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Should You Downsize for Retirement?

Posted by Amy Ulivieri on April 28, 2021
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Downsizing for Retirement
Image via Pexels
By Andrea Needham of eldersday.org

There’s a lot to think about when retirement is around the corner. One of the biggest is where you’ll live in your senior years. Older adults who wait too long to downsize risk finding themselves with an oversized, aging house they can no longer maintain. That’s why it’s important to consider where you’ll live during your senior years before you get there.

Downsizing: Doing the Math

Downsizing can be complicated in today’s competitive housing market. Here’s what to consider before packing up the house.

  • How much home can you afford in your area? This is an important consideration before selling your home. Use online search tools to view homes in Wheaton. You can use filters to search by property type, square footage, accessibility, and other features.
  • Next, determine what your own home is worth. Online estimate tools are a good start, but a comparative market analysis provides a more accurate market value.
  • It’s a seller’s market in a lot of the country. While it’s still a good time to buy thanks to low mortgage rates, it’s important to know your market and look out for hidden costs.

Getting a Mortgage After 60

What’s the smartest way to buy a house near retirement age? It may be getting a mortgage.

  • You’re never too old to qualify for a mortgage. Lenders can’t discriminate based on age and retirement income still counts toward income.
  • Getting a mortgage may be a smart move for your wallet, too. Getting a mortgage improves liquidity and frees up money to invest for retirement income.
  • If it’s been a while since you bought a home, reacquaint yourself with mortgage types and terms, how to choose a mortgage lender, and other mortgage basics.

Preparing Your Home to Sell

You’ll have more money to work with if you get the highest price for your home. For downsizing retirees, preparation pays off.

  • The most important thing a house can be is clean and clutter-free. Before putting your house on the market, downsize and declutter your belongings.
  • Has it been a few years (or decades) since you’ve remodeled? Use these interior design tips to modernize without remodeling.
  • Staging shows off a home’s best side. If you want to sell your house quickly, pay a professional landscaping service and replace worn furnishings with rented furniture and artwork that offers mass appeal.
  • Make sure you leave the house during home showings. Before you go, lock up valuables, tidy up, and remove pets from the property.

There’s a lot to plan for when downsizing your home. For retirees, a house isn’t just a place to live — it’s also a critical part of your retirement strategy. That’s why it’s important to work with a Realtor like Samantha Bauman to get the best value for your home. With an expert like Sam on your team, you can walk into the downsizing process confident you’re making the right move for your retirement.

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