EMpty Nesters are cashing in on home sales

Empty Nesters considering a downsize are realizing bigger isn’t better and are cashing in on home sales that take less than a weekend.

Moving up in life sometimes means downsizing your home, and now is one of the most perfect times to take advantage of the hottest seller’s market in Omaha real estate history.

Downsizing isn’t just for empty nesters 

According to a 2019 report from the National Association of Realtors, living larger in less space was one of the top reasons homeowners between the age of 54 and 63 decide to sell their home.

Financial planners across the country report the supersized home can be the single largest hurdle to living the dream retirement. Investing home sale profits and reducing long term property costs can fund a retirement that others only dream about.

Downsizing isn’t only about the money.

Any way you slice it, you’ll have less responsibility, a smaller workload, and more energy to create memories and develop friendships that come with a new, exciting chapter in your life.

Maybe letting go isn’t the issue, but where to go is.

Let me tell you about Roger and Sue who purchased a ranch villa in the spring of 2019.  Three hours after closing, the flatware was in the kitchen drawer, the throw pillows were on the master bed, and the couch was occupied in time for Roger to catch the second round of the Masters golf tournament. Moving doesn’t have to be difficult!

14 months prior to their move, Roger and Sue admitted they had long been discussing downsizing but were paralyzed by all the questions: How do we buy and sell at the same time? Do we have to update our current home to sell?

What’s the difference between a townhome and a villa? Are there any 55+ communities in Omaha? Can we stay close to our current home and should we consider renting?

At any stage in life, change is intimidating. I’m here to tell you an opportunity is knocking. Your options have never been better. 10,000 people turn 65 every day.  There are some very good answers to your questions and concerns…if you ask the right person. 

After spending 20+ years in the real estate industry and speaking with thousands of homeowners just like you, I’ve finally put pen to paper and compiled the 12 reasons I believe now is the perfect time to downsize.

1. Housing market. Timing is everything and in the history of the Omaha housing market, there has never been a more lucrative seller’s market.  The supply of available homes is at historic lows. Homes can sell in the matter of hours, often with multiple offers over asking price.

2. Avoiding home updates. As a true characteristic of a seller’s market, one of the greatest benefits to those that have been in their homes for a long time are that homes are often sold As-Is with very little preparation necessary.

3. Upkeep. As you have aged, so has your home. Maintenance and upkeep costs significantly increase with a home’s age. Downsizing to a newer home assures you much less hassle in upkeep. Retirement compounds this issue: while your income is likely to decrease, your home maintenance costs will likely increase.

4. Are you Oldest in the neighborhood? Many neighborhoods tend to have younger homeowners constantly moving in, potentially isolating seniors aging in place.  A community starts to feel lonely once your original neighbors have moved on or passed away—especially if you lose your own spouse, too.

5. Ideal floor plans and HOAs. The aging baby boom population triggered floor plans to fit one level lifestyle and 55+ communities.  The physical benefits of living in a home that fits your age are aplenty:  low-maintenance landscaping, a flat driveway, extra room in the garage, and the greatest benefit of all – someone else shoveling the snow and mowing the lawn.

6. Financial Savings. After a lifetime of aiming for more space, now you’ve got more than you know what to do with.  It hardly makes sense to pay for heating, cooling, and lighting for rooms that not even your pet finds useful.  A UCLA report found that homeowners spend 68% of their time in the kitchen and living room alone. That money going to heat the unused bedroom could be your next vacation to sunny Florida.

7. Financial Profits. Downsizing not only saves money but do it before you’re set to retire and you’ll save several thousand dollars each year. Trade in your mortgage for a paid off home. For example, let’s say you pay $2,500 a month on your mortgage, taxes, insurance, and upkeep. If you sell and downsize 10 to 15 years before you retire, that’s $30,000 a year in housing costs that you could put towards your retirement instead.

8. Freedom. The definition of retirement has changed considerably in recent years as 59% of Americans now dream of traveling once retired. Now more than ever, seniors are maintaining an active lifestyle that includes travel, exercise, and avoiding the winter blues.

9. Seasons. Spread your wings and join the thousands of Snowbirds that head south each winter. This is especially relevant for people who call Omaha home, where winter weather frequently causes subzero temperatures. A recent study indicated 57% of baby boomers plan to relocate or purchase a second home after leaving the workforce. Downsizing affords many the ability to buy two homes for the price of one.

10. Embracing a new home. Of course, there are emotional hurdles to downsizing. The door frame where you charted the heights of your kids. The driveway where your kids spent hours playing basketball.  If sentiment tempts you to hang on to your home too long, it could wind up doing more damage to your finances than you’d expect.  In fact, covering everyday expenses is the number one reason retirees tap into their equity.

11. Move closer to grand kids. Logically, it makes no sense to maintain a home for 365 days to be able to gather the family for, what, maybe 10 nights per year tops? As families often spread coast to coast, an upside to no longer owning the family magnet is the flexibility to move closer to family or visit more often or even create new once in a lifetime family memories on holiday destination vacations.

12. Reducing moving stress. Let’s face it, we aren’t spring chickens any longer.  Moving is physically challenging and best tackled with some gas left in the tank. All too often the inevitable move comes at a time in life when you are dependent on family and others. While physical help is available, moving stress is inevitable. If possible, I encourage everyone to make the move at a time when you can both share the stress – and joy – that comes with downsizing.

Ready to Downsize? I can show you where to start.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is certainly uncomfortable at first, but downsizing (or maybe we start to call it rightsizing) brings with it a world of possibility, exciting new friendships, and a healthy future both physically and financially.

Downsizing might not make sense in every situation but it’s worth a conversation. I’d be more than happy to answer questions just like Roger and Sue and help give you a closer look into the current real estate market. I am never pushy and it’s just a conversation, never with any obligations.