Whether the appeal is lower expenses, fewer responsibilities, retirement, or perhaps you simply no longer need the space of a large home, sometimes life dictates that it is time for a change. If you have recently entered a new stage in life and are wondering whether downsizing might be right for you, these 5 cues can help you decide if it’s time to sell your home.
1. You are an empty nester
Children require lots of space–a roomy backyard for running around and playing, a table for dining and homework or a spacious garage for sporting equipment. Yet, once the kids leave, parents find themselves with all this extra space to maintain, and it may feel like a bit too much. While a new transition can be scary and bring with it the challenges of selling or giving away personal effects, successful downsizing can sometimes take the emptiness out of empty nest syndrome, the feeling of sadness when children leave home. Downsizing can mark a new beginning.
2. You want to travel
Many people dream of traveling after retirement. Once the children are grown, parents have fewer responsibilities and ties to the community. In addition, downsizing is a great way to fund your dream of travel which can be quite expensive. For example, when downsizing, you can sell extra furniture that is no longer needed, save on utilities, close out mortgage payments, and forgo maintenance fees for weekly landscaping or winter snowplowing. What’s more, a smaller home or condominium is easier to manage from afar, simply requiring a quick check from a neighbor or a more formal contract with a property management company.
3. Routine home maintenance has become a burden
Downsizing is an appealing option if you don’t want the continued responsibility or cost of routine home maintenance and repair. By some estimates, a homeowner can anticipate spending 1% of a home’s value on regular maintenance, and as each decade goes by, home maintenance costs tend to rise. If you have decided to sell your home, northern New Jersey has a vibrant condominium market and many active 55+ community options. By downsizing, there is less home maintenance, plus often projects that come with owning a larger property require a professional contractor, which can get costly. In summer, there is no grass to cut, and in winter, there’s no snow to shovel.
4. You need to redeploy cash
As children get older, parents often need funds for college tuition or to help with a security deposit for a first apartment. They may want to assist with car payments or a semester abroad, and these types of costs require disposable income. Downsizing can help. Homes come with a multitude of monthly expenses that include homeowner’s insurance, mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance, and property taxes. Although the month-to-month expenses might be similar between a home and a condominium, the proceeds from the actual home sale can be used to offset other cash outlays.
5. The housing market is strong, and prices are rising
New Jersey home prices are strong. According to Zillow, median home prices in NJ rose 5% last year and are expected to rise an additional 3.8% next year. Rising home prices in combination with historically low mortgage rates are fueling an active buyers’ market. Whether you wish to reduce the size of your current living space or fund a second property in retirement, rising home prices facilitate home sales and home sellers looking to downsize.
Are you starting a new phase of life and thinking about downsizing? I would love to assist you and answer any questions you have about selling your home. Contact Victoria Carter at [email protected], or call (973) 220-3050.