The past couple of years have been quite challenging for homeowners of all kinds, but particularly for older Americans. The Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis says that 2021 saw a big retirement boom. In fact, 1.7 million more older workers than expected retired due to the pandemic-related recession.
If this describes you, it’s possible that your home is no longer fitting your lifestyle. Thankfully, you’ve likely built up equity that you can use to make your next home move. In fact, homeowners gained an average of more than $50,000 in equity in the last 12 months along. On top of that, we’re in the middle of a hot sellers’ market, which is pressuring many older people to sell their large homes and downsize.
The big question you may be asking yourself right now is: should I stay in my current home or should I move and downsize?
Many retirees opt to age in place within their homes, at least until they can do so reasonably. This is an easy option for many, as it allows them to remain in the family home amongst the familiarity and memories. You know the regular expenses involved, you know the routine, and you are comfortable with it all.
But you can’t ignore the fact that as you age, your housing needs will change. As a 70 year-old retiree who hasn’t had children living in the house for many decades, that big family home with four bedrooms, sunroom, finished basement, office and living rooms can pose a big headache in terms of heating, cooling and maintenance.
When once your growing family needed all that space, it no longer makes sense to have a home that big if you don’t use most of the rooms. You’re paying a lot of money to heat and cool all those spaces, and you may not be able to navigate it as well as you used to. Stairs may be a challenge for you now, for example.
As a result, you may decide to sell that big house and buy a smaller one-floor ranch or condo, possibly in a 55+ community. Or perhaps you may decide to go right into an independent, assisted or community living facility. Where you move will also be a concern. You may not want to live in a rural area any longer. It may have been nice when you were in your 40s, but it can be very isolating when you’re in your 70s.
Retirement communities are highly sought after for this age group, as they are constructed with the needs of older people in mind, such as single-story designs, wider hallways to accommodate walkers later on, grab bars in the bathrooms, etc. Retrofitting your existing house to meet your aging needs can be an expensive proposition.
Another option is multi-generational living. One of your adult children may decide to construct an addition or in-law apartment onto their existing home where you can live. They’re close enough to help you when you need it, yet you can still retain a lot of your independence. You’re closer to your grandchildren, too, which benefits both parties.
You can also decide to sell your home and use those funds to rent a smaller space, while using the rest of the proceeds to travel like you’ve always wanted. You wouldn’t have to worry about paying property taxes and high maintenance costs, plus you would have more freedom to come and go as you please without hassling with maintenance issues.
As you can see, there are many options available to you in retirement as your housing needs change.
Contact Berkshire Hathaway Premier Properties for Your Houston Real Estate Needs
Are you ready to retire? Want to downsize? Please contact Berkshire Hathaway Premier Properties today at 713-862-0000. We can help connect you with the right housing option for you in today’s market.