The two of you live in a six-bedroom home that is only full three times a year—for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Pesach—and the pictures on the walls now just remind you of people who have moved out to start their own families and have their own children. You only heat and air condition specific zones because it does not make sense to pay for the spaces that are no longer being used. Even the kitchen is barely used since it doesn’t make sense to cook an entire brisket for two when any one of the many local restaurants provide an easy dinner.
With all of these factors at play, you’re probably ready to downsize. But now begins the slew of questions: Where will you go? How do you prepare for this? Do you sell with a broker or sell on your own? What work should you do on your home to recoup more of your investment? Should you buy or rent? Should you relocate to Florida; Israel; or Fort Lee, New Jersey? How do you organize a lifetime of purchases and decide what to keep and what to lose? Do you store the items you can’t use to save for children who likely won’t want your old furniture?
There are so many decisions to make as you consider downsizing. The real estate market has rewarded those who have not sold, but the important question to consider is what does the future hold? Can we expect the explosive growth in pricing to continue or will we see a reversal? For those buying, they likely have many years to make up if they end up overpaying. However, those planning to downsize in the next few years have to worry about short-term price fluctuations. If the market turns and everybody runs for the door at the same time, you could see a portion of the recent appreciation disappear quickly, which could impact the amount of funds you are relying on to last you through your retirement years.
Some of your neighbors have already started the process of downsizing. Some decided to sell on their own, choosing to try to maximize the net number, while others prefer to rely on a real estate agent to handle the transaction. The former are turning to resources like Zillow, forsalebyowner.com and others to market their properties, but this route isn’t for everyone. Downsizing can be a difficult decision, and is likely one that many of you are starting to consider.
We will be hosting a series of webinars to help identify and address many of the questions posed in this article. The first webinar takes place on Wednesday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m., and will highlight a local real estate agent to help focus on the “Where do I go now?” question. For further information and to RSVP, please contact me at [email protected].
David Siegel is a vice president of mortgage lending with Guaranteed Rate Affinity (GRA), a leading national retail mortgage lender. GRA is licensed in all U.S. states except Hawaii and works with many investors, which allows it to provide competitive pricing and a broad channel of unique options to handle the often very specific needs of the community. David has over 15 years of experience at both major banks and mortgage bankers and understands the guidelines of different lenders to help direct his customers to the best loan type for their needs. No one lender is the best option for everyone. David will help you find the right choice for you. He is located at 16 Arcadian Avenue, 3rd Floor, Unit C-6, Paramus, NJ, 07652. Contact him via email at [email protected] or phone at 201-725-9527.
NMLS 277243 Guaranteed Rate Affinity NMLS 1598647 Equal Housing Lender.
For licensing, go to nmlsconsumeraccess.org, 16 Arcadian Avenue, 3rd Floor, Unit C-6, Paramus, NJ, 07652. Licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.