In the blink of an eye they went from little kids asking "why" everyday to teenagers, graduations, and now they are all grown up. Bittersweet for parents - our biggest job is done and they have flown from the nest. A little sad because that phase of our life is over. But it can be oh so sweet!!
New adventures on the horizon, travel plans, total freedom to come and go as we please. Streamlining our living space makes all that easier, but sometimes it seems hard. WHY?
The kids grew up in the house, we had such lovely parties here, my kids might move back in, what will people think? Sometimes, it is emotion and perhaps even our ego that stops us from what we might see as going backwards. How much is our home part of our identity.
These are questions that only you can answer, but they are useful to ask, it gives an opportunity to be introspective about reasoning behind decision making and make a decision with a clear head.
From the emotion to the logical - here are some useful questions to ask yourself.
How many rooms in the house are we really using?
How many rooms are we paying real estate taxes on?
If the answer is not many - it makes sense to cash out that equity and use it elsewhere.
How much yard work do you really want to do?
Or how much do you want to pay for landscape maintenance?
If the answer is not much - it makes sense to live on a smaller lot or even consider a condo. Think of coffee overlooking the water.
Is your retirement nest egg as large as you would like it to be?
Would you like to increase that nest egg?
If the you want to increase that nest egg, it makes sense to downsize to a smaller footprint. Smaller taxes, smaller heating and cooling costs, smaller cleaning costs, smaller landscape costs. You get the picture. It makes sense.
If you could make a downsize an exciting adventure and change the lifestyle completely, consider doing something different. Maybe a 'intown' lifestyle. Walk to restaurants and theaters in Red Bank for instance, or the energy of Asbury Park- City living, but staying local.
Fancy the beach? Monmouth Beach has low taxes and a relaxed lifestyle. Single Family Homes and condos available. Waterfront and great views.
The condo lifestyle might be something to consider, close the door and don't worry about exterior maintenance when you travel. You do have to consider the cost of Homeowner Association Fees (HOA) but some complexes HOA include heat and or taxes.
How about a smaller house on less land with an amazing view.? Atlantic Highlands - the Malibu of Monmouth County offers incredible views and is close to Manhattan by ferry.
A small historic farm house could be your next home, a place to putter and fix things- on a small scale that is not too big and won't become the money pit.
Lastly, if your downsize nets you equity from your sale and you have some to add to your nest egg. Well that is worthwhile right there. There are several things to discuss with your accountant to make sure you get all that you are due out of the sale.
You might be surprised by the value of your home.
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