. Next, decide if you want to advertise your home, host viewings, screen prospective tenants, and manage maintenance requests on your own. If you’d rather not handle these time-consuming tasks, consider if you can afford to work with a property manager.

Being a landlord involves more than sitting back and collecting checks. But in the long run, renting your home can be a great source of steady, passive income, and those monthly payments can help you enjoy a little more financial flexibility in your retirement.

Deciding that it’s finally time to downsize can be stressful, even if you’re certain that it’s the right choice. But with an accurate picture of your overall financial standing, you can make smart choices that work for you and your family.