People buy and sell homes for many reasons. Perhaps they need to relocate for a job, or maybe they simply want a change of scenery. However, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, if you are 50 years old or older chances are you are selling your home to downsize.
The reasons for downsizing can vary depending on what stage of life the person or family is entering. For younger baby boomers, those born between 1955-1964, the reason to downsize might be that all of their children have moved out, or maybe the home has just become too expensive to maintain. For older baby boomers (born between 1946-1954) and members of the Silent Generation (between 1925-1945) who are entering or are in retirement, downsizing can help increase a nest egg or decrease the amount of work needed to keep up the home.
For many people it is as simple as one day realizing that there are rooms in your home that you never go in, or that keeping the house clean has become a full-time job. When that time comes, looking into buying a smaller home is the next logical step.
Some of the benefits that come with downsizing are:
Saving money. Not only is a smaller house less expensive to purchase, the ancillary costs of the home are also reduced. You will likely use less electricity to heat, cool or light a smaller home. This could bring down your utility bills. Less house also means less to maintain, meaning costs for repairs, gardening, etc., will go down as well.
Less to clean and maintain. If you decrease the size of your living space, logically you decrease the space you need to clean. Downsizing can also force you to re-examine your “stuff” and how much of it you actually need, helping you to declutter. And owning fewer things also means less to dust.
More free time. With less to clean and take care of comes more time for other things. What would you do with an extra five-to-ten hours a week? For those starting their retirement, this is more time to start a new hobby, spend time with your family or to simply relax and enjoy. Who wants to spend their retirement making sure the rooms no one uses are clean?
If you are considering or in the process of downsizing, the most important thing you can do is hire a Realtor. Realtors can provide valuable counsel, discuss listings, show you homes in person and negotiate on your behalf, and Realtors with NAR’s Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation are experienced and knowledgeable in meeting the specific needs of older buyers. Contact the Greater Chattanooga Association for information on working with a Realtor with the SRES designation.
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtorsis “The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,500 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtorsservices Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net.
By Travis Close, ABR, GREEN, GRI, e-PRO
President, Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors