Tips for Empty Nesters Ready to Downsize

August 9, 2021

As summer draws to a close and kids head off to college, many Empty Nesters will consider downsizing their homes to gear up for the next stage in their lives. And while saying goodbye to the family home can be an emotional process and considerable undertaking, there are many upsides to downsizing that make it an attractive option for those whose kids have flown the coop.

Ready to downsize? Here are five tips from BayFirst to make sure your move to a smaller home will have a big impact.

1.  Determine how much space you need. Before you set out on your smaller home search, consider how many bedrooms you’ll want to have in your new place. Though you may no longer need dedicated rooms for every member of your family, you might still want space for visitors, future grandchildren or a college grad looking to save up for a place of their own. Before settling on number of bedrooms needed, consider all scenarios to avoid making multiple moves.

2.  Find a home and location that match your lifestyle. Before making a move, ask yourself what you plan to do with your free time. Do you enjoy gardening? Home improvement projects? Cooking or entertaining? Whatever your answer, be sure the features of your new home line up. When it comes to location, is it important to be close to the kids? Would it be best to have a home in a place they’ll be excited to visit? Is it time to move closer to other family or friends? The answers to these questions will help you find the perfect location.

3.  Consider your future needs. Every Empty Nester looking to downsize should ask themselves if their next move is for the long-term. If so, it’s important to remember that needs can change as you grow older, so choosing a home that meets both current and future needs is smart. This could mean choosing a one-story house without stairs, or one in a 55+ community, or maybe even one with room for a caretaker.

4.  Revisit your financial plan. Reducing the size of your living space has many financial benefits including decreased mortgage payments, fewer maintenance fees and lower real estate taxes, utility bills, and insurance costs. Combined, these reductions can add up to significant savings. Additionally, many who have owned their current home for a while are likely to walk away from the sale with a profit. With money in the bank and new-found savings on the way, Empty Nesters should revisit and update their financial plan to determine how to best spend or save going forward. In addition to putting money towards the down payment on their next home, many will consider paying off existing debt or splurging on things like travel. Others will deposit funds directly into their retirement fund or a savings account where their money can continue to grow. Whatever you decide, having a plan will ensure you’re ready for what’s next.

5.  Explore your loan options and get pre-approved. There are many loan options and programs available for Empty Nesters requiring assistance financing their next home. Contact an expert at BayFirst to find the best option for your needs. We can also get you pre-approved for your next home loan which will help you stand out among other buyers and bring you one step closer to closing on the downsized home of your dreams.

If the next phase of your life includes downsizing your home, be sure to start off on the right foot with BayFirst by your side. Stop by a banking center or call us today to learn more and get moving.

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