Whether the appeal is lower expenses, fewer responsibilities, retirement, or perhaps you simply no longer need the space of a large home, sometimes life dictates that it is time for a change. If you have recently entered a new stage in life and are wondering whether downsizing might be right for you, these 5 cues can help you decide if it’s time to sell your home.

1. You are an empty nester

Children require lots of space–a roomy backyard for running around and playing, a table for dining and homework or a spacious garage for sporting equipment. Yet, once the kids leave, parents find themselves with all this extra space to maintain, and it may feel like a bit too much. While a new transition can be scary and bring with it the challenges of selling or giving away personal effects, successful downsizing can sometimes take the emptiness out of empty nest syndrome, the feeling of sadness when children leave home. Downsizing can mark a new beginning.

2. You want to travel

Many people dream of traveling after retirement. Once the children are grown, parents have fewer responsibilities and ties to the community. In addition, downsizing is a great way to fund your dream of travel which can be quite expensive. For example, when downsizing, you can sell extra furniture that is no longer needed, save on utilities, close out mortgage payments, and forgo maintenance fees for weekly landscaping or winter snowplowing. What’s more, a smaller home or condominium is easier to manage from afar, simply requiring a quick check from a neighbor or a more formal contract with a property management company.

3. Routine home maintenance has become a burden

Downsizing is an appealing option if you don’t want the continued responsibility or cost of routine home maintenance and repair. By some estimates, a homeowner can anticipate spending 1% of a home’s value on regular maintenance, and as each decade goes by, home maintenance costs tend to rise. If you have decided to sell your home, northern New Jersey has a vibrant condominium market and many active 55+ community options. By downsizing, there is less home maintenance, plus often projects that come with owning a larger property require a professional contractor, which can get costly. In summer, there is no grass to cut, and in winter, there’s no snow to shovel.

4. You need to redeploy cash

As children get older, parents often need funds for college tuition or to help with a security deposit for a first apartment. They may want to assist with car payments or a semester abroad, and these types of costs require disposable income. Downsizing can help. Homes come with a multitude of monthly expenses that include homeowner’s insurance, mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance, and property taxes. Although the month-to-month expenses might be similar between a home and a condominium, the proceeds from the actual home sale can be used to offset other cash outlays.

5. The housing market is strong, and prices are rising

New Jersey home prices are strong. According to Zillow, median home prices in NJ rose 5% last year and are expected to rise an additional 3.8% next year. Rising home prices in combination with historically low mortgage rates are fueling an active buyers’ market. Whether you wish to reduce the size of your current living space or fund a second property in retirement, rising home prices facilitate home sales and home sellers looking to downsize.

Are you starting a new phase of life and thinking about downsizing? I would love to assist you and answer any questions you have about selling your home. Contact Victoria Carter at victoria@victoriacarter.com, or call (973) 220-3050.

4 Thoughts on “5 Reasons To Downsize and Sell Your Home

  1. Carl Mason says:

    Real Estate prices have not risen in Atlantic County , New Jersey. The population is getting smaller, they are fleeing the high taxed state of NJ. I blame the Democrat elected officials and their raise taxes and fees higher agenda.They need to cut goverment. They need to force the pensions and salaries down for school employees. The value of home prices are way down and will continue to go lower. Foreclosures highest in nation.

    • Victoria Carter Victoria Carter says:

      Thank you, Carl, for your comment. I really enjoyed reading it. It’s always interesting to hear from homeowners who are on the ground. According to Zillow, Atlantic County home values troughed towards the end of 2017 and rose 7.3% last year. Zillow predicts a rise of about 4.5% over the next year, although the percentage of homes with negative equity is estimated at 25%. They even label the market as “Very Hot.”

      • Carl Mason says:

        I follow the prices in Egg Harbor Township. Houses near me that were built in 2007. That cost over $300,000 go to sheriff sale. Banks take back and sell for around $190,000. Some people rent rooms out to make their mortgage payments. One family sells drugs Illegally to make mortgage payments. You will get what people are willing to pay for your home. Real Estate companies will not report the housing market is gloomy. They are in the market of selling homes. When my wife allows me to put house up for sale. I will. We are both 68. She doesn’t want to start over. We have both lived in NJ since 1950.

        • Victoria Carter Victoria Carter says:

          Thank you, Carl. Wishing you and your wife well for your next stage in life and success in selling your home when you get to that juncture!

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