Downsize Without a Downgrade: How to Find a Quality Home You Can Handle on Your Own
By Anita Ginsburg
As you grow older, there may come a point when you realize that your house is much bigger than it needs to be. If this sounds like your situation, then it might be time to consider downsizing, but that doesn’t mean that you need to cut your home’s quality. When looking for a home to retire in, consider these four tips.
Start with the Total Number of Bedrooms
One of the first variables you should consider is the total number of bedrooms that you need to have in your home. While it might be tempting to keep a huge house with extra bedrooms, each extra room can add tens of thousands of dollars when it comes time to make an offer on a home. For a single retiree or a retired couple, two bedrooms will probably be more than enough. You might consider a third bedroom if you need a home office or a designated room for your hobbies, or if you often have a lot of guests staying.
Consider How Much Maintenance You Can Handle
The total cost of the home is extremely important, but you must think about maintenance as well. Even if you hire a landscaper and cleaning crew, you could still end up doing hours of maintenance a week on a larger piece of property. Small projects are quickly going to add up. Eventually, chores may take up too much of your time or require more heavy lifting than your body can handle. You also need to factor maintenance costs, such as servicing the HVAC system and appliances, putting in pest control, and cleaning air ducts into your final costs.
Speak with a Realtor
Once you have settled on a budget and determined how much maintenance you can handle, you should then speak with a realtor about all of your options. An experienced real estate agent is going to have their finger on the pulse of the industry, and they will be able to give you a realistic idea of what the housing market is like. Many real estate agents also have pocket listings specifically for motivated buyers. There’s no need to rush into a purchase. If the market isn’t right or you can’t find the home you want, you can wait a little bit.
Take a Look at Adult Communities
Those who are over the age of 55 might want to take a look at adult community homes for sale, as well as traditional houses and condos. Those communities tend to have excellent management, and many of them provide their residents with a wide array of amenities including gyms, pools, meeting rooms, dance studios and spas. That means you are going to have access to a variety of amazing features and upgrades, but you won’t have to worry about upkeep.
Changing your living arrangements can be a complicated process, and you should carefully consider all of your options before you make any decisions. In addition to speaking with a realtor, you might also want to consult with a financial planner who can help you come up with a long-term budget.