Let’s agree that if you’ve decided to look for a new home in retirement that your list of criteria is vastly different than when your nest was full. A lot has changed in the real estate industry since the 1980s, in both the selling and buying process.
First, you’re no longer looking for areas with good schools for the kids or a strong job market for Mom and Dad. So, your priorities have changed as well and you have far more freedom now to live where you want and how you want.
It’s liberating, isn’t it?
If you’re considering downsizing your Truckee home, or looking for single story homes in Truckee, read on, because I’ve got a tool for you. It’s an exclusive list of ALL homes on the Truckee MLS that have been listed as single story by the selling agent. You won’t find this list on Zillow, so when you open the list, keep this URL on your favorites, or let me know and I can keep my eye out for you when new ones hit the market.
When retirees aren’t thinking about recreation, they tend to think about their finances. And downsizing a home isn’t just a way to save on home maintenance costs but also a way to free up all that equity you’ve built up to use during your retirement.
Whether you’ll be shopping for single story homes in Truckee, or just thinking of simplifying maintenance and downsizing to a condo, the process of buying a home doesn’t really differ that much between the two. Since it’s a major life event, however, it can still feel scary, and exciting at the same time.
Be that as it may, baby boomers are a hardy bunch and it takes a lot to frighten them off what they truly want. In fact, Americans age 65 and older who say they plan on moving in the next five years, 67 percent say their priority is to move to a smaller home. Stairs are a common concern, so looking for single story homes in Truckee may be a good part of your retirement plan.
My best advice to you is to first consult with your accountant or financial adviser before taking any concrete steps toward that new future. Armed with his or her good advice you’re in a far better position to make this move, sans the emotions.
Then, you’ll need to consider whether you want to try to time the sale of your current home with the purchase of the new one. This is the time to contact a Truckee real estate agent. Timing can be a tricky process but we’re happy to walk you through it.
Consider the advantages and disadvantages
With the home paid off, you’re in a far better financial position than many retirees but you should still consider the costs of selling a home. You’ll pay real estate fees, perhaps concessions to the buyer and mortgage fees. These can add up to a big chunk of money.
The advantages to downsizing, however, may just offset those costs
First, if you don’t pay cash for the new home, you’ll have a mortgage payment. Since you’ll be buying a smaller home, however, your payments may be far lower than they were when you had a mortgage on the current home.
And, because the home will be smaller, you’ll save money on utility bills and, if you choose a condo, home maintenance chores may be picked up by the HOA.
But, before you can make a plan for the future, you’ll need to consider both sides of the issue, the good and the bad.
Yes, there are disadvantages
In a perfect universe there would be perfect timing in all that we do. Selling your current home would coincide with a hot sellers’ market which would magically morph into an equally fiery buyers’ market when you look for the new home.
Ah, that dratted universe – nothing is perfect
And, the late Steven Hawking agrees. “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist … without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist,”
The upside to this, however, is that one of the markets will prevail so you are ensured of saving money on at least one of your transactions, weather it’s buying or selling.
Next, consider that condo living offers many advantages (low maintenance, amenities you might not find in a single family home community, etc.) but it has drawbacks as well. Chief among these are the HOA fees and any special assessments which may crop up in the future.
It’ll work with a good plan
My advice is to plan on selling your home as soon as possible. We are still in one of the best sellers’ markets we’ve seen in decades, but interest rates may hike again this year, locking many buyers out of the market.
To make the most money possible on the sale of your current home, get it on the market soon
Downsizing to a condo, or considering single story homes in Truckee may just mean all the difference, financially, during your retirement.
Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to seek counsel from your financial planner or accountant before making any decisions. Then, call me and we’ll get started on the real estate part of your plan.